American Civilization

April 21, 2009

Syllabus Changes

Filed under: PSAs — equiano @ 9:07 pm

As was announced in lecture today, the syllabus has changed. If this is slightly irritating for those of you who yearn for structure, consider that your professors’ occasional tweaks of the schedule indicate an on-going connection to the course. 


We will screen Hearts and Minds, an academy award winning documentary on the Vietnam War. 

Readings: Chapter 30 of the Norton; Tim O’Brien’s short story “In the Field” from the Heath


Lecture: ‘What’s Going On’ Is Not a Question: The 60s from the Days of Rage to Wattstax

Readings: A handout (provided in lecture on 4/23) culled from Weather Underground’s Prairie Fire; Levertov and Komunyakaa (Heath); “Letter from Birmingham Jail” & “The Ballot or the Bullet”.

My seminar: 

The due date for the final paper has been pushed back to 4/28. Remember, tempus fugit– so make the most of this opportunity.

It’s probably far too late in the semester to raise the issue, but if you don’t bring your book to class then why bother coming? Would you go to the pool without a swimsuit? Frankly, it’s getting pretty fucking annoying.

I urge you not to phone it in for the last weeks of class. This is deadly serious stuff, and your honest, diligent engagement with the course will profit you in ways far exceeding mere lucre. As we skid into the contemporary era in our studies, you may find useful tools with which to pry open many of the most perplexing aspects of the present. Passivity and alienation are, in the end, luxuries which most of the planet simply can’t afford. Which is to say: because we are here others are not. Others are flipping burgers, fueling jets, folding t-shirts, booting up, washing dishes, counting minutes. 

Good luck.

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