History | Revolutionary America
A302 | 24834 | Knott


A portion of the above section reserved for majors
Above section open to undergraduates only

The American Revolution entailed not only fighting a war and writing
a constitution but reworking an entire culture. This course is
neither military nor narrowly‑defined political history. Rather, we
will focus on the social and cultural history of this short but
formative period of American history. We will be asking two main
questions: What does it take to make a revolution? What does it take
to make a nation? Topics will range from officers' toasts and the
portrayal of George Washington, to slave runaways and women camp-
followers, to the first American novels and Fourth of July parades.
We will go on to look at popular memory of the war in film today.

Readings will include Eve Kornfield, "Creating an American Culture,
1775‑1800" and Alfred Young, "The Shoemaker and the Tea Party:
Memory and the American Revolution." This course is made up of
lectures, some discussion and weekly readings of secondary and/or
primary texts (50-130 pages). Evaluation will be based on a blend of
short in-class assignments, papers and exams. Students will develop
skills of analytic thinking, interpreting texts, and clear and
forceful expressing in writing. [Note: For education students taking
the class, there will be an optional alternative assignment to put
together a teaching plan on the American Revolution.]