American Revolutions and Counterrevolutions|
Spring 2018 not offered
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 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.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Readings may include:
Thomas Jefferson, selections
Thomas Paine, selections
Charles Brockden Brown, ORMOND; OR, THE SECRET WITNESS
Hannah Foster, THE COQUETTE
Mary Wollstonecraft, A VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMAN
Hamilton, Jay, Madison, THE FEDERALIST
Edmund Burke, REFLECTIONS ON THE REVOLUTION IN FRANCE
C.L.R. James, THE BLACK JACOBINS
Poems by Phillis Wheatley, Francis Williams, Jupiter Hammon, and others.
Selections from Toussaint Louverture, Jonathan Edwards, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Elizabeth Ashbridge, Benjamin Franklin, and others.
|Examination and Assignments: |
Weekly short papers (2pp.). Three longer essays: 5pp., 7pp., and 12pp. Students will compile a portfolio of writing throughout the semester and will have the option of revising one or more of their essays.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
THIS SECTION IS A FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR (FYS) CLASS.
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