2008-09 Catalog

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Program Description

Looking Backward: America in the Twentieth Century

Last Updated: 02/02/2009

Fall, Winter and Spring quarters

Faculty: David Hitchens American diplomatic history, Gerald Lassen economics

Major areas of study include American history, economic thought, American literature and mass culture, writing, rhetoric and public speaking.

Class Standing: This all-level program accepts up to 25% freshmen as well as supporting and encouraging those ready for advanced work.

Accepts Winter Enrollment: This program will accept new students who have appropriate background. Contact faculty at Academic Fair or by email. New students should expect to complete some catch-up work during the December break.

Accepts Spring Enrollment: This program will accept new students who have appropriate background, on a space-available basis. New students should expect to complete some catch-up work during the March break.

The United States began the 20th century as a second-rate world power and a debtor country. The nation ended the century as the last superpower with an economy and military that sparked responses across the globe. In between, we invented flying, created atomic weapons, sent men to the moon and began exploration of the physical underpinnings of our place in the universe. Many have characterized the 20th century as "America's Century" because, in addition to developing the mightiest military machine on earth, the United States also spawned the cultural phenomenon of "the mass:" mass culture, mass media, mass action, massive destruction, massive fortunes – all significant elements of life in the United States.

Looking Backward will be a retrospective, close study of the origins, development, expansion and elaboration of "the mass" phenomena and will place those aspects of national life against our heritage to determine if the political, social and economic growth of the nation in the last century was a new thing or the logical continuation of long-standing, familiar impulses and forces in American life. While exploring these issues, we will use history, economics, sociology, literature, popular culture and other tools to help us understand the nation and its place in the century. Simultaneously, students will be challenged to understand their place in the scope of national affairs, read closely, write with effective insight, and develop appropriate research projects to refine their skills and contribute to the collective enrichment of the program. There will be workshops on economic thought, weekly student panel discussions of assigned topics and program-wide discussion periods. Each weekly student panel will provide a means of rounding out the term's work and provide students with valuable experience in public speaking and presentation.

Credits: 16 per quarter

Enrollment: 48

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in humanities and social science areas of inquiry such as law, journalism, history, economics, sociology, literature, popular culture, cultural anthropology and education.

Planning Units: Programs for Freshmen, Culture, Text and Language, Society, Politics, Behavior and Change

Program Revisions

Date Revision
November 25th, 2008 Winter enrollment field utilized.
February 2nd, 2009 Spring enrollment field utilized.