HIS 306N • 6-Key Ideas/Iss in Am Hist
9:00 AM-10:00 AM
This course will explore intellectual and cultural life in the United States from the founding of the English colonies in North America through the post-World War II decades. We will assess the role of intellectuals in American history by examining three key issues: first, how intellectuals formulated ideas in order to promote social change; second, the ways in which literary works simultaneously illuminate historical contexts and transcend particular time periods; third, the influence of popular culture and urban life on the values and assumptions of writers and artists.
Discussion and Quizzes 10%; Discussions of assigned readings will occur at least once per week. Students are expected to participate fully in such discussions. Unannounced quizzes may be given. Three Take-Home Exams 90% (each take-home exam 30%); All exams will be take home. Each exam will consist of one essay of approximately five pages. Students will receive the topics and questions to address in the essays one week before the exams are due.
Required Reading (tentative) Benjamin Franklin, AUTOBIOGRAPHY Frederick Douglass, NARRATIVE Charlotte Perkins Gilman, YELLOW WALL-PAPER W. E. B. DuBois, THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK Ernest Hemingway, THE SUN ALSO RISES Langston Hughes, THE WAYS OF WHITE FOLKS Ralph Ellison, INVISIBLE MAN Course Packet (available at University Co-Op) containing: Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance;" Margaret Fuller, from WOMAN IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY; William James, "What Pragmatism Means"