HIST 3452 The Myth of America

April 1, 2020

HIST 3452 The Myth of America (HA-AS)(HNA)

Tuesday and Thursday: 10:10-11:25

Professor Aaron Sachs

This course understands “myth” in the sense of “ideological construction.”  So we’ll be examining the intellectual and cultural life of Americans, over the last two centuries.  The emphasis will be on identity, at both the personal and national level.  We’ll explore the ways in which different versions of “American Culture” have been constructed and contested. Central themes and subjects include individualism, militarism, belonging, technology, philosophy, and art, in addition to race, class, and gender.  What cultural baggage are you carrying when you refer to “America” or “Americans”?  Over the years, has the idea of “America” been more unifying or more divisive?

Image of the painting Nighthawks 1942