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E-Seminars: E-Seminar Detail
 



E-Seminars in This Series

E-Seminar 1
The Crisis of Victorianism


E-Seminar 2
The Search for a Scientific Culture


E-Seminar 3
Pragmatism and Its Critics


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 4, Ethnic Pluralism

Taught by: Casey Nelson Blake

Description
E-Seminar Description
In recent years there have been lively debates in the United States about multiculturalism and diversity. But these debates are not entirely new—they echo those that occurred in the early decades of the twentieth century, when native-born Americans were faced with the arrival of millions of immigrants whose backgrounds were very different from their own. During these same years, African Americans, faced with the Jim Crow system in the South, began to urge recognition of their place in American culture. In this fourth e-seminar of the series Intellectual and Cultural History of the United States, 1890–1945, Casey Nelson Blake presents the range of early- twentieth-century responses to immigration. He discusses the arguments of American intellectuals, including Franz Boas, Horace Kallen, and Randolph Bourne, who became champions of diversity. He also looks at the important contribution that the African American intellectual W. E. B. Du Bois made to these debates about the meaning of American national identity. Ethnic Pluralism is presented through text and streaming video of Professor Blake's lecture and with visual material, readings, and a discussion forum.

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 about the various ways in which native-born Americans responded to the arrival of immigrants from eastern and southern Europe.

•   Note the difference in how the photographers Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine perceived and depicted immigrants.

•   Encounter the arguments that Horace Kallen and Randolph Bourne made against the Americanization of immigrants and in favor of cultural diversity.

•   Explore W. E. B. Du Bois's descriptions of African American consciousness and of the spiritual and artistic contributions that African Americans have made to American culture.

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Outline
1. Introduction
2. National Identity
     What Is an American?
     Reactions to Immigrants
     Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine
3. Champions of Diversity
     Backdrops to Debate
     Franz Boas
     Horace Kallen
     Randolph Boas
     "Trans-National America"
4. The African American Struggle
     Race and Citizenship
     W. E. B. Du Bois
     The Souls of Black Folk
     Double Consciousness
     Du Bois's Cosmopolitanism
5. 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
Akam, Everett. Transnational America: Cultural Pluralist Thought in the Twentieth Century. Lanham, Md: Rowman and Littlefield, 2002.

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

Hollinger, David. Postethnic America: Beyond Multiculturalism. New York: Basic Books, 1995.

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

Lewis, David L. W. E. B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868–1919. New York: Holt, 1993.

Lewis, David L. W. E. B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century, 1919–1963. New York: Holt, 2000.


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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 or more 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 or more 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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