As pressing as our national debates might seem to be in the present, we can’t fully engage with them, or with any other American conversations, until and unless we have a fuller and richer sense of our past. In this course, we’ll focus on five moments about which we know far too little – viewing and discussing primary, multimedia texts that relate to them, engaging with their many contexts; and adding our own perspectives into the mix throughout. Moments include: Women’s Suffrage; the 1876 Centennial; the Chinese Exclusion Act; the Wilmington coup and massacre; the Bonus Army march; and the American Indian Movement and Native American Rights.
GROUP LEADER: Benjamin Railton is Professor of English and American Studies at Fitchburg State University. He is the author of four books, most recently History and Hope in American Literature: Models of Critical Patriotism, 2016. He also maintains the daily AmericanStudies blog, contributes public American Studies scholarship to many other sites including Huffington Post, and is a member of the Scholars Strategy Network.
Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)Assumption University, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609