Culture and Power in the US

Instructors:  Devin McGeehan Muchmore and Lucy Caplan
Meeting time: Monday, 12:00-2:45

Syllabus

Culture and PowerCulture is a site where power can be created, reflected, and resisted. In this course, we examine how artists, writers, intellectuals, and activists have made culture into a terrain of struggle in the twentieth- and twenty-first-century United States -- and, in doing so, engaged with vital public debates about citizenship, national belonging, and power. We consider a wide array of materials, ranging from Federal Writers Project interviews with formerly enslaved people in the 1930s to Cold War-era musicals like South Pacific (1949) to contemporary reckonings with Confederate memorials and the politics of public space. As we develop the ability to analyze cultural texts from a critical and interdisciplinary perspective, we will focus especially on how scholars of History and Literature use the analytical categories of race, gender, sexuality, and class to interpret the politics of culture.