AMS 356 • Main Currents of American Culture Since 1865
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
This course will survey American cultural history from the Civil War to the present, emphasizing the variety of economic, political, demographic, and social forces that have shaped American cultural production; the variety of media and forms in which American culture is expressed (including literature, painting, photography, dance, architecture, film, advertising, childrearing practices, education, political speeches, architecture and the environment, music, fashion, theater and performance, scientific thought, athletics, political demonstrations, trials, museums, fairs and exhibitions); and the impact of race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and religion on American cultural expression. Finally, we will consider the trajectory of American cultural history in terms of the relationship between the United States and the rest of the world, both in terms of how Americans have imported traditions from other countries and in terms of how the U.S. has shaped broader processes globalization.
Possible Texts: James Otis, Toby Tyler: Or Ten Weeks in the Circus Anzia Yezierska, Bread Givers Joseph Wood Krutch, The Modern Temper Federal Theater Project, Triple A Plowed Under Chester Himes, If He Hollers, Let Him Go Elaine Tyler May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era Van Gosse, The Movements of the New Left, 1950-1975: A Brief History With Documents Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal