American Intellectual History

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Medium:
Syllabus
Course Level:
400
Course Length:
15 weeks
Credits:
3
Tags:

Course Description:

Surveys historical interpretations of American intellectual life from the colonial period through the progressive movement in the early 20th century. 

 

Course Objectives:

  1. Apply reading and writing skills toward analyzing significant primary and secondary texts.
  2. Investigate and evaluate scholarly approaches to American Intellectual History through written and spoken means.
  3. Understand historical narratives and major ideas of American Intellectual History by comparing and evaluating different viewpoints.
  4. Increase critical reasoning skills about how American Intellectual History contributed to social, political, and religious arrangements in the United States.

 

Required Texts:

Philip Gura, American Transcendentalism

Henry May, The Enlightenment in America

Louis Menand, The Metaphysical Club

Perry Miller, The New England Mind: From Colony to Province

Select Texts Provided by Instructor

 

Course Requirements and Grade Distribution:The final grade will be determined by averaging five grades:

  1.  Four essay book reviews (40% total, 10% each)
  2.  Research Paper (20%)
  3. Final exam (20%)
  4. Class participation (20%):  You must be on time, bring your book, listen to lectures, answer and askquestions, work diligently on assignments, and turn in work on time.  Participation is arequirement—coming to class and not adding to discussion is similar to taking anexam and not answering any questions. If you come to class and do not contributewith questions or insights, do not expect an A, B or C for this portion of your grade.

 

 

Grading Scale:  92-100= A; 90-91= A-; 88-89= B+; 87-82= B; 80-81= B-; 78-79= C+; 72-77= C; 70-71= C-; 68-69= D+; 62-67= D; 60-61= D-; Below 60= F

 

Course Policies:

Academic Integrity:As stated in the Samford University 2007-2008 catalog, “students, upon enrollment, enter into voluntary association with Samford University. They must be willing to observe high standards of intellectual integrity; they must respect knowledge and practice academic honesty.” Unless specified otherwise, students are expected to do their own independent work, and to refrain from cheating, copying or plagiarizing the work of others. When drawing from various resources for assignments, students must provide proper citations.

Accommodation:Samford University complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Students with disabilities who seek accommodations must make their request by contacting Disability Support Services located in Counseling Services on the lower level of Pittman Hall, or call #726-4078.  A faculty member will grant reasonable accommodations only upon written notification from Disability Support Services.

Attendance Policy:Students who miss 6 classes will receive an “FA” for the course. All unexcused absences will negatively affect your participation average.  Make-up work may be negotiated for absences due to medical or emergency reasons.

Electronic Devices:  As stated in the Student Handbook, “Student use of cell phones, messaging devices and other electronic devices (for example, recording devices, music players, PDAs, computers) is prohibited in classes unless specifically permitted by the instructor.” 

 

 

Mon. Aug. 30              Course Introduction

 

Wed. Sept. 1               Foundational Considerations

 

Fri. Sept. 3                  The Errand Into the Wilderness

 

Mon. Sept. 6               No Class.  Labor Day

 

Wed. Sept. 8               The Puritan State and Puritan Society

 

Fri. Sept. 10                Reading Discussion: Miller, The New England Mind,

                                      pp. 3-146

 

Mon. Sept. 13            Puritanism and Covenantal Theology

 

Wed. Sept. 15           The Puritan Dilemma

                                   

Fri. Sept. 17               Reading Discussion: Miller, The New England Mind,

                                     pp. 149-302

                       

Mon. Sept. 20            The Transformation of Calvinism

 

Wed. Sept. 22           Reading Discussion: Miller, The New England Mind,

                                     pp. 305-485

 

Fri. Sept. 24                First Book Review Due: Miller, The New England Mind

 

Mon. Sept. 27             Defining the Enlightenment

 

Wed. Sept. 29             Experiential Religion and the New Divinity

 

Fri. Oct. 1                    Reading Discussion: May, The Enlightenment in America,

                                    pp. xi-149

 

Mon. Oct. 4                 Deism, Nature, and Nature’s God

 

Wed. Oct. 6                Revolutionaries and the Conservative Reaction

 

Fri. Oct. 8                    Reading Discussion: May, The Enlightenment in America,

                                    pp. 153-304

 

Mon. Oct. 11               No Class.  Fall Break. 

 

Wed. Oct. 13              Rise of the Moderates

 

Fri. Oct. 15                  The Democratization of American Christianity         

 

Mon. Oct. 18               Reading Discussion: May, The Enlightenment in America,

                                    pp. 307-362

Wed. Oct. 20              Discuss Research Paper Ideas

 

Fri. Oct. 22                  Second Book Review Due:  May, The Enlightenment in America

 

Mon. Oct. 25               Higher Criticism and the New Historicism

 

Wed. Oct. 27              Unitarianism                                       

 

Fri. Oct. 29                  Reading Discussion: Gura, American Transcendentalism

                                     pp. xi-97

 

Mon. Nov. 1                Communitarian Experiments

 

Wed. Nov. 3               Research Paper Topic Proposal Due

 

Fri. Nov. 5                   Reading Discussion: Gura, American Transcendentalism

                                    pp. 98-208

 

Mon. Nov. 8                Abolitionism

 

Wed. Nov. 10             Reading Discussion: Gura, American Transcendentalism

                                    pp. 209-306

 

Fri. Nov. 12                 Third Book Review Due: Gura, American Transcendentalism

 

Mon. Nov. 15              Legal Realism

 

Wed. Nov. 17             Pragmatism and Process Metaphysics

 

Fri. Nov. 19                 Reading Discussion: Menand, The Metaphysical Club

                                    pp. ix-148

 

Mon. Nov. 22              Research Paper Outline Due

 

Wed. Nov. 24             No Class.  Thanksgiving Break

 

Fri. Nov. 26                 No Class.  Thanksgiving Break

           

Mon. Nov. 29              Education as Activity

 

Wed. Dec. 1               Reading Discussion: Menand, The Metaphysical Club

                                     pp. 151-284

 

Fri. Dec. 3                   Research Paper Introduction Due

 

Mon. Dec. 6                Reading Discussion: Menand, The Metaphysical Club

                                     pp. 285-442

 

Wed. Dec. 8                Fourth Book Review Due: Menand, The Metaphysical Club

 

Fri. Dec. 10                 Review for Final

 

Wed. Dec. 15              Final Exam 10:30 AM

                                      Research Paper Due