American Studies | Colloquium in American Studies / Topic: History of American Architecture
G620 | 25019 | Sarah Burns


(4 cr.) Jointly offered with FINA-A548

This is a survey of American (more specifically, US) architecture
from the Colonial period to the late twentieth century and including
public and domestic design.  The course surveys the history of
architectural style and investigates other ways of looking at and
thinking about architecture in context and in its many roles as
signifier of social, cultural, and political ideas.  We will touch
on a number of interrelated subjects, such as landscape
architecture, interior decoration, urban design and the idea of the
suburb.  We will also pay attention to the local and regional built
environment.  Topics include civic temples for the new republic;
gothic cottages, Gilded Age resorts, the bungalow, the prairie
house, and the rise of the skyscraper.
Course objectives: to familiarize students with basic architectural
terminology and the features of period styles, and to develop skills
needed to decode and interpret architectural symbolism, and to
understand the historical, social, and cultural dimensions of
building. Classes will combine lecture with discussion; course work
includes assigned readings, quizzes, response papers and other forms
of writing.