Fall 2011 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Wickberg, Dan
Discipline and Number
HUHI 6340 Section 001
T Time 1:00 PM - 3:45 PM
Course Title
19th c. Amer Cultural History

Description of Course:

This is a graduate-level introduction to, and overview of, recent scholarship in the field of nineteenth-century American cultural history. It has two primary purposes: to introduce students to the distinctive varieties of cultural history and their interpretive approaches; and to provide an overview of issues specific to nineteenth-century American culture. The first purpose involves a focus on methodology, conceptual approaches, and the ways in which cultural historians differ among themselves, as well as from non-cultural historians. The second purpose is more concerned with the substantive questions of the nineteenth century: e.g. how did culture and values change in response to the emergence of a market society? In what way did the changing legal status of slaves and free laborers shape new values about gender and individual rights? What role did cultural memory play in reconstructing the nation in the period after the Civil War? What accounts for the appearance of new genres of horror and sensationalistic murder trial accounts, or for the fascination with deception of the senses in popular culture? What are the cultural consequences of new forms of communication? Was nineteenth century culture "transnational," and if so, in what sense?

Required Texts:

Possible Readings:
Wendy Bellion, Citizen Spectator: Art, Illusion, and Visual Perception in Early National America
David Blight, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory
James Cook, The Arts of Deception: Playing With Fraud in the Age of Barnum
Ann Fabian, The Skull Collectors: Race, Science, and America's Unburied Dead
Drew Gilpin Faust, This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War
Karen Halttunen, Murder Most Foul: The Killer and the American Gothic Imagination
Walter Johnson, Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market
Jackson Lears, Rebirth of a Nation
Scott Sandage, Born Losers
Leigh Eric Schmidt, Heaven's Bride:The Unprintable Life of Ida C. Craddock
Amy Dru Stanley, From Bondage to Contract: Wage Labor, Marriage, and the Market in the Age of Slave Emancipation
Michael Zakim, Ready-Made Democracy: A History of Men’s Dress in the American Republic, 1760-1860

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Class participation, one short book review, one term paper (15-20 pages).

© The University of Texas at Dallas School of Arts and Humanities.
No part of this website can be copied or reproduced without permisssion.