ENAM 802:
American Studies Colloquium I

v 1.0
last updated 08/28/01
  • Summer Reading:
    • Carl N. Degler, Out of Our Past: The Forces that Shaped Modern American Thought.
    • Michael Kammen, Mystic Chords of Memory.
    • Thomas Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree.
    • Neill Howe and Bill Strauss,13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?
    • James Hunter, Culture Wars.
    • Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
    • Raymond Williams, Keywords
  • Additional Texts:
Calendar of Meetings

08/29: Organization and Introduction
  • For Monday, choose the book from the summer reading you liked best. Identify an idea in the book that seems interesting, powerful, useful-- or all three. Write a brief but complete description of the idea as if you were explaining it to an intelligent peer who had not read the book.
  • 09/03: Summer Reading I
    • Thomas Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree.
    • Neill Howe and Bill Strauss,13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?
    • James Hunter, Culture Wars.

    09/10: Summer Reading II
    • Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
    • Carl N. Degler, Out of Our Past: The Forces that Shaped Modern American Thought.
    • Michael Kammen, Mystic Chords of Memory.
    • Raymond Williams,Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society.
      • For next Monday, read the entry for Culture, Democracy History, or Nature. At the end of each of these definitions is a series of pointers to related terms; read those as well.
    09/17:American Studies: Getting the Lay of the Land I
    09/24: Getting the Lay of the Land II
  • The Social Sciences and the New Historicism

  • Marxism, Postructuralism, and Postmodernism

  • Gender, Race, Ethnicity

  • Christopher P. Wilson,Containing Multitudes: Realism, Historicism, American Studies.

  • 10/01: Classic Paradigms I: In the Beginning. 
    • Sacvan Bercovitch,The Puritan Origins of the American Self.
    • Daniel Boorstin,The Americans: The Colonial Experience.
    • Oscar Handlin,The Uprooted.
    • Howard Mumford Jones,O Strange New World
    • Michael Kammen,The Machine that Would Run by Itself: The Constitution in American Culture.
    • Perry Miller,Errand into the Wilderness.
    • David Potter,People of Plenty.
    • Ernest Lee Tuveson,Redeemer Nation.
    • Gary Wills,Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence

    10/08: Classic Paradigms II: The Middle Ground 
    Note: Reading Days 10/13-10/16
    • Alexis deTocqueville, from Democracy in America 
      • Origin of the Anglo-Americans and the Importance of their Origins in Relation to Thier Future Condition, 
      • The Necessity of Examining the Condition of hte States Before That of the Union at Large, 
      • The Federal Constitution,
      • Liberty of the Press in the United States, 
      • Government of Democracy in the United States
      • Main Causes Tending to Maintain a Democratic Republic in the United States,
      • The Present and Probably Future condition of the Three Races that Inhabit the Territory of the United States, 
        Influence of Democracy on the Action of Intellect in The United States, 
      • Philosophical Method of The Americans
      • Of the Principal Source of Belief Among Democratic Nations
      • Why the Americans Show More General Aptitude and Taste for General Ideas that their Forefathers, The English,
      • Why the Americans have never been so Eager as the French for General Ideas in Political Affairs,
      • How Equality Suggests to the Americans the Indefinite Perfectibility of Man,
      • In What Spirit the Americans Cultivate the Arts,
      • Literary Characteristics of Democratic Times, 
      • How American Democracy has Modified the English Language, 
      • Why Democratic Nations show a More Ardent and Enduring Love for Equality than Liberty, 
      • Of Individualism in Democratic Countries, 
      • Of the Uses which Americans make of Public Associations, 
      • Of the Taste for Physical Well-being in America
      • What Causes Almost All Americans to Follow an Industrial Calling, 
      • How an Aristocracy may be Created by Manufacures, 
      • How Customs are Softened as Social Conditions become more Equal, 
      • Influence of Democracy on the Family,
      • How Americans Understand the Equality of the Sexes, 
      • Of Honour in the United States and in Democratic Communities, 
      • Why Democratic Nations Naturally Desire Peace and Democratic Armies War,
      • Why the Idea of Democratic Peoples about Government Naturally Favors the Concentration of Political Power,
      • What Sort of Despotism Democratic Nations have to Fear, 
      • General Survey of the Subject. 
    10/17:The Middle Ground (continued) 
    • Daniel Boorstin,The Americans: The National Experience.
    • F.O. Matthiessen,American Renaissance
    • Arthur M. Schlesinger,The Age of Jackson
    • Gary Wills,The Gettysburg Address


    10/22: Henry Nash Smith 

    10/29: Leo Marx, The Machine in the Garden
    • Gary Cross,Technology and American Society : A History.
    • Thomas Parke Hughes, American Genesis : A Century of Invention and Technological Enthusiasm,1870-1970.
    • Lewis Mumford,Technics and Civilization
    • Cecelia Tichi, Shifting Gears :Technology, Literature, Culture in Modernist America.

    11/05: Allen Trachtenberg,The Incorporation of America

    11/12: Miles Orvell, The Real Thing
      • Lawrence H. Levine,William Shakespeare in America,fromShakespeare in America. 
      • Tom Gunning,Tracing the Individual Body: Photography, Detectives, and Early Cinemain Leo Charney and Vanessa R. Schwartz, eds., Cinema and the Invention of Modern Life (C)
      • Ben Singer,Modernity, Hyperstimulus, and the Rise of Popular Sensationalism,in Charney and Schwartz. (C)
      • Erika D. Rappaport,'A New Era of Shopping;' The Promotion of Women's Pleasure in London's West End, 1909-1914in Charney and Schwartz. (C)
      • Alexandra Keller,Disseminations of Modernity: Representation and Consumer Desire in Early Mail-Order Catalogsin Charney and Schwartz. (C)
      • Miriam Bratu Hansen,America, Paris, the Alps: Kracauer (and Benjamin) on Cinema and Modernity,in Charney and Schwartz. (C)
    • Walter Benjamin, Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.
    • Daniel Boorstin, The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-events in America.
    • Neil Harris, Humbug: The Art of P. T. Barnum. 
    • T. J. Jackson Lears, Fables of Abundance : A Cultural History of Advertising in America. 
    • Susan Sonntag, On Photography. 
    • Susan Strasser, Satisfaction Guaranteed: The Making of the American Mass Market
    • Alan Trachtenberg, Brooklyn Bridge: Symbol and Fact.
    • Alan Trachtenberg, Reading American Photographs.

    11/19: Stephen Fjellman, Vinyl Leaves


    • The World's Columbian Exposition. 
    • John Cawelti,America on Display: The Worlds' Fairs of 1876, 1893, 1933,in F. Jaher, ed.,The Age of Industrialism in America.
    • Sigfried Gideon,Mechanization Takes Command.
    • John Higham,Strangers in the Land.
    • Oscar Handlin,The Uprooted.
    • Howard Mumford Jones,The Age of Engergy.
    • Neil Harris,Grand Illusions : Chicago's World's Fair of 1893
    • T.J. Jackson Lears and Richard W. Fox, eds.,The Culture of Consumption.
    • David Noble,America by Design.
    • Alan Trachtenberg,Brooklyn Bridge: Fact and Symbol.
    • Sam Bass Warner,The Urban Wilderness.
    • Mike Wallace,Mickey Mouse History

    11/26: Workshop I
    12/03: Workshop I

    Note: Classes end 12/07;

    Revisons of Yellow Pages due 12/05; hypertext extensions to Virgin Land due 12/17.   

    Vacation Reading: TBA.