ENAM 802:
American Studies Colloquium I

v 1.0
last updated 09/23/02
  • Summer Reading:
    • John Crunden,A Brief History of American Culture.
    • James Hunter, Culture Wars.
    • Neill Howe and Bill Strauss,13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?
    • Paul Fussell, Class: A Guide Through the American Status System.
    • John Berger, Ways of Seeing.
    • Neil Postman, Technopoly.
    • Raymond Williams, Keywords
    • HTML for Dummies (quick reference edition)
  • Additional Texts:
Calendar of Meetings

08/28: Organization and Introduction
  • Subscribe toH-AMSTDY, and two other listserves fromH-NET
  • For Friday, 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. Also,read the entry for two of the following: 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.
09/02: Summer Reading I
  • John Crunden,A Brief History of American Culture.
  • James Hunter, Culture Wars.
  • Paul Fussell, Class: A Guide Through the American Status System.

09/09: Summer Reading II
  • Neil Postman, Technopoly.
  • Neill Howe and Bill Strauss,13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?
  • John Berger, Ways of Seeing
09/16: 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

Reading Holiday: 10/05/10/08

09/23: Classic Paradigms II: The Middle Ground 
  • Alexis deTocqueville, from Democracy in America 
    • * Origin of the Anglo-Americans and the Importance of their Origins in Relation to Their Future Condition, 
    • * The Necessity of Examining the Condition of the 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 than 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. 

  • Daniel Boorstin,The Americans: The National Experience.
  • F.O. Matthiessen,American Renaissance
  • Arthur M. Schlesinger,The Age of Jackson
  • Gary Wills,The Gettysburg Address


09/30: Classic Paradigms III: Modern Times
10/09: Modern Times (continued)
  • The Social Sciences and the New Historicism

  • Marxism, Postructuralism, and Postmodernism

  • Gender, Race, Ethnicity

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


    10/14: Modern Times (Continued)
    10/21: Persistent Paradigms: The West 

    10/28: Persistent Paradigms: Industrialization and Urbanization. 

    11/04: Persitent Paradigms: Mediation and Modernism.
    • 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.

    11/11: Persitent Paradigms: Postmodernism.
    • 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

    11/18: Workshop I: Proposals.
    • Thomas J. Schlereth, Victorian America: 1876-1915

    Note: Thanksgiving Recess 11/27-12/01
    11/25: Workshop II: Project Design.
    12/02: Workshop III: Story Boards and Drafts.

    Note: Classes end 12/06; Exams: 12/09-12/16

    Revisons of Yellow Pages due 12/05; hypertext extensions to Incorporation of America due 12/17.   

    Vacation Reading: TBA.