HL90CX: Stop Making Sense: America in the 1980s





Instructor: Angela S. Allan
Meeting time: Wednesday, 9:45 - 11:45

Stop Making SenseThe 1980s saw the convergence of American politics and economics to strengthen U.S. interests abroad, but the decade was also a moment of enormous social, political, and economic divergence at home. How compatible—or causal—was the end of the cold war with the end of the American cultural consensus? Did such a consensus ever exist, or was it a mere illusion and nostalgia for a “simpler time”? This course will look at how culture—including novels, films, plays, music videos, and more—both shapes and is shaped by social and political attitudes. As the 1980s experiences a pop culture comeback in the 2010s, how do we begin to critically make sense of a decade of contradictions?