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American Revolutions and Counterrevolutions: A Short 18th Century
ENGL 302
Spring 2011 not offered
Crosslisting: AMST 346

This course examines the pendulum swings of struggle in three realms whose conflicted history defines the American Enlightenment: democracy, racial equality, and early feminism. We will study the Great Awakening in New England, the American Revolution and the conflict over the U.S. Constitution, the impact of the French and the Haitian revolutions in America, and the transatlantic influence of Mary Wollstonecraft. Our focus will be on a narrow historical period, less than three quarters of a century, but we will gesture toward generalizations about the nature of Enlightenment thought as such: how its claims on behalf of universal humanity could (and can) be used as a tool to effect real social equality, and how we are to understand the relationship between political speech and social conflict. Our texts are not specifically literary, but we will pay attention to literary and rhetorical effects. Our interest lies not only in the political claims of these texts, but also in how our writers make their claims. We will close the course by opening a discussion on the current state of claims for universal human rights.

Essential Capabilities: Interpretation, Writing
Students will interpret historical material through their writing, with an aim of sharpening both their critical-analytical skills and their means of clear and cogent expression.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ENGL
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)

Last Updated on APR-22-2024
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