Understanding the past as a record of human experience necessary for addressing contemporary problems.
This course examines major themes and events in the history of America from European colonization to the Civil War. The interaction among the cultural, political, economic, and social forces that shaped America during this period will be given special emphasis. We shall also search for possible parallels between past events and current circumstances. Topics to be covered include: the pre-Columbian settlements; Europe on the eve of colonization; cultural encounters in colonial North America; the formation of colonial society; revolutionary America and the framing of the Constitution; the growth of the party system; emerging industrialism and its impact on American society; cultural, intellectual and reform currents of the Early Republic; westward expansion; slavery; sectionalism; and the coming of the Civil War.
This course is designed to introduce students to some of the great literature of the modern world. Representative selections from the Middle East, China, Japan, India, Africa, Europe, and North and South America will be read and discussed. Students will survey a number of works, in a variety of literary modes, which both reveal something central about the particular historical period and culture in which they were written, and constitute a significant literary response to some of the eternal questions posed by all ages and societies.
The interpretation of the story of the Garden of Eden is often the source of contentious disagreement. Traditional and progressive religious traditions argue over how the biblical text should be read, while many people struggle to see the relevance to modern society of what may seem like nothing more than a fairy tale. This paper suggests that the tale of Eden be read as the story of a passage by Adam, Eve, and God through Erik Erikson’s first three stages of development. During their time in the Garden, Adam and Eve secure a sense of basic trust in God and their world, a sense of autonomy in their own capabilities, and a sense of initiative in their familial and social roles. By the end of their time in Eden, Adam and Eve are prepared to face a world of responsibility. So like children who have matured out of infancy, Adam and Eve are expelled from the paradise of early life.
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Assistant Professor of History
Paul A. Fideler
Professor of History and Humanities
Undergraduate Study Abroad
Foreign Languages at Lesley
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