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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Fall 2008

AMS 385 • Cultural History of US to 1865

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
30125 T
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
BUR 436B
BUR 212

Course Description

Cultural History of the US Until 1865 is a hybrid course designed to provide incoming American Studies graduate students with a historical overview if American colonial and early national history. It seeks to answer Hector St John de Crevecouer's famous 1782 query "Who is this new man, this American?" That is, how did a group of motley European and African immigrants meld into an identifiable group, recognized first in Europe and later at home? At first, this emerged from the relationships between Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans and, for all three, the physical environment. Later groups distinguished themselves by class, religion, ethnicity, gender, and ideology. Throughout, we will examine the origins and significance of the American identity. The course will consist of two partstwo lectures a week in conjunction with the undergraduate class Main Currents in American Culture and a three hour seminar. Hopefully, the lectures will provide an overview, and the reading materialboth primary and secondary sources-- for the seminar will deepen and complicate it.


Possible Texts: William Cronon Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England Nathaniel Philbrick Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War Mary Rowlandson The Sovereignty and Goodness of God Anthony Parent Foul Means: The Formation of a Slave Society in Virginia, 1660-1740 Edward Countryman How Did American Slavery Begin? Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft Gordon Wood The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin Ben Franklin The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Scott Liell 46 Pages: Thomas Paine, Common Sense and the Turning Point to Independence Alfred Young The Shoemaker and the Tea Party: Memory and the American Revolution Laurel Thatcher Ulrich A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard Based on Her Diary Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America Paul Johnson Shopkeepers Millennium: Society and Revivals in Rochester, New York, 1815-1837 Barbara Novak Nature and Culture: American Landscape and Culture 1825-1875 Harriet Beecher Stowe Uncle Toms Cabin Paul Finkelman (ed.) Defending Slavery: Proslavery Thought in the Old South Frederick Douglass A Narrative of the Life of


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