(Some Of) Everything You Never Learned About U.S. History - Dr. Eva Swidler
((Some Of) Everything (Fall 2017))

(Some Of) Everything
You Never Learned About U.S. History - Dr. Eva Swidler


Fall 2017 M/Th 10:30-11:50 am

The U.S. history most of us learn in elementary and high school generally follows predictable patterns. We start with English settlement and the Founding Fathers, move on to Lewis and Clark and the Civil War, and often don’t get further than World War II. What does the history of our country look like if we learn about the Spanish settlements in Georgia 80 years before Jamestown was founded, or the French exploration of New England before the Pilgrims at Plymouth? How does the Civil War look different when we realize that the U.S. was a global late comer to the movement to abolish slavery? How many times has the U.S. invaded Canada? How has the story of American history that is taught in schools changed over the decades and centuries? In concert with this year’s all-school project of edges and hybridity, we’ll have a special focus on Native Americans’ influences on the U.S.: How did indigenous societies impact the Revolution and U.S. Constitution, or the evolution of women’s rights? Through diverse readings, we’ll analyze the American history we know, and think about the consequences that result when we broaden the national story. This course involves a wide variety of reading, including excerpts, chapters, and articles, as well as segments of several books. The class sessions are discussions, based on the readings. There will be several written assignments throughout the semester, but no in-class exams.