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Reed HIST275 S05 Syllabus

Reed HIST275 S05 Syllabus

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Jacqueline Dirks Eliot 214A, ext. 7675History 275/Fall 2005 Reed CollegeTuesdays and Thursdays, 1:10-2:30 p.m.Vollum 120
HIST 275: Culture and Society in 19th-Century AmericaCulture:
"[denotes] those works and practices that have to do with the assigning or attribution of meaning and significance to the things, persons, and happenings of the material world.""Culture is formed by perceptions, intentions, and acts. It is a form of production or workrequiring energy and time, involving human choices and social consequences, engagingmaterials and labor, and connecting the producer with the network of relationships--social, political, economic--that constitute his society."Richard Slotkin,
The Fatal Environment,
p. 21, 22This course will introduce students to the history of the United States in the nineteenth century.Course topics include the economic and social significance of slave and wage labor; the effects of industrialization and subsequent changes in work and leisure; the social, economic, and culturalchanges wrought by civil war; urbanization and the problems of nineteenth century cities; the riseof the labor movement and agrarian populism; and the beginnings of urban reform in the 1890s.We will try to understand both culture (defined here as the ideals, values, and structures of meaning shared by Americans) and society (the social, economic and political institutions andframeworks which organized life) in this period. Culture and society are not static entities; theychange and evolve. Our goal is to try to understand and interpret evidence of how culture andsociety have changed over time.We will pay particular attention to analyzing events and ideas in the nineteenth century, andtrying to understand the meanings attributed to them by nineteenth-century observers. Wherewere the boundaries of "the frontier" in nineteenth century North America? What did enslavedpeople and wage earners mean when they invoked the term "freedom"? We will then ask howhistorians and students of history at the beginning of this twentieth-first century understand andmake use of those same nineteenth-century events. The culture of nineteenth-century Americawas very different from our own, yet consider how many representations of it pervade thepresent, from popular movies to the PBS documentaries.Our study and writing of history explores and interprets the past, yet we cannot escape theperspective of the present. The purpose of this course is to provide you with the intellectual toolswith which to assess and understand the work historians do, and begin to develop your ownperspective on the American past.
The following books are required reading. They are available at the Reed CollegeBookstore and on Book Reserve for HIST 275 in the Reed Library:
Paul E. Johnson,
 A Shopkeeper’s Millennium
Thomas Dublin,
Farm To Factory: Women's Letters, 1830-1860
 (NY: Columbia University Press, 1993)James Oakes,
Slavery and Freedom: An Interpretation of the Old South
 (New York: Vintage, 1991)Henry Louis Gates, Jr., ed.,
Classic Slave Narratives
(New York: Mentor/Penguin, 1987)Eric Foner,
 A Short History of Reconstruction, 1863-1877 
 (NY: Harper & Row, 1990)Rebecca Edwards,
 Angels in the Machinery: Gender in American Party Politics from the Civil War to Progressive Era
(Oxford, 1997)Nell Irvin Painter,
Standing At Armageddon: The United States, 1877-1919
(Norton, 1987)Jacob Riis,
 How The Other Half Lives
(Scribner's, [c1890])Kristin Hoganson,
Fighting for American Manhood: How Gender Politics Provoked the Spanish- American and Philippine-American Wars
(Yale U. Press, 1998)Copies of assigned articles will be available on library reserve. Pay attention to howthese are described in the syllabus--if articles are contained in books, then you will need the nameof the book in order to locate the reading under "Book Reserve."
Course requirements:
Regular attendance at conferences, timely completion of assigned readings and papers, and active and informed participation in class discussions.
Written work:
Each student will write two short papers and one longer research paper.The first short paper
(8 pages)
is due
September 22
in class
. For this paper studentswill read and analyze Frederick Douglass'
(1845) in light of questions raised by JamesOakes' secondary historical work on slavery. Since the fourth week grade reports are due thatweek, there can be no extensions for this assignment.The second paper (10 pages) is due Friday, October 14
This paper will reflect your analysis of selected articles (your choice) from
The Nation
 published from 1865 through 1871. Reed owns the digital archive of this magazine,which is available at
http://www.archive.thenation.com/index_login.aspThe third paper
(10-12 pages)
is due
Friday, November 18
by 5:00 p.m. at Eliot 214A.For this paper you may choose your own topic, but the paper must use
at least two secondarysources
on a topic from the period
the Civil War. We will discuss possible topics andsources in class.
I hold office hours most Friday mornings. Please sign up for an appointment on thesheet outside my office door, Eliot Hall 214A.COURSE READINGWeek OneTuesday, August 30Introduction to Course: Politics and CultureRequired
R. Slotkin, "Myth and Historical Memory," Slotkin,
The Fatal Environment 
, 13-32(Use book reserve--there's no need to buy this very thick book!)
 Thursday, Sept. 1Required
reading:Begin Paul E. Johnson,
 A Shopkeeper’s Millennium
(1976)[Book reserve]
Week TwoExpansion and EvangelicalismSeptember 6, 8Required
reading:Finish Johnson,
 A Shopkeeper’s Millennium
(1976)[Book reserve]
Mary Ryan, "A Woman's Awakening: Evangelical Religion and the Families of Utica,New York, 1800-1840,"
 American Quarterly
30 (Winter 1978): 602-623[Article, e-reserve and on JSTOR]Jama Lazerow,
“Rethinking Religion and the Working Class in Antebellum America,”
1993 75(1): 85-104[Article and e-reserve]
for further study:Melvyn Stokes and Stephen Conway, eds.,
The Market Revolution in America:Social, Political and Religious Expressions, 1800-1880
(UVA Press, 1996)Jama Lazerow,
 Religion and the Working Class in Antebellum America
(Smithsonian Institution Press 1995)Mary Ryan,
Cradle of the Middle Class
(1981)William J. Rorabaugh,
The Alcoholic Republic
(1979)See also the brief biography of Charles Grandison Finney athttp://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/DETOC/religion/finney.html
Week ThreeMarket Revolution: Lowell, MassachusettsSeptember 13Required
Thomas Dublin,
Farm to Factory
(Book reserve)(Please read selected letters first,
read the historian's Introduction, then theremaining letters. Selections will be announced in class.)September 15
reading:Lise Vogel, "Hearts to Feel and Tongues to Speak: New England Mill Women in theEarly Nineteenth Century," in Bruce Laurie and Milton Cantor, eds.,
Class, Sex and theWoman Worker
(Greenwood Press, 1977): 64-82[Article and e-reserve]

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