Modernity and the Work of History|
This course examines the origins and implications of historicism, the modern practice of the writing of history as that of recounting the actual past. We shall begin with an investigation of the late-Renaissance lay humanist revolution, which made historical thinking possible with a shift from a purely theocentric interpretation of the social reality (where being was supernatural and timeless) to a secular (being within time) understanding of reality (if only partial). Related to this new narrative of history would be a representation of European society existing in a direct line of descent from Troy, what Richard Waswo has argued constitutes the "founding myth of Western civilization." The course will examine the transformations of the Enlightenment in which our modern understanding of history would be born, central to which would be the concept of objectivity as its raison d'Ítre. We shall also examine the transference of historicism to the U.S. context in the nineteenth century, which remained an indispensable element in the nation-building process. Moreover, in this respect, the role of the ideology of race will also be investigated in order to further elucidate the intellectual foundations of the historical enterprise.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
||Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Gillespie, Michael. HEGEL, HEIDEGGER AND THE GROUND OF HISTORY
Horsman, Reginald. RACE AND MANIFEST DESTINY: THE ORIGINS OF AMERICAN RACIAL ANGLOSAXONISM
Novick, Peter. THAT NOBLE DREAM: THE "OBJECTIVITY" QUESTION AND THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL PROFESSION
Pocock, J.G.A. THE MACHIAVELLIAN MOMENT
Ross, Dorothy. THE ORIGINS OF AMERICAN SOCIAL SCIENCE
Smith, John David. OLD CREED FOR THE NEW SOUTH: PROSLAVERY IDEOLOGY AND HISTORIOGRAPHY, 1865-1918.
Waswo, Richard. THE FOUNDING LEGEND OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION: FROM VIRGIL TO VIETNAM
Young, Robert. WHITE MYTHOLOGIES: WRITING HISTORY AND THE WEST.
|Examination and Assignments: |
Weekly response papers and final essay.
|Instructor(s): Eudell,Demetrius L. Times: .....F. 01:10PM-04:00PM; Location: CAAS LOUNG; |
|Total Enrollment Limit: 15||SR major: 5||JR major: 5|| || |
|Seats Available: 10||GRAD: 0||SR non-major: 3||JR non-major: 2||SO: X||FR: X|