HIST163 - MODERN AMERICAN CULTURE

Description: 
Through the twentieth century, American culture took on new forms and meanings, spurred by technological innovation, commerce, and institutions, and shaped by an ever-changing population. In the process, American culture became self-consciously ‘modern’—embraced, contested, repudiated, and continually redefined. This course explores the history of American culture from the 1890s to the 1990s, with a focus on the following questions: Why did culture become such an important part of American economic, social, and political life in the twentieth century? How has culture been created, understood, and mobilized by different groups in American society at different times? What have been the politics of culture over the twentieth century? Topics include the rise of ‘culture industries’ and mass entertainment, including amusement parks, film, radio, and television; the growth of consumer culture; the impact of gender in such arenas as sports and fashion; the role of working-class peoples, African Americans, and immigrants in American culture; the cultural response to the Depression and World War II; and popular arts and social activism. The course emphasizes the study of primary documents—journalism, fiction, letters and diaries, music, photographs, and film—as a means of understanding the past.
Instructors: 
PEISS, KATHY
Day and Time: 
MW 1000AM-1100AM
Room: 
COLLEGE HALL 314
Activity: 
LEC
Cross Listings: 
    Registration Notes: 
    SECTION ACTIVITY CO-REQUISITE REQUIRED; HISTORY & TRADITION SECTOR