This course explores communication technologies and knowledge production in the antebellum United States, while introducing students to newer methods afforded by digital studies. By the end of the course, students will understand how people parsed information, talked, wrote, and signaled one another in the past. They will also understand how new tools help us to communicate both with other scholars and with the public today. Throughout the course they will engage in formal historical writing - historiography, primary source analysis, historical interpretation - as well as with the new opportunities for public engagement afforded by digital history.
We will examine both elite and non-elite modes of knowledge production and transmission, and how communication was used both to exert power and as a form of resistance. Over the course of the semester, students will engage with primary sources, historical monographs and popular culture representations of communication and knowledge production in America's past.
Satisfies a major requirement in History
Students entering 2012 and after: satisfies Historical Thought requirement
Students entering before 2012: satisfies History requirement
Satisfied an interdisciplinary minor requirement in Communication Studies