HIST 312: American Culture, 1877 to the Present

Instructor: Jonathan Hagel

Day & Time:
2:30 PM - 3:45 PM

Category I
A black and white photograph of Babe Ruth watching a ball he's hit next to an illustrated advertisement of Babe Ruth on top of a mound on the field watching a ball he hit.

American Culture, 1877 to the Present  

Americans did not invent fun. But they did turn fun into a globe-spanning, world-shaking enterprise. And that enterprise, the American mass entertainment business, has completely remade how Americans—and the entire world—has fun.

In this course, we will survey how Americans invented and enjoyed the key elements of American mass culture, including amusement parks, spectator sports, world’s fairs and wild west shows, radio, comic books, movies, television, popular music, and videogames. In taking American fun seriously, we will gain deeper insight into how Americans redefined themselves, each other, and the world.

We will read, watch movies and tv shows, listen to music and comedy, and maybe even play a video game or two. Class-time is dedicated entirely to the discussion of prepared material.

Enrollment capped at 45.