HIS 350L • Popular Cul in US Econ Hist-W
3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Movies, novels, and advertisements routinely stereotype economic actors. Consider, for example, ideas about Big Government, the role of women in the modern economy, the nature of unions, the power of Big Business, the entrepreneur, and the military-industrial complex. In this course, students will assess some of these images. To do so, the course is organized in four units. Each unit addresses at theme: corporate advertising; the entrepreneur; the Great Depression; and the economic opportunities created in the 1960s/70s. In a three- or four-week segment, students will assess popular representations as expressed through movies, advertisements, fiction, biography, surveys, and statistics. They will also consider historians' books or atricles about each topic. They will identify and investigate various assertions about the economy. At the close of each unit, students will present their findings in a short research paper.
Students will write four short (5-7 page) research papers. Each paper will count 20% of the student's final grade. Class participation will count 20% of the student's final grade. Students will be able to rewrite one of their first three papers.
There are few specific assigned texts but there are several, varied sources- quantitative and qualitative- that students will employ in writing their four reserach papers. Looking at statistical material, they will consult standard references such as "Statistical Abstract" and "Historical Statistics". In addition, possible readings include the following: Roland Marchand, Advertising the American Dream. Michael Dell's autobiography. Russell Baker, Growing Up. Lizabeth Cohen, Making a New Deal.