SoSe 13: Rhetorics of Continuity and Change: American Cultural History from the 17th to the 19th Century
This course provides an extended overview of American cultural history from the period of British settlement in the 17th century to the Civil War and the Reconstruction Era in the late 19th century. ... read more
This course provides an extended overview of American cultural history from the period of British settlement in the 17th century to the Civil War and the Reconstruction Era in the late 19th century. We will read influential texts (sermons, speeches, essays, etc.) by authors such as John Cotton, Thomas Paine, William Lloyd Garrison, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucretia Mott. Throughout our readings, we will explore social and political rhetoric as key factors shaping the cultural trajectory of the American colonies and the early United States. After a brief introduction to basic methodologies of cultural analysis, students will investigate the rhetorical, structural, and discursive features of the primary texts through close readings. We will also explore select representations from the fields of visual culture and art. In addition, students need to do independent research on a selection of key terms that are essential for understanding the evolution of American public discourse and intellectual history. -----
Reading: Primary texts and other material will be made available in a course reader and/or online (details to be announced in the first session). For contextualization and background study, please use Paul Boyer, ed. The Enduring Vision, 7th edition (Boston: Houghton, 2010; ISBN-10: 1439081794).