21L.423J Introduction to Anglo-American Folk Music (MIT)
This course examines the production, transmission, preservation and qualities of folk music in the British Isles and North America from the 18th century to the folk revival of the 1960s and the present. There is a special emphasis on balladry, fiddle styles, and African-American influences. The class sings ballads and folk songs from the Child and Lomax collections as well as other sources as we examine them from literary, historical, and musical points of view. Readings supply critical and back
17.908 Reading Seminar in Social Science: Race, Crime, and Citizenship in American Law (MIT)
This course surveys the relationship between race and crime in the United States, with a special emphasis on the role this relationship has played in the development of American ideas about citizenship and nationhood.
21L.501 The American Novel (MIT)
This course explores the metaphorical, historical, social, and psychological value of ghosts in the American novel. Using the theme of "haunting" as a flashpoint for class discussion and a thematic center for our readerly attention, this course examines the American novel in the context of the various histories which might be said to haunt fictional characters in the American novel, to haunt the American novel itself, and ultimately to haunt us: America's colonial past, its slave past, and other
21L.504J Race and Identity in American Literature: Keepin' it Real Fake (MIT)
This course explores the ways in which various American artists view race and class as performed or performable identities. Discussions will focus on some of the following questions: What does it mean to act black, white, privileged, or underprivileged? What do these artists suggest are the implications of performing (indeed playing at or with) racial identity, ethnicity, gender, and class status? How and why are race and class status often conflated in these performances?
CMS.997 Topics in Comparative Media: American Pro Wrestling (MIT)
This class will explore the cultural history and media industry surrounding the masculine drama of professional wrestling. Beginning with wrestling's roots in sport and carnival, the class examines how new technologies and changes in the television industry led to evolution for pro wrestling style and promotion and how shifts in wrestling characters demonstrate changes in the depiction of American masculinity. The class will move chronologically in an examination of how wrestling characters and
21M.220 Early Music (MIT)
This class covers the history of Western music from antiquity until approximately 1680, about 2000 years worth of music. Rather than cover each topic at the same level of depth, we will focus on four topics in particular and glue them together with a broad overview of other topics. The four topics chosen for this term are (1) chant structure, performance, and development; (2) 14th century music of Italy and France; (3) Elizabethan London; and (4) Venice in the Baroque era. The class will also in
21A.235 American Dream: Exploring Class in the U.S. (MIT)
Americans have historically preferred to think of the United States in classless terms, as a land of economic opportunity equally open to all. Yet, social class remains a central fault line in the U.S. Subject explores the experiences and understandings of class among Americans positioned at different points along the U.S. social spectrum. Considers a variety of classic frameworks for analyzing social class and uses memoirs, novels and ethnographies to gain a sense of how class is experienced in
SP.691 Studies in Women's Life Narratives: Interrogating Marriage: Case Studies in American Law and
Is marriage a patriarchal institution? Much feminist scholarship has characterized it that way, but now in the context of the recent Massachusetts Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage, the meaning of marriage itself demands serious re-examination. This course will discuss history, literature, film, and legal scholarship, making use of cross-cultural, sociological, anthropological, and many other theoretical approaches to the marriage question from 1630 to the present. As it turns out,
21H.206 American Consumer Culture (MIT)
This class examines how and why twentieth-century Americans came to define the "good life" through consumption, leisure, and material abundance. We will explore how such things as department stores, nationally advertised brand-name goods, mass-produced cars, and suburbs transformed the American economy, society, and politics. The course is organized both thematically and chronologically. Each period deals with a new development in the history of consumer culture. Throughout we explore both celeb
21L.704 Studies in Poetry: 20th Century Irish Poetry: The Shadow of W. B. Yeats (MIT)
William Butler Yeats occupies a dominant position in the lives and work of the Irish poets who followed him. We will explore some of that poetry, and consider how later poets, especially female poets, tried to come to grips with, or escape from, that dominance. As a seminar, the subject will place special emphasis on student involvement and control. I will ask you to submit one ten-twelve page essay, two shorter (five page) essays, and to accept the role of "leadoff person," perhaps more than on
21M.670 Traditions in American Concert Dance: Gender and Autobiography (MIT)
This course explores the forms, contents, and context of world traditions in dance that played a crucial role in shaping American concert dance. For example, we will identify dances from an African American vernacular tradition that were transferred from the social space to the concert stage. We will explore the artistic lives of such American dance artists as Katherine Dunham, Pearl Primus, and Alvin Ailey along with Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, George Balanchine, and Merce Cunningham as Amer
CMS.603 American Soap Operas (MIT)
The television landscape has changed drastically in the past few years; nowhere is this more prevalent than in the American daytime serial drama, one of the oldest forms of television content. This class examines the history of these "soap operas" and their audiences by focusing on the production, consumption, and media texts of soaps. The class will include discussions of what makes soap operas a unique form, the history of the genre, current experimentation with transmedia storytelling, the on
STS.036 Technology and Nature in American History (MIT)
This course considers how the visual and material world of "nature" has been reshaped by industrial practices, ideologies, and institutions, particularly in nineteenth- and twentieth-century America. Topics include land-use patterns; the changing shape of cities and farms; the redesign of water systems; the construction of roads, dams, bridges, irrigation systems; the creation of national parks; ideas about wilderness; and the role of nature in an industrial world. From small farms to suburbia,
21L.702 Studies in Fiction: Rethinking the American Masterpiece (MIT)
What has been said of Moby-Dick—that it's the greatest novel no one ever reads—could just as well be said of any number of American "classics" like The Scarlet Letter, Uncle Tom's Cabin, or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. This course reconsiders a small number of nineteenth-century American novels by presenting each in a surprising context.
STS.011 American Science: Ethical Conflicts and Political Choices (MIT)
We will explore the changing political choices and ethical dilemmas of American scientists from the atomic scientists of World War II to biologists in the present wrestling with the questions raised by cloning and other biotechnologies. As well as asking how we would behave if confronted with the same choices, we will try to understand the choices scientists have made by seeing them in their historical and political contexts. Some of the topics covered include: the original development of nuclea
17.202 Graduate Seminar in American Politics II (MIT)
This is the second in a sequence of two field seminars in American politics intended for graduate students in political science, in preparation for taking the general examination in American politics. The material covered in this semester focuses on American political institutions. The readings covered here are not comprehensive, but it is sufficiently broad to give students an introduction to major empirical questions and theoretical approaches that guide the study of American political institu
African-American Soldiers in the Civil War
'This is a brief introduction to the history of slavery and the black soldiers who fought in the civil war. Abolitionists had been pressing to put blacks into battle since the first shots were fired. Congress authorized their recruitment in 1862.' (Well-done amateur video with many slides and text, but no narration.)
For Love Of Liberty, African-American Soldier; 1866 -1940, Part 1
This slide show has fascinating antique photos of Black American soldiers in the Civil War. Most of the written information included on the slides are very small, so the viewer may want to open the slide show to 'full screen'.
For Love Of Liberty; African-American Soldier, 1866-1940, Part 2
This slide show has antique photos of Black American soldiers in the Civil War. Most of the written information included on the slides are very small, so the viewer may want to open the slide show to 'full screen'.
Major Battles of the American Revolution
Video accompanied by text. "In 1774, as a response to the Boston Tea Party, the British Parliament passed a series of acts, called the Coercive Acts. These acts crushed many of the chartered rights of colonial Massachusetts and infringed on the rights of the other colonies. Americans reacted with trade boycotts, and they also began to slowly unite and take political power into their own hands. Americans were not yet calling for independence, but formation of the First Continental Congress, combi