21H.105 American Classics

As taught in: Fall 2002

Photograph of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.)




Prof. Christopher Capozzola

Louise Harrison Lepera
(Writing Tutor)

Course Description

"What then is the American, this new man?" asked J. Hector St-John de Crèvecoeur in his Letters from an American Farmer in 1782. This subject takes Crèvecoeur's question as the starting point for an examination of the changing meanings of national identity in the American past. We will consider a diverse collection of classic texts in American history to see how Americans have defined themselves and their nation in politics, literature, art, and popular culture. As a communications-intensive subject, students will be expected to engage intensively with the material through frequent oral and written exercises.