HIST 1770 U.S. History Through Literature

HIST 1770 U.S. History Through Literature (also AMST 1770) (HNA)

Monday and Wednesday: 10:10-11:25 plus discusion

Professor Aaron Sachs

This lecture course combines historical and literary approaches to explore the inner life of Americans over the last two hundred years. No prior knowledge of US history is assumed. We’ll examine the ways in which historical context can shape literary works and the ways in which literature, in turn, can shape history.  How have Americans imagined themselves and their nation?  Has there ever been a stable American identity?
The focus will be on literary works that pose questions about race, gender, individualism, and belonging, allowing us to see how writers have both reinforced and resisted cultural pressures.  My hope is that tracing US history through works of the imagination will help in the collective (and perpetual) effort to reimagine American life.

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the American Life
Library of Congress, public domain