AMS 356 • Main Currents of American Culture Since 1865
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
Partially fulfills legislative requirement in American History.
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, foodways, 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.
Students are expected to attend class regularly and to complete all assigned readings. There will be three major exams, and short quizzes most days based on the assigned reading.
Possible Texts: Anzia Yezierska, Bread Givers Bruce Barton, The Man Nobody Knows Federal Theater Project, Triple A Plowed Under Mine Okubo, Citizen 13660 Elaine Tyler May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era Van Gosse, The Movements of the New Left: 1950-1975 Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal