Spring 2013 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
Like heroes in novels, people live their lives focusing on family relationships, work and recreation, while entertaining dreams of a better future. They are often unaware that their lives are crucibles in which broader historical, social and cultural forces come together and react.
I base this course on the assumption that students are usually taught to memorize historical and literary movements and events, but often miss the way these impact people's lives. My goal is to help you learn to find multiple American stories, see their significance, and, through reading and writing, connect to them imaginatively. This course focuses on first-person writing and other texts expressive of American life and values from Reconstruction to the present, and their impact on local and global communities.
America First Hand, Volume 2, 6th edition, Edited by Robert Marcus, David Burner, and Anthony Marcus, Bedford St Martins Press
Additional material will come from online sources and others will be hand-outs
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
The course is divided into four parts. Part One introduces autobiography and family history as ways to study an era. In Parts Two and Three you'll use research and creative writing to bring together your understanding of the time span under study. In Part Four you'll write to connect this learning to your own identity as an American. The assignments include two exams, several short essays, quizzes and a research project.