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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 4
Ethnic Pluralism


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 5, The Intellectuals and
the First World War

Taught by: Casey Nelson Blake

Description
E-Seminar Description
The early decades of the twentieth century were a time of cultural innovation and intellectual ferment, when American intellectuals applied experimentation to everything from politics to family life, became acquainted with European modernism, and founded new magazines such as The Masses and The New Republic. But the United States' entry into the First World War revealed tensions between intellectuals devoted to experimentation, both personal and cultural, and those who supported the "progressive" goals of the war and the ordering of modern society by experts. In this fifth seminar of the series Intellectual and Cultural History of the United States, 1890–1945, Casey Blake explores the prewar intellectual scene and the repercussions of the President Wilson's decision to join the conflict in Europe. He describes the questions raised by Randolph Bourne about the moral and spiritual adequacy of John Dewey's pragmatism in the face of wartime crisis. The Intellectuals and the First World War is presented through text and streaming video of Professor Blake's lecture and includes illustrations, readings, biographies, 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 Alfred Stieglitz, Mabel Dodge, John Reed, and other cultural-political radicals who were responsible for the Greenwich Village "Little Renaissance."

•   Learn about the political views of Herbert Croly, Walter Lippmann, and others associated with The New Republic and their evolution into wartime political insiders.

•   Learn about the differences that the First World War exposed between two camps of American intellectuals.

•   Learn about how the Wilson administration orchestrated acceptance of U.S. intervention and the repression of opposing views.

•   Consider Randolph Bourne's argument that intellectuals should maintain critical distance from the corridors of power.

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Outline
1. Introduction
2. The Prewar Intellectual Scene
     New York as Cultural Capital
     The Cultural-Political Radicals
     The Progressive Intellectuals
3. New York's Little Renaissance
     New Journals, New Spaces
     A Culture Hero
     Key Events of 1913
4. The New Republic Group
     The New Liberalism
     Croly and the Presidency
     Lippmann and Weyl
5. The First World War
     The War's Divisiveness
     A "Progressive War"?
     The Prowar New Republic
     Total War, Total Destruction
     The Bourne-Dewey Debate
     Wartime Repression
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
Blake, Casey Nelson. Beloved Community: The Cultural Criticism of Randolph Bourne, Van Wyck Brooks, Waldo Frank, and Lewis Mumford. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990.

Fishbein, Leslie. Rebels in Bohemia: The Radicals of The Masses, 1911–1917. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1982.

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

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

Green, Martin Burgess. New York 1913: The Armory Show and the Paterson Strike Pageant. New York: Scribner, 1988.

Lasch, Christopher. The New Radicalism in America, 1889–1963: The Intellectual as a Social Type. New York: Knopf, 1965; Norton, 1997.

Menand, Louis. The Metaphysical Club. New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001.

Stansell, Christine. American Moderns: Bohemian New York and the Creation of a New Century. New York: Metropolitan Books


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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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