Short Course Description
The three decades following WWII witnessed major upheavals in U.S. social and political life, with material living conditions for many Americans shifting as much as or more than they had in the previous two centuries. As these material, social, and political conditions changed, so too did Americans? imaginative relations with the state, with dominant societal institutions, and with one another. In this course we?ll explore these complex changes by studying how the era?s fiction, poetry, cinema, and nonfiction dissents from, even as it reproduces, prevailing master-narratives of Cold War America. As we go, we?ll seek to clarify the nebulous concept of ideology by tracking its role in shaping Cold War notions of U.S. identity (notably, those of gender, class, sexuality, race, and religion) and political belonging (as manifested in personal engagements with domestic and international initiatives of the U.S. state). Reflecting an unusually tumultuous time in U.S. history, the works we?ll study inscribe, challenge, and reshape the narratives by which Americans understood their country and their lives.
Full syllabus is to be published