Fall 2015 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
This course will explore some of the more influential ideas comprising American thought from the Civil War to the present. The history studied and discussed for this course will be intellectual in nature, and as such will not focus on the usual sort of events and people often surveyed during this time period. We will, rather, chart a course through selected theoretical, critical, and creative writings from the past century and a half in order to situate ourselves better to the contemporary intellectual climate in America, which includes our ideas about society, religion, science, politics, as well as how we think about race, gender, sexuality, and multiculturalism. Toward this end, our readings will principally center on primary texts by philosophers, artists, social critics, and activists, yet we will also spend some time with secondary sources to assist us with the broader narrative.
(Additional primary and secondary texts to be determined.)
David Hollinger and Charles Capper, eds., The American Intellectual Tradition, Vol II, 5th edition, Oxford University Press, 978-0195183405
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Two essays, one at midterm and one at the end of the semester. The first will be a 5-7 pp. essay with a specific prompt (worth 30%), the second will be 8-10 pp. and more general in scope (worth 60%). The remainder of the grade (10%) will be determined by attendance and participation.