WiSe 13/14: Rhetorics of Continuity and Change: American Cultural History from the Late 19th Century to Today
This course provides an extended overview of American cultural history from the Reconstruction Era in the late 19th century to recent developments in the U.S. We will read influential texts ... Lesen Sie weiter
This course provides an extended overview of American cultural history from the Reconstruction Era in the late 19th century to recent developments in the U.S. We will read influential texts (speeches, legal documents, essays, etc.) by authors such as Frederick Jackson Turner, Randolph Bourne, Martin Luther King, Betty Friedan, Joan Didion, and Barack Obama. Throughout our readings, we will explore social and political rhetoric as key factors shaping the cultural trajectory of the United States in this period of intense modernization. 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 online. For contextualization and background study, please use Paul Boyer, ed. The Enduring Vision, 7th or 8th edition (7th: ISBN-10: 1439081794; 8th: ISBN-10: 1133945317).