HIST 459
The Culture and Politics of Neoliberalism Spring 2018
Division II
Cross-listed HIST 459 / AMST 407
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

Neoliberalism is, in essence, the belief that unencumbered market mechanisms will maximize prosperity and happiness. Over the past forty years this idea has come to shape the global economy, the ways governments function, and how individuals conduct themselves and view their relations with other people. However, political movements around the world have challenged these principles — pointing to growing wealth gaps, environmental destruction, and highly individualistic cultures that have developed in the wake of neoliberal thinking. This interdisciplinary course will provide students with a detailed understanding of the ways neoliberal ideology interacts with preexisting racial, gender, and global inequalities. We will begin by tracing the rise of “market fundamentalist” thinking in the fields of economics and public policy. We will rely on anthropological studies to assess neoliberalism’s effects on the Global South, and turn to sociological and media studies texts to explore its imprint on aspects of U.S. culture ranging from welfare provision, to education, and even reality television. The course will conclude by examining movements resisting neoliberalism and asking whether the rise of the Trump administration’s brand of right-wing populism signals the decline of this mode of governance and way of life.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 4163
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: attendance and participation; a written mid-term exam; one in-class presentation; research paper proposal; 12-16 page research paper
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: previous courses in American Studies, critical studies in neoliberalism or political economy, or permission of the instructor
Enrollment Preferences: American Studies majors
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
HIST 459 Division II AMST 407 Division II
Attributes: AMST Critical and Cultural Theory Electives
AMST 400-level Senior Seminars
AMST Space and Place Electives
HIST Group F Electives - U.S. + Canada

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