Individualism and Success in Modern America, 1830-Present

3 credits

HIST 3230

College of Arts and Science

This course explores changing notions of individualism and success in American culture during the 19th and 20th centuries. Standards defining achievement, gain, and happiness for the individual citizen have evolved over time, and we will examine a wide variety of sources – advice literature, essays, novels, historical texts, plays and movies, political and religious texts, social criticism – to analyze this broad evolution. The resulting insights into a variety of historical issues and values, problems and possibilities, promise to forge a deeper understanding of what it has meant to be a successful individual in the United States over the last two hundred years.