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Title: POLS 211-01, Politics and Literature, Spring 2008
Authors: Cullen, Daniel
Keywords: Political Science, Department of;Syllabus;Curriculum;Academic departments;Text;2008 Spring
Issue Date: 1-Apr-2008
Publisher: Memphis, Tenn. : Rhodes College
Series/Report no.: Syllabi CRN
Abstract: This course is devoted to literary expressions and examinations of American life and its animating principles. It highlights certain issues in American experience, lifting up particular problems or questions for special scrutiny; the course will inquire generally about how the American regime (the combination of ideas, institutions, beliefs, and mores) shapes American character for better or worse. The American experiment was bound up with the assertion of natural rights, and with a sense that this was somehow ��nature��s nation,�� a people capable of a new beginning and therefore, perhaps, of a more perfect social union. Some writers evoked the vision of an ��American Adam,�� and a new Eden. At the same time, the very dynamism and progressive spirit of American culture�� raised doubts about the harmony between nature and an increasingly technological civilization. Several of the literary works that we will read in this course dramatize the tension between nature and civilization, and consider various responses to it. Do individual and social happiness involve remaining close to nature or leaving it in the pursuit of mastery? Are those ends compatible, or is individual flourishing and personal identity somehow at odds with the perfection of social union? Another fundamental issue for us will be the scar of racial injustice and its lingering effects on the American psyche and society.
Description: This syllabus was submitted to the Rhodes College Office of Academic Affairs by the course instructor.
Appears in Collections:Course Syllabi

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