HISTORY 361 - U.S. Intellectual History, 1750-1940
Fall 2023, Section 001 - Culture Wars are Nothing New
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/28/23 - 12/6/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


Worries about “culture wars” seem to be everywhere in contemporary America.  We hear repeatedly that Americans have never been so divided and never so unwilling to compromise with those on the other side.  And yet, as we discover in this lecture course, Americans have thought and argued and talked and debated with one another in all manner of ways that matter to what government does and how society functions. Fighting over the nature of the nation, over what values to espouse and how to put them into operation, it turns out, is as old as the republic itself.

Our reading includes not only the famous—such as Thomas Jefferson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, W. E. B. Du Bois, Margaret Mead, and Langston Hughes—but also many less well-known individuals whose ideas and arguments, for good or bad, have helped shape the world we live in now. Together we will try to gain some appreciation of the varieties of voices that have contributed, and continue to contribute, to the development of American thought and culture.

Why take this course? If we want to understand the current wars over what America should stand for, what democracy can and should be, who should be counted as part of the citizenry, how we should balance individual freedom and social obligation, and what should be the role of expertise in the making of social policy, then we need to explore their historical roots and to see the many possibilities that have been advanced and fought over.

Come join the fun!

Course Requirements:

Weekly reading will average 100-150 pages. Grades will be based on a combination of examinations, writing exercises (papers and weekly responses), and participation in class.

Intended Audience:

History 361 is for undergraduates ranging from first-years to seniors. There are no prerequisites.


HISTORY 361 - U.S. Intellectual History, 1750-1940
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23

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