Summer 2011 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Wickberg, Dan
Discipline and Number
HUHI 6342 Section 05A
TR Time 1:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Course Title
American Political Cultures

Description of Course:

American Political Cultures: Liberalism

This graduate seminar examines the intellectual and cultural history of American liberalism from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries, with special attention to key ideas about selfhood, social order, the roles of reason and emotion in understanding human action, and notions of freedom and progress. The course is concerned less with the political or institutional history of liberalism in terms of changing government policies, and more with examining liberalism as a changing body of beliefs, values, and cultural orientations. Some topics to be considered: what are the core elements of a liberal worldview or sensibility? Has liberalism been the dominant political culture in the United States or are there alternative bodies of thought, such as republicanism, conservativism, or radicalism of various kinds? What have been the defining moments in the history of liberal culture in the United States?

Required Texts:


Joyce Appleby, Liberalism and Republicanism in the Historical Imagination
James Kloppenberg, The Virtues of Liberalism
Walter Lippmann, Drift and Mastery
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., The Vital Center
John Dewey, Individualism Old and New

Additional readings by Nancy Cohen, Isaiah Berlin, J.M. Opal, Jane Addams, John Stuart Mill, Daniel Rodgers, Gary Gerstle, Dorothy Ross, Lionel Trilling, Richard Hofstadter, Richard Rorty and others.

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Mandatory attendance and participation in class discussion; one oral presentation; one research paper proposal (10-15 pp.)

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