My hope is that while the students follow a certain path I lay out, that I can also offer other directions from which to consider culture and doing so through a specific person would work well. As the official blog of the Society of US Intellectual History, we hope to foster a diverse community of scholars and readers who engage with one another in discussions of US intellectual history, broadly understood. As our primary goal is to stimulate and engage in fruitful and productive discussion, ad hominem attacks (personal or professional), unnecessary insults, and/or mean-spiritedness have no place in the USIH Blog’s Comments section. Colleges Substitute Western Greats With Gender Studies. I guess it’s been all downhill since Eliot introduced the elective system at Harvard way back when. The Manhattan Institute, of course, is place w a distinct agenda, and while I have no reason to doubt that that happened at UCLA (though the four rubrics, standing alone, don’t indicate exactly what authors are taught within them), it’ll be a fairly cold day in hell before I take the word of someone at the Manhattan Institute when it comes to vague generalizations about curricular trends. It’s a classic balance between existing practices and new approaches, not a replacement of Shakespeare and Chaucer with postmodern theory. Do you ever get tired of repeating these hack would-be culture warrior’s misleading claims? It just wants to glance much-too-briefly at a person’s here and now, and then take that information and use it to create unfair, misshapen, categorical lumps that misrepresent truth—not just about the group at large, but about each individual who’s been dumped there. America prides itself on always catching that first wave of change. And it’s also interesting that, by 1990, buying packaged culture—culture was commodity—was a form of criticism that intellectuals didn’t really bother making about the set. Don’t Look Back and Todd Haynes’s Dylan film then suggest themselves as excellent course texts. In the 1950s, the most prominent form of criticism was exemplified by Dwight Macdonald and was about taste, or perhaps aesthetics. That is the reason I chose three books on the institutionalization of taste; the challenge to that organization of taste in the 1930s; and the implications of such challenges across cultural controversies in post-1945 America. I don’t see any courses in the English department devoted to the Rolling Stones. I might be tempted to recommend it, even, as a course text. Is Too Much Expertise Bad For Leadership? Or maybe aesthetics and politics had more intersections in 1990 than I have previously thought? However…I am well aware how woefully inadequate this list is (even if you fill in the blanks) because it is based on particular people, most of whom wrote stuff down for publication. Speaking pragmatically, I think the documentary A Great Day In Harlem is really excellent for jazz, and Style Wars is truly amazing on the early years of hip-hop. Not that I share Weaver’s critique, but I wanted to see what students would do with and after someone totally trashed even the notion of Modern America. Inside TikTok’s Wild COVID-19 Vaccine as Christian Persecution Meme, The Spiritual Renaissance of Matthew McConaughey, Bianca Juarez Olthoff on the Power of Prayers of ‘Lovingkindness’, Introverts: Quarantine is Not an Excuse for Isolation, Gen Z Is Most Likely to Say Faith Has Been ‘Important’ During the Pandemic, John Maxwell: Your Life Can Be a Great Story, 3 Ways You Can Love Those Who Think Differently in Your Life, Decorating Your Apartment for Christmas on a Budget, You’ve Heard About Mental Health — Let’s Talk About Brain Health, Jon Acuff: Three Questions to Ask When You Hate Your Job. It’s a peculiarity of this kind of criticism, criticism that takes on the whole culture, that it is often misread. Join us 7pm EST for a new FREE #USIH2020 panel exploring 19thc #history. I once started off an upper-level Modern America course “in the middle of things” with Richard Weaver’s Ideas Have Consequences. Your course, from what you say, seems to lean more toward notions of culture involving aesthetics and cultural forms of expression, and less toward the broader anthropological form of cultural criticism represented by figures like Ruth Benedict, or the sociological version represented by Daniel Bell’s Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism. It doesn’t want the whole story, let alone the possibility of a new story. And because I write about movie culture, I want to show a few films to suggest how criticism can move across mediums and can comment on the medium it uses (I like using Errol Morris’s more quirky films). Technology to Write Lullabies, No, Jake Tapper Is Not Trying to Cancel Christmas, More Americans Are Going Hungry Now Than at Any Other Point in the Pandemic, Honestie Hodges, Whose Handcuffing Sparked a National Outrage, Has Died of COVID at 14 Years Old, Joe Biden’s Secretary of State Nominee Tony Blinken Once Went on ‘Sesame Street’ to Talk Refugees, Pfizer Is Submitting Its COVID-19 Vaccine for Emergency FDA Approval Today, 2020 Watch: Gritty Took the Enneagram and He Is an Eight, Well, Amazon Is Getting Into the Online Pharmacy Business, North Dakota Has the World’s Highest COVID-19 Mortality Rate, Al Mohler Has Made His Christian Case for Voting Trump, John Kingston: 2020 Could Be the Beginning of an American Comeback, It’s Time to Kill Our Culture War Mentality, Paris and Damascus Are the World’s Most and Least Expensive Cities, Report: Some Chinese Pastors Have Been Ordered to Promote the Government From the Pulpit, Trump Has Stripped Protections From America’s Gray Wolves, How to Avoid Apathy in a World Overrun by Causes, Earth Just Had Its Hottest September on Record, Caring About Climate Change Is Part of Loving Your Neighbor, Awful Prank Ends Up Being Pretty Wonderful, Dolly Parton, America’s Brightest Angel, Was a Funder of Moderna’s Promising New COVID Vaccine, Stop Taking Jeremiah 29:11 Out of Context, IKEA Takes the War on Women to a New Level, Al Mohler Says Trump’s Rigged Election Comments Are ‘Endangering’ His Legacy. American literature - American literature - Literary and social criticism: Until his death in 1972, Edmund Wilson solidified his reputation as one of America’s most versatile and distinguished men of letters. “Following a revolt of the junior faculty, however, during which it was announced that Shakespeare was part of the ‘Empire,’ UCLA junked these individual author requirements and replaced them with a mandate that all English majors take three courses in the following four areas: Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Disability, and Sexuality Studies; Imperial, Transnational, and Postcolonial Studies; genre studies, interdisciplinary studies, and critical theory; or creative writing.”, As Mac Donald put it, “In other words, the UCLA faculty was now officially indifferent as to whether an English major had ever read a word of Milton, Chaucer or Shakespeare, but was determined to expose students, according to the course catalogue, to ‘alternative rubrics of gender, sexuality, race and class.’”. Or pair it with sections of Brick’s book on the 1960s (but you did say you don’t want to do a bunch of scanning)…, Ray: I’m struck by how the primary responses to the publication of Britannica’s Great Books set track with your categories. “Until 2011,” she noted, “students majoring in English at UCLA had been required to take one course in Chaucer, two in Shakespeare, and one in Milton — the cornerstones of English literature. A cultural critic is a critic of a given culture, usually as a whole. If we want to be a nation that reveres history, let’s be a nation that considers every thread of it, celebrating what’s beautiful but also mourning what’s damaged and broken.

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