AMS s328 • American Culture and Social Life since 1945
8:30 AM-10:00 AM
This is a lecture course on postwar American culture and society with special emphasis on the 1950s and 1960s. Issues to be discussed include the domestic impact of the Cold War, the effects of McCarthyism on politics and the entertainment world, the problems of affluence in the 1950s, the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s, as well as conflicts between blacks and whites, the middle class and blue-collar workers, men and women, parents and children. It will also discuss the rise of conservatism in the 1970s and 1980s, the changes in American culture over the past 20 years and the end of the Cold War. The lectures will deal primarily with cultural and intellectual history, while the reading draws heavily on novels, journalism and social criticism.
2 take home assignments, 50% each
Texts (partial list): Norman Mailer, The Armies of the Night William Whyte, The Organization Man Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique