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This course traces the history of modern conservatism in the United States, from the early 20th century to the present. Students will examine the key ideas, leaders, and social movements that fueled and defined the rise of the modern right, broadly construed. In the process, they will go beyond electoral politics, exploring the relationship between conservativism and American life more broadly – especially in the realms of race relations, gender and sexuality, religion, and capitalism.
Students will be asked to think historically, considering how the right rose from obscurity to political ascendance over the course of the 20th century. And they will be asked to engage theoretically, considering what (if anything) has defined conservatism in principle and in practice. In the process, they will examine such topics as Christian fundamentalism; anti-New Deal organizing; Cold War nationalism; the GOP’s ‘Southern Strategy;’ law and order politics; anti-feminism and the culture wars; neoliberal economics; and neoconservative foreign policy.
Format: seminar; This course will be hybrid -- accessible to both on-campus and fully remote students. It is designed as a seminar, in which course meetings will revolve around synchronous discussion. Remote learners will be expected to digitally attend and participate in those meetings through Zoom (or a similar program).
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
Participation in group discussion; five response papers (300-400 words); two essays (4-6 pp); final research paper (8-10 pp).
None, open to all students.
History and Religion majors.
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
HIST Group F Electives - U.S. + Canada