History | A307 2803 American Cultural History 1:00-2:15 TR BH109 Friedman
A307 | 2803 | Friedman

Above section open to undergraduates only.
Graduate students register for A507
A portion of the above section reserved for majors.

Organized both topically and chronologically, the course investigates
several select topics in American cultural life and thought from the late
19th century to the present. Above all, we shall seek to understand the
changing sense of personal selfhood in specific ethnic and religious
groups, social classes, genders, and professions in response to the
decline of local communities, the rise of centralized bureaucracies, and
the mechanization and specialization of labor. Subjective, perceived
realities and the ways in which these perceptions are expressed culturally
shall therefore constitute our central focus.

Among others, readings shall include Alan Brinkley's examination of
potential for fascism in depressionary America (Voices of Protest), and
novels by Kate Chopin (The Awakening), Richard Wright (Native Son), and
David Guterson (Snow Falling on Cedars). Films such as "Modern Times"
(Chaplin) and "Saturday Night, Sunday Morning" shall also be seen. There
shall be two essay examinations, a mid-term and a final and a term paper.