This readings course introduces graduate students to the methods of cultural history through a survey of key works and cutting edge new scholarship in twentieth-century US cultural history. Topics to be discussed include critical approaches to study of race, gender, sexuality, and religion; transnational approaches to US history; the relevance of sound studies and visual culture studies for historical work; and the neglect of class in much contemporary US history. Students will also learn to think critically about music, film, photography, and other artifacts as historical sources. Students will read a book a week, write two 12 page papers, lead class discussion one or more times during the semester, and attend 3 relevant lectures across grounds (a list will be provided). Leading class discussion means placing the assigned book in its historiographical and theoretical context and describing its sources, methods, and arguments.
This readings course focuses on the history of the US South from 1890 to the present and includes a mix of cutting edge scholarship and essential works. Topics of emphasis include the transnational US South, the new southern studies, the intersection of African American history and Southern history, the new southern labor history, and religion and southern history.