Time: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 10:00-11:00, and
some Tuesdays 7:00-10:00 pm, Busch 100
Instructor: Mark Kornbluh
Office: 126 Busch 5-4256
Office Hours: Mondays 1:00-2:00, Wednesdays, 11:00-12:00,
and Fridays 10:00-12:00
This course will concentrate on the crucial decades which saw the emergence of modern American culture and society. Our approach will be unconventional. Instead of focusing on individual events and great men, we will look at broad social patterns. Focus will be on the monumental social forces which transformed American life in this period -- industrialization, immigration, and urbanization -- and how Americans understood and adapted to the changes going on around them. Particular attention will be paid to the rise of big business and big government and to changes in the nature of everyday life, including work, family, school, and leisure.
Lewis Atherton, Main Street on the Middle Border.
Anzia Yezierska, Bread Givers.
William L. Riordon, Plunkitt of Tammany Hall. Nell Irvin Painter, Standing At Armageddon: The United States,
Lawrence Levine, Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural
Hierarchy in America.
Upton Sinclair, The Jungle.
William M. Tuttle, Jr., Race Riot: Chicago in the Red Summer
Paula S. Fass, The Damned and the Beautiful: American Youth in the 1920s.
A READER CONTAINING ALL OF THE REQUIRED ARTICLES IS ON SALE IN THE HISTORY DEPARTMENT.
MOVIE SCHEDULE: During the course of the semester 5 films will be shown in Busch 100 on Tuesday evenings beginning at 7:00 pm. Attendance is a required part of the course and discussions will follow the movies. (All of these films are also available in the audio-visual room of Olin Library.)
September 8: Birth of a Nation.
October 6: 1877-The Grand Army of Starvation. October 27: Chaplain Shorts.
November 17: Inherit the Wind.
December 1: The Great Gatsby.
Week of August 26: Introduction: Nineteenth-Century America.
Lectures Wednesday and Friday (No sections this week.) Readings: Begin Atherton, Main Street on the Middle Border.
Week of August 31: The Frontier and The Community.
Friday Discussion: Small Town America. Readings: Atherton, Main Street on the Middle Border, pp. 1-216; and Gilman, "The Yellow Wallpaper."
Week of September 7: Black America.
No Class on Monday 9/7 Labor Day. FILM TUESDAY 7 PM: Birth of a Nation. Friday Discussion: Red and Black in White America.
Readings: "The Life Story of a Negro Peon;" "A Sharecrop Contract"; "Memoirs of a Negro Nurse"; Plessy vs. Ferguson; Washington, "Education Before Equality"; Report of the Committee on Grievances at the State Convention of Colored Men; Levine, "Freedom, Culture, and Religion"; Gish, From The Movies, Mr. Griffith, and Me; and Readings on "Birth of a Nation."
Week of September 14: Urban America and Immigrant Life.
Friday Discussion: Immigrants, Poverty, and the City. Readings: Yezierska, The Bread Givers; Strong, "Perils -- Immigrations"; Riis, "The Common Herd"; MacLean, "Two Weeks in Department Stores"; Thernstrom, "Urbanization, Migration, and Mobility"; and Baltzell, "The Social Defenses of the Rich."
Week of September 21: Nineteenth-Century Politics. Friday Discussion: Plunkitt and Participatory Politics. Readings: Riordon, Plunkitt of Tammany Hall; McGerr, "Partisanship"; and Baker, "The Ceremonies of Politics."
Week of September 28: Economic Change and Social Transformation.
No Class on Monday 9/28 Rosh Hashanah. Lectures Wednesday and Friday (No sections this week).
Readings: Atherton, Main Street on the Middle Border, pp. 217-359; Chandler, "The Beginnings of 'Big Business'"; and Montgomery, "Worker's Control of Machine Production."
Week of October 5: "Standing at Armageddon."
Lecture on Monday. FILM TUESDAY 7 PM: 1877-The Grand Army of Starvation. No Class on Wednesday 10/7 Yom Kippur.
