Week 1 (23 Jan)-“Introduction: Region, Race, Class, Gender and Culture”

Colin Woodward, American Nations, Introduction
Paul Starr, Creation of Media, pp. 1-23 (Political Origins of Modern Communication)

Week 2 (30 Jan)-“'The Unredeemed Captive':

Violence, Displacement, and the Lessons of New England"

Colin Woodward, American Nations, Part One: Chapters 1-5
Paul Starr, Creation of Media, pp. 24-82 (Early Modern Origins, New Foundations)

Week 3 (6 Feb)-"Revolutionary Rebellions:

Nathaniel Bacon, Jemmy, New York in '41, and Tea in Boston"

Colin Woodward, American Nations, Part One/ Part Two: Chapters 6-14
Paul Starr, Creation of Media, pp. 83-112 (America’s First Information Revolution)

Week 4 (13 Feb)-"Frontiers, Antebellum Expansion, and National Identity”

Colin Woodward, American Nations, Part Two/ Part Three: Chapters 15-18
Paul Starr, Creation of Media, pp. 113-154 (Capitalism and Democracy in Print)

Film: The Shakers (PBS, 1991)

Reading Quiz #1 (Thursday, 2/15)

Week 5 (20 Feb)-“Western Borderlands”

Colin Woodward, American Nations, Part Four: Chapters 19-21
Paul Starr, Creation of Media, pp. 113-152 (Capitalism and Democracy in Print)

Week 6 (27 Feb)-“Communication Technology and the Civil War:

The South, the Upper South, and the Nation”

Colin Woodward, American Nations, Part Four: Chapters 22-25
Paul Starr, Creation of Media, pp. 153-190 (The First Wire)

Paper #1 (Thursday, 2/29) American Cultures: What three regions do you find most define the nation as a whole, and what three regions have the weakest ties to a national identity? Why? Be sure to address the defining characteristics of each, and then why you find some characteristics have come to most define the nation.

After discussing the regions above, using the events discussed in class, sum up with a critique of Woodard's argument--do you agree with his depiction of the United States, would you draw a map of "nations" differently, or do you think Americans are more united than Woodard's construct?

Week 7 (6 March)-“Capitalism, Culture, and the News”
Colin Woodward, American Nations, Part Four: Chapters 26-28
Paul Starr, Creation of Media, pp. 191-232 (New Connections: Telephone, Cable, &
Wireless )

Week 8 (13 March)-“A Young Man’s Dreams: Goals for Sons”
Paul Starr, Creation of Media, pp. 233-266 (Great Transformations: The Early Mass
Media and the Diversity Dynamic)
Anthony Harkins, Hillbilly, pp. 1-46 (Race, Class, Popular Culture, and the Hillbilly &
From Yankee Doodle to “Devil Anse”)

Reading Quiz #2 (Thursday, 3/15)

(20 March)-Spring Break

Week 9 (27 March)-“New Dreams for Women? Goals for Daughters”
Paul Starr, Creation of Media, pp. 267-294 (Rediscovery of the First Amendment)
Judith Halasz, The Bohemian Ethos, 1-26 (Introduction, Parisian Prototype)
Anthony Harkins, Hillbilly, pp. 47-70 (Emergence of “Hillbilly”)

Week 10 (3 April)- “Early Twentieth Century”
Paul Starr, Creation of Media, pp. 295-326 (The Framing of the Movies)
Anthony Harkins, Hillbilly, pp. 71-140 (Country Music & Luke, Snuffy, & Abner)

Week 11 (10 April)-“Forties & Fifties: What most divides us”
Paul Starr, Creation of Media, pp. 327-346 (Broadcasting)
Anthony Harkins, Hillbilly, pp. 141-204 (Hollywood’s Hillbilly & Hillbilly in the Living
Room)
Judith Halasz, The Bohemian Ethos, 52-126 (1960s & the Underground)

(Halasz, "The Beats," pp. 26-51 Optional)

Paper #2 (Thursday, 4/12) American Press

Paper #2 (Thursday, 4/12) Nature of the American Press: What four to six historically derived qualities do you find most define the American press/ media? Do you find any patterns in the history of the press/ media, or a cyclical nature to any of these qualities--are some of them at times more prominent than at other times? Discuss the ways in which your chosen qualities have defined the press over time.

Second, to what extent has the press/ media represented all Americans, and to what extent has it been regionally exclusive? Has the press/ media become more inclusive over time?

Week 12 (17 April)-“Reform Era” Eyes on the Prize, Episode 1 "Awakenings, 1954-56" & The Source (Documentary on the Beat Generation) on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MduFO9DjHwA
Paul Starr, Creation of Media, pp. 347- 384 (The Constitution of the Air: Origins of
Broadcasting)
Judith Halasz, The Bohemian Ethos, 127-169 (Go Back to Work)
Armistead Maupin, Tales of the City

Reading Quiz #3 (Thursday, 4/19)

Week 13 (24 April)-Interview Week, No Class

Douglas Coupland, Generation X

The Source (Documentary on the Beat Generation) on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MduFO9DjHwA

American Experience, Summer of Love https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4RWQV-iYZQ 

 

 

Week 14 (1 May)-“After the Sixties”
Paul Starr, Creation of Media, pp. 385-402 (Coda: The Advent of the Media)
Anthony Harkins, Hillbilly, pp. 205-222 (From Deliverance to Cyberspace)
Judith Halasz, The Bohemian Ethos, 170-183 (Margins, Epilogue)

Week 15 (8 May)-Red and Blue? Contemporary United States

Paper #3 (10 May)

How do you characterize twentieth to twenty-first century American culture, and to what extent do you find mass mediated news and entertainment publications and programs truly reflect the lives of Americans?

Week 16 (5/17 8 AM) Finals' Week: Final Exam