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E-Seminars: E-Seminar Detail
 



E-Seminars in This Series

E-Seminar 2
The Search for a Scientific Culture


E-Seminar 3
Pragmatism and Its Critics


E-Seminar 4
Ethnic Pluralism


E-Seminar 5
The Intellectuals and the First World War


E-Seminar 6
The Rise of Consumer Culture


E-Seminar 7
The Culture of "The People"


 
Intellectual and Cultural History of the United States, 1890–1945
E-Seminar 1, The Crisis of Victorianism

Taught by: Casey Nelson Blake

Description
E-Seminar Description
Between the 1890s and the middle of the twentieth century, the United States underwent dramatic transformations. Our economic, political, and social landscapes changed irrevocably; so too did our intellectual and cultural life. In his nine-seminar series Intellectual and Cultural History of the United States, 1890–1945, Columbia Professor of History Casey Nelson Blake describes how Americans abandoned Victorian complacencies to confront secularism and science, pragmatism and pluralism, the rise of consumer culture and the shock of the Depression, and the international challenges posed by fascism, communism, and the emergence of the United States as a world power.

In this first e-seminar, The Crisis of Victorianism, Blake examines the reaction against Victorian values that took place at the end of the nineteenth century among educated young American men and women. He describes the anxieties and concerns of a generation of Americans who felt that their cultural inheritance no longer suited life in a modern, industrial society—and left them deeply unsatisfied and unfulfilled as human beings.

E-Seminar Length:3-5 hours
Start Date:Anytime
Credits:Not-for-Credit
Prerequisites:None
Moderator:None
Columbia Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni:FREE

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E-Seminar Objectives | Outline | Instructor's Background | Recommended Reading | Technical Requirements

E-Seminar Objectives
•   Learn how Americans in the late nineteenth century looked upon their past and future.

•   Understand the heritage of Victorianism and the limitations it imposed on men, women, and family life.

•   Gain an appreciation of how prominent turn-of-the-century men and women such as Theodore Roosevelt, Jane Addams, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman sought to transform both public and private life.


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Outline
1. Introduction
2. End-of-Century Anxieties
      Turner and the End of the Frontier
      The Threat of Change
3. Exhausted Legacies
      The Divorce of Theory and Practice
      The Victorian Mind
      The Doctrine of Separate Spheres
      The Younger Generation's Response
4. Toward a New Masculinity
      The Quest for Vitality
      The Example of Theodore Roosevelt
      Roosevelt and Public Life
5. New Roles for Women
      The Search for New Identities
      Jane Addams: Domesticating the Public World
      Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Professionalizing Private Life
6. Conclusion

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Instructor's Background
Instructor's Background
A native New Yorker, Casey Nelson Blake is Professor of History and Director of the American Studies program at Columbia University. He has also taught at Reed College, Indiana University, the University of Rome, and Washington University in St. Louis. Blake is the author of many works on U.S. intellectual and cultural history, including Beloved Community: The Cultural Criticism of Randolph Bourne, Van Wyck Brooks, Waldo Frank, and Lewis Mumford. In addition to his scholarly publications, Blake has published essays and criticism in the American Scholar, Commonweal, Dissent, the Nation, Tikkun, and other journals of opinion. He is currently writing a book on public art and civic culture in the United States.

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Recommended Reading
Hollinger, David A., and Charles Capper, eds. The American Intellectual Tradition: A Sourcebook. Vol. 2, 1865 to the Present. 4th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Fox, Richard W., and James T. Kloppenberg, eds. A Companion to American Thought. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1995.

Lears, T. J. Jackson. No Place of Grace: Antimodernism and the Transformation of American Culture 1880–1920. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.

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Technical Requirements
You will need to use a computer with Internet access to complete this course. We recommend the following minimum configurations:

IBM-COMPATIBLE PC
Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, or NT
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 4 or above (Internet Explorer 5 strongly recommended) or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

MACINTOSH
MAC OS 8.6 or higher
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 5 or above or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

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