Department of History

Indiana University

First Summer Session 1997


Indiana University, Past and Present

Instructor:James H. Capshew Course: HIST H263. Section 1334
Office:Goodbody Hall 125 Time: 1:10-2:25 daily
Hours:MW 2:30-3:30pm & by appt. Location: Ballantine Hall 144
Phone:855-3655 or 855-3622

Overview | Schedule | Format, Assignments, Grading
Books | Articles | Films


Have you ever wondered how Indiana University came to be the place we know today? How it happened to develop a world-class music school? A championship basketball team? An outstanding reputation in scientific research? This course explores many facets of our university, including its architecture and landscape, the origins and growth of its teaching and research programs, and the diversity of its academic community. We will learn about some of the people and events that have shaped the university since its founding in 1820. In the process of learning about the history and culture of I.U., you may learn something about yourself as a part of this great institution.

This course explores the making of Indiana University, past and present, as a microcosm of the development of the modern American university. It views the university as the embodiment of changing ideas about higher education and its function in society. The people, programs, and events that have shaped the history of the institution are part of a dynamic cultural system, with characteristic values and behaviors that mark it as a unique academic community.

The course will approach the university as a cultural artifact, as something produced by a human community and thus amenable to interpretation. Or to borrow another metaphor, we will consider I.U. as "text" and attempt to "read" its meaning. The overarching goal is to provoke students into framing questions about their social and intellectual environment, to equip them with some analytical tools for investigating those questions, and to provide a forum for the discussion of their findings. By the end of the course students should have increased their knowledge of the people and forces that have shaped the distinctive history of IU, deepened their understanding of IU as a microcosm of American higher education, and -- hopefully -- enriched their ability to put their own experiences at IU in a more meaningful context.



May 13 - May 16

Introduction. Orientation in time and space. Campus landscape and architecture. Local history. Historical resources. Old Cresent tour.

Readings: Capshew; Sanders; Veysey

May 19 - May 23

From Seminary Square to Dunn's Woods. Wylie House tour. Student life in the 19th century. The great transition. Archives workshop.

Readings: Hill; Collins (xi-xiv); Donald Carmony; Harrah-Conforth (I)

May 21 assignment 1 due

May 27 - May 30

Presidential leadership. Jordan, Bryan, Wells. Documentary on Wells. Research and academic freedom. IMU tour.

Readings: Collins (xiv-xix); Harrah-Conforth (II); Williams; Pyle; Wells

June 2 - June 6

Contemporary student life. The academic community. Greenhouse tour. The Kinsey case. Kinsey Institute tour.

Readings: Volan; Getman; Gilbert; Martone

June 4 assignment 2 due

June 9 - June 13

Arts at IU. Performing arts and local literary culture. Musical Arts Center tour. Art Museum tour. Lilly Library tour.

Readings: Blum; Lockridge

June 16 - June 19

The recent past. What's a "hoosier"? The place of athletics. Assembly Hall tour.

Readings: Collins (xix-xxi); Diane Carmony; Pierson; Feinstein; Wynkoop; Brand

June 16 assignment 3 due

Final Examination June 19


Format, Assignments, Grading

Students are expected to attend every class session and to participate actively in discussion. There will be quizzes given every week (except the last), announced at least a day in advance. There are three required writing assignments of 3 to 4 pages each. Assignment 1 will deal with a campus landmark (e.g., building, landscape, sculpture, etc.). Assignment 2 will consist of a biographical profile of an individual connected with I.U. Assignment 3 will focus on an academic program. The writing assignments will be discussed in detail as the class proceeds.

Grades will be determined on the following basis:

class participation 10%
quizzes 25%
assignment 15%
assignment 15%
assignment 15%
final exam 20%




John Feinstein, A Season on the Brink: A Year with Bobby Knight and the Indiana Hoosiers, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987).

Stephen Volan, The Right Foot: The Unofficial Guidebook to Indiana University Bloomington, 4th ed. & supplement, (Bloomington: Tall Order Press, 1994).



David Blum, "A Gold Coin [Profiles: Josef Gingold]," New Yorker, 1991, (4 February), 34-38, 40-42, 44-47, 50-57.

Myles Brand, "Higher Education and Obligations to the Future," Inaugural Address delivered at the Indiana University Auditorium, Bloomington, Indiana, January 19, 1995. 9 pp.

James H. Capshew, "Indiana University in the Light of History," Indiana Alumni, 1994, (Nov/Dec), [1995 Historical Calendar], 4 pp.

Diane Carmony, "'What's a Hoosier?'," Indiana Alumni, 1992, (July/August), 25-27.

Donald F. Carmony, Indiana University: From Seminary Square to Dunn's Woods, 1820-1885 (Bloomington: Indiana University, [1985]).

Dorothy C. Collins "Introductory Chronicle," in D.C. Collins and C.K. Byrd, Indiana University: A Pictorial History, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992), pp. xi-xxi.

Julius Getman, In the Company of Scholars: The Struggle for the Soul of Higher Education (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1992), pp. 221-229.

Robert B. Gilbert, "A Bike Race Comes of Age: Little 500," Indiana Alumni , 1982, (April), 3-5.

Bruce Harrah-Conforth, "David Starr Jordan: His Three Lives," Indiana Alumni, 1985, (October), 8-14.

Bruce Harrah-Conforth, "Roots of Hoosier Feminism: Sarah Parke Morrison, 1834-1919," Indiana Alumni, 1987, (May), 14-17.

Bonnie Hill, "At Home with the President," Indiana Alumni, 1990, (March/April), 2-7.

Larry Lockridge, "Writing About My Father," Indiana Alumni , 1994, (May/June), 12-16.

Michael Marton, "Alfred Kinsey, Alone, after an Interview, Dreams of Indiana," in Fort Wayne is Seventh on Hitler's List: Indiana Stories, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990), pp. 38-44.

William D. Pierson, "The Origin of the Word 'Hoosier': A New Interpretation," Indiana Magazine of History, 1995, 90, 189-196.

Ernie Pyle, Images of Brown County, (Indianapolis: The Museum Shop, 1980), pp. 35-39.

Scott Russell Sanders, "Landscape and Imagination," in David Hoppe, ed., Where We Live: Essays About Indiana, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989), pp. 1-8.

Laurence R. Veysey, "Conclusion: The University as an American Institution," The Emergence of the American University, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965), pp. 439-444.

Herman B Wells, Being Lucky: Reminiscences and Reflections (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1980), pp. 140-153.

Bonnie Williams, "A Man for All Seasons," Indiana Alumni, 1995, (Nov/Dec), 20-25.

Mary Ann Wynkoop, "The Counterculture," in Dissent in the Heartland: The Student Protest Movement at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 1965-1970, (Ph.D. dissertation, Indiana University, 1992), pp. 271-297.


Films & Videos

Reputations: Alfred Kinsey (BBC, 1996)

The Vision of Herman B Wells (WTIU, 1993)