Friday Discussion: The Crisis of the Late Nineteenth Century. Readings: Painter, Standing at Armageddon, pp. ix-140.
Week of October 12: Nationalism and Imperialism.
No Class on Friday 10/16 Fall Break (No sections this week). Readings: Painter, Standing at Armageddon, pp. 141-69; Rosenberg, "Capitalists, Christians, and Cowboys"; Roosevelt, "The Strenuous Life"; and Twain on American Imperialism.
MIDTERM PAPER DUE 10/15 4 pm in History Office.
Week of October 19: The Reorientation of American Culture.
Friday Discussion: Modern American Culture. Readings: Levine, Highbrow/Lowbrow, pp. 1-81, 104-146, 171-256; and Rosenszweig, "From Rum Shop to Rialto: Workers and Movies."
Week of October 26: The Progressive Resolution: Social Reform.
FILM TUESDAY 7 PM: Chaplain Short Subjects. Friday Discussion: The Jungle.
Readings: Sinclair, The Jungle; and Addams, "A Function of the Social Settlement."
Week of November 2: The Progressive Resolution: Social Control.
Friday Discussion: Twentieth-Century American Democracy. Readings: Hays, "The Politics of Reform in Municipal Government"; Charts on Voter Participation; and Painter, Standing at Armageddon, pp. 170-282.
Week of November 9: The First World War.
Friday Discussion: World War I.
Readings: Painter, pp. 283-390; Woodrow Wilson's War Message; Bourne, "Twilight of Idols"; Dos Passos, "The Scene of Battle"; cummings, "Bureaucratic Dehumanization"; Hemingway, "Nausea"; The Fourteen Points, 1918; The Lodge Reservations, 1919; and Wilson Defends the League.
Week of November 16: Cultural Conflict.
FILM TUESDAY 7 PM: Inherit the Wind. Friday Discussion: Racial Strife.
Readings: Tuttle, Race Riot; Du Bois, "Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others"; The Niagra Movement Declaration of Principles; The NAACP Program for Change; Du Bois, "The Waco Horror"; Readings from Congressional Record on Immigration Restriction; and Hiram Wesley Evans, "The KKK."
Week of November 23: The Women's Movement.
No Class Wednesday 11/25 or Friday 11/27 Thanksgiving. Readings: Stetson, Spencer, and Addams on Women's Suffrage and Rights; and Begin Fass, The Damned and the Beautiful.
Week of November 30: The Ambivalent Decade.
FILM TUESDAY 7 PM: The Great Gatsby. Friday Discussion: The Twenties -- "The Damned and the Beautiful."
Readings: Fass, The Damned and the Beautiful; Lewis, "Boosters -- Pep!"; Hoover, "The Constructive Instinct"; Barton, "Jesus as Businessman"; Susman,"Culture Heroes: Ford, Barton, and Ruth"; and Ward, "The Meaning of Lindbergh's Flight;"
Week of December 7: The Birth of Modern America.
FINAL PAPER DUE MONDAY DECEMBER 14 AT 10:00 AM.
This class is designed as a lecture, reading, viewing, and discussion course. I will lecture twice each week on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:00-11:00 am (and on a couple of Fridays as noted on the syllabus). Most Fridays the class will be divided into four small sections to facilitate discussion of the readings for that week. Discussion sections will be assigned the first week of the semester and are an integral part of the course. Both attendance and participation are therefore essential. We will also meet five Tuesday evenings at 7:00 pm to view and discuss films.
Discussion sections will count for 25% of the course grade. Short written assignments will be due at each section meeting. These will be assigned weekly and will usually entail listing questions for discussion, outlining a reading, or writing a short think-piece. Completing all of the weekly readings and preparing for section by putting effort into these weekly assignments can significantly improve your final grade. Section grades will be based equally on these assignments and on oral participation.
In addition there will be take-home midterm and final exams. The midterm will be worth 35% and the final 40% of the course grade. (Both will be assigned well in advance and are expected in on time.)
Return to H-SHGAPE Home Page.
Patrick D. Reagan
Tennessee Technological University
Copyright ©1999, H-Net, Humanities OnLine