AS/History 3640 The United States: Emergence of a Modern Society, 1865-1950 Jason Reid 2122 Vari Hall Office hours: Friday, 11:30-12:30 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Course Website: http://www.arts.yorku.ca/hist/jayreid/ Course Summary This course will look at how the forces of modernization—the rise of capitalism, industrialization, democratization, and the emergence of the mass media, to name only a few—transformed American culture between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of the Cold War. Although attention will be paid to political, economic, and social changes, this class should rightly be considered a cultural history course. We will be examining a diverse number of topics from a cultural perspective, including childhood and adolescence; American architecture, art, and fiction; the rise of organized sport, radio, and film; the emergence of jazz and other forms of African-American culture; as well as those individuals and groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan, who resisted modernity and the changes it wrought. A loose narrative will be maintained throughout, but by and large this course will be structured thematically rather than chronologically. Readings You will not be required to purchase a course reader or any textbooks. All of the readings can be found either at the reserve desk in the library or online. In select instances I will provide you with handouts in class. Because there is no prerequisite for this course, some weeks I will urge you to read portions of Paul Boyer et al. The Enduring Vision, the course textbook for HIST 2600. This can be found at the library or the bookstore. Grade Breakdown The grade breakdown for HIST 3640 is as follows: Participation / In-Class Assignments - 20% First Term Essay - 15% Second Term Essay - 25% Midterm Exam - 15% Final Exam - 25% Participation and In-Class Assignments Over the course of the year you will be expected to attend four tutorials (two per term). Attendance will be taken and your participation will be duly noted. In the remaining classes you will be given a small assignment to complete, based on the assigned readings. These assignments will be graded and returned to you the following week. Essays You will write two essays in this course. The first one, due in class at the end of the first term, will be a critique of a scholarly article. The main purpose of this paper is to gage your writing skills and your abilities to criticize scholarly work. The second paper, due in class at the end of the second term, will be roughly 10- 12 pages long and will allow you to explore an aspect of American culture in depth. In the last week of January you will be expected to hand in a brief summary of your topic, along with a short bibliography. The final paper must consist of a mix of primary and secondary sources. Academic Honesty York Senate Policy on Academic Honesty forbids the following activities: cheating during examinations, failing to use quotation marks and citations when using the work of others, submitting work written by someone else or submitted in another course, and aiding or abetting academic misconduct. Should anyone be caught violating this policy, punishment will be severe. This may or may not include: failing the course, suspension from the University, and withholding or rescinding a York degree. For further information see: http://www.yorku.ca/secretariat/legislation/senate/acadhone.htm. I will be using www.turnitin.com to check essays. Exams You will write two exams in this course—a midterm exam in December, and a final exam in April. The midterm will be a take-home exam in which you will be expected to answer two to three essay questions. It will be due sometime before the regular exam period ends (I will announce this in class). The final will not be a take-home exam, but it will in all likelihood retain the same structure as the midterm. Lecture Schedule – Fall Term September 10th : Defining A Modern Society No Readings September 17th: No Class ( Rosh Hashanah ) September 24th: Socio-Economic Trends of the Postwar Years In-Class Assignment: Calhoun, Charles W. The Gilded Age, Intro, ch.1-2. (on reserve) Suggested Reading: Boyer et al, The Enduring Vision, ch. 18-22. October 1st: The Cult of Childhood First 25 – Seminar Last 25 – Reading Summary : Gary Cross, Kids’ Stuff, ch.3 (on reserve) October 8th: The Culture of the Gilded Age In-Class Assignment Henry Demarest Lloyd, “The Lords of Industry” http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1884hdlloyd.html Thorstein Veblen, Theory of the Leisure Class, ch. 7 http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/VEBLEN/chap07.html October 15th: Resisting Modernity– Scientists, Angry Farmers, and the KKK Last 25 – Seminar First 25 – Reading Summary : Madison Grant, The Passing of the Great Race, ch. 4. http://www.africa2000.com/XNDX/madgrant04.html : Henry M. Littlefield, "The Wizard of Oz: Parable on Populism," American Quarterly 16 (1964): 47-58 http://www.amphigory.com/oz.htm Suggested Reading : Boyer et al, The Enduring Vision, p. 309-30, 417-9, 421-6, 445-6. October 22nd: Pragmatism – The American Philosophy In-Class Assignment : William James, ―What Pragmatism Means?‖ http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/us/james.htm October 29th: The Emergence of American Architecture FILM - ‗New York: A Documentary‘, episode 5, “Cosmopolis” (Ric Burns) November 5th: Urban / Suburban Environments First 25 – Seminar Last 25 – Reading Summary : W.E. Johnson, ‗The Day the Ghost Walks‘ http://www.wpl.lib.oh.us/AntiSaloon/print/ampatr.html : Mary Waddell, ‗The Outcast‘ http://www.wpl.lib.oh.us/AntiSaloon/print/outcast.html : ‗Your Daughter or the Saloon Keeper‘s—Which‘, ‗The Full Father and the Empty Stocking‘, and ‗Daddy‘s In There‘ http://www.wpl.lib.oh.us/AntiSaloon/print/fliers/emotion.html November 12th: The Muckrakers In-Class Assignment : Upton Sinclair, ‗The Jungle‘, ch. 14 http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/SINCLAIR/ch14.html November 19th: The Rise of Advertising and a New Economy Last 25 – Seminar First 25 – Reading Summary : Roland Marchand, “Apostles of Modernity” in ‗Advertising the American Dream‘, 1-24 (on reserve). : Bruce Barton, ‗The Man Nobody Knows‘ (excerpts) http://www.materialreligion.org/documents/july97doc.html November 26th: The Visual Arts In-Class Assignment : Robert Hughes, American Visions: The Epic History of Art in America, 321-335 (Jacob Riis, Robert Henri, etc), 348-362 (Alfred Stieglitz, the Armory Show), 422-430 (Edward Hopper). December 3rd: The Rise of Organized Sport FILM - ‗Baseball, 1st Inning‘ (Ken Burns) FIRST ESSAY DUE! END OF TERM ONE: Midterm exam (tba)
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