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RELIGION AND POLITICS (L57)  (Dept. Info)Arts & Sciences  (Policies)FL2017

L57 RelPol 3081City on a Hill: The Concept and Culture of American Exceptionalism3.0 Units
Description:This course examines the concept, history, and culture of American exceptionalism -- the idea that America has been specially chosen, or has a special mission to the world. First, we examine the Puritan sermon that politicians quote when they describe America as a "city on a hill." This sermon has been called the "ur-text" of American literature, the foundational document of American culture. Learning and drawing from multiple literary methodologies, we will re-investigate what that sermon means and how it came to tell a story about the Puritan origins of American culture -- a thesis our class will reassess with the help of modern critics. In the second part of this class, we broaden our discussion to consider the wider (and newer) meanings of American exceptionalism, theorizing the concept while looking at the way it has been revitalized, redefined and redeployed in recent years. Finally, the course ends with a careful study of American exceptionalism in modern political rhetoric, starting with JFK and proceeding through Reagan to the current day. Our last days will be spent discussing the rhetoric and legacy of American exceptionalism in the speeches of Obama and Trump. In the end, students will gain a firm grasp of the long history and continuing significance of this concept in American culture.
Instruction Type:Classroom instruction Grade Options:CPA Fees:
Course Type:IdentSame As:L98 3081  L14 3081  L22 3082  L23 3080Frequency:Every 1 or 2 Years / History
SecDays       TimeBuilding / RoomInstructorFinal ExamSeatsEnrollWaits
01-T-R---2:30P-4:00PTBAVan EngenNo final40407


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