History 101.003

Spring 2007
Instructor (text): 
204 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
TuTh 12:30-2

Much more than elections and statistics, politics unfolds within a layered social context and thereby offers rich opportunity for the historical analysis of culture. Political culture includes the ideals, beliefs, values, symbols, stories, and public rituals that bind people together and direct them in common action. Political action emanates from political culture, and can reflect, challenge, reinforce, or undermine that culture's ideals. Students in this seminar are invited to write a paper on American political culture, broadly defined. Possible topics include: the intersection of religion and politics; media representations of political candidates; scandals, controversies, and resignations; party loyalty and identity; "playing the race card"; gender and politics. Although the instructor's expertise is in 20th century politics, subjects from earlier time periods will be permitted if students can demonstrate adequate preparation. Students are encourage to being thinking about their paper during the current (Fall) semester, and will be expected to bring two possible topics to the first class meeting.