HIST 292H: Modern American Intellectual History

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Tues/Thurs 11:00-12:15pm
This course explores some of the questions and problems that have preoccupied idea-makers and shaped intellectual culture in late nineteenth- and twentieth-century America. We will use primary historical sources to study both the history of intellectuals (the people who articulated these ideas for a broad audience) as well as the social history of ideas. We will examine how ideas have shaped the wider culture and, in turn, how popular culture has transformed ideas. Topics include American identity; the clash between faith and reason; solutions to social injustice; war and ideology; the tension between equality and freedom; race, gender, and the “culture wars;” debates over human identity, truth, and even the nature of  reality itself.  We will read authors ranging from conservative Christian theologians to communist radicals, and encounter sources ranging from literature to visual art.
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