U.S. history classes tend to spend ages on the Civil War and almost no time on Reconstruction — which is a problematic omission because Reconstruction is one of the most compelling, transformative, and (viewed with hindsight) heartbreaking periods of U.S. history. This was a period of progressive social, economic, and political change which made huge strides toward equality, which deserve to be celebrated — even though post-Reconstruction politics would undo most of them and paint the era as a political failure. We should talk more about Reconstruction — so we will! Click for details.
It’s creepy and it’s kooky, mysterious and spooky, and entirely fun to read — it’s American Gothic, a genre of literature that emerged in the United States as a particularly regional twist on traditional Gothic literature. We’ll look at how American Gothic explores the dark underbelly of U.S. history, including slavery, genocide, and environmental destruction, through works by Edgar Allan Poe, Shirley Jackson, Flannery O’Connor, William Faulkner, and more. Click for details.