AMST-205 American Civilization: 1876 to the Present
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Fall. Professor Cook

Spring. Professor Johnson

A two-semester sequence that emphasizes the emergence of twentieth-century American cultures and society. Civ III, in the fall semester, continues the interdisciplinary approach in Civ I and II. The course covers selected significant historical and literary developments between 1876 and the 1920s. Civ IV, in the spring, begins in the early years of the century and continues to the present. Material to be considered in this final sequence of the Core Curriculum includes contemporary American popular culture, social forces and politics (Enrollment only by permission of the instructors.)
Credits: 4, 4
Prerequisites: None


AMST-205-01 American Civilization III: Documentary
American Civilization III: Documentary is organized around documentary as a mode of engaging the cultural history of the first half of the 20th Century. Since the period under consideration, 1890 – 1945, was marked by the explosive development of audio-visual media, especially film, the course asks students to view and analyze both period and contemporary documentary films as visual and aural evidence of the social, political, and cultural history of America. Students read documentary theory, film theory, histories, and primary accounts from the period.

As the major project in the course, students in small groups collaborate to produce short documentary videos engaging American social history during the period. Each group consists of a producer, a writer, a director of photography, and an editor. Each student has both individual and group responsibilities for researching, writing, shooting, and editing the documentaries. Each student reflects and writes about their role in the production, and the producers each write longer papers analyzing the choices made in producing their documentaries, linking these choices to course readings and discussion. The documentaries have been cataloged by Lauinger Library and are part of the permanent collection of the Gelardin New Media Center.

Credits: 4
Prerequisites: MAJORS ONLY
AMST-205-02 American Civilization III
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In this course, we will explore the struggles and triumphs of “inbetween peoples” after Reconstruction and before WWII. Thus, we will spend time with African Americans in the urban North and in the New South, a whole range of new immigrants in areas around the country, and with working-class folks in the depths of the Depression.

Along the way, we will consider the concept of “civilization,” the changing concepts of gender, racial and ethnic identities, attitudes about science and religion, and the role of public health and public intervention in the lives of average Americans.
Credits: 04
Prerequisites: None
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