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.
The Salem Witch Trials are one of those fascinating, what-on-earth-is-happening-here historical moments that capture our attention because they are so anomalous. We’ll approach this topic like historians, working chronologically through primary sources (including court transcripts) to explore the unique combination of cultural, religious, and political forces that contributed to this infamous period of U.S. history. Click for details.
This slender little novel is packed full of symbolism, psychology, and ideas about identity that were groundbreaking at the turn of the 20th century and that still have the power to shake up your reading life today. We’ll focus on close, careful reading, building critical reading and thinking skills as we explore this early feminist work. (Indignation about Victorian social roles for women encouraged.) Click for details.