The Age of Irony: 20th Century America

Fall 2014, Winter 2015 and Spring 2015 quarters

Taught by

English literature

What is history for? This year-long investigation of 20 th Century American history and culture will be organized around the pivotal roles of wars and social movements as shapers of American life and thought, especially the development of our sense of irony as reflected in politics and culture.  Fall quarter's work will focus on World Wars I and II and the Vietnam War. During winter quarter, we will study three key movements for social change: the Progressive movements of the early 20th century, the African American Civil Rights Movement of the mid-century, and the second wave of feminism of the 1960s and 1970s.  Students will write articles based on their own historical research and will publish them in a program web-zine.  During spring quarter's study of culture as history, we will see how these turning points were and are reflected in our cultural lives. This is an all-level program, ideal for returning and transfer students, especially those pursuing the “Upside Down” BA degree. It is a broad liberal arts program designed for students who want to improve their historical knowledge, research skills and (multi)cultural literacy.  We especially encourage those who would like a supportive atmosphere for senior-level project work to attend.

Credits may be awarded in twentieth-century American history, labor history, American literature, Geography, and academic writing.  It will be possible in our work over three quarters to meet some endorsement prerequisites for the Master in Teaching program.

            *We strongly encourage students to plan to enter the program in the fall and stay with us for winter and spring. Evergreen is unique in that it gives students the chance to be engaged with a complex intellectual project over time. By the concluding quarter of an all-year program, students amaze us with the quality and complexity of their work.

Fields of Study

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Evening

Advertised schedule: 6-9:30p Mon/Wed/Thu plus 1 Saturday per quarter

Final Schedule and Room Assignment


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Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online

More information about online learning.

Registration Information

Credits: 12 (Fall); 12 (Winter); 12 (Spring)

Class standing: Freshmen–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 50


Course Reference Number

(12 credits): 10002

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Accepting New Students

Course Reference Number

(12 credits): 20002

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Accepting New Students

Course Reference Number

(12 credits): 30002

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