History | Southern Culture and American Life
A379 | 11858 | Smith


A portion of the above class reserved for majors
Above class open to undergraduates and Education MA's only

This course explores the history of the American South from the
Civil War to the present through an examination of southern
cultures. From "Gone with the Wind" and "NASCAR" to Hank Williams
and Lynyrd Skynyrd, from the Southern Belle and BBQ to the Bible
Belt and the Delta Blues, we’ll investigate the social, economic,
and political conditions that created these and other cultural
expressions and how such  expressions have been viewed in the South
and in the nation as a whole. In the process we’ll consider how, in
the century and a half following the end of the Civil War, the
South, and the idea of the South, has been viewed in American life,
and how the South has helped shape broader American culture and
America itself.

This is a reading- and participation-intensive course. The average
weekly reading load is approximately 200 pages; active participation
each class is expected. You will be evaluated on your in-class
participation, a series of short written assignments, and in-class
exams. While there is no formal prerequisite for this course, it
does assume a familiarity with post-1865 American History.