The Gilded and Gritty: America, 1870-1912

Programs for Teachers
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Thursday, February 19, 2009 to Friday, February 20, 2009

Constructed around an online “toolbox” of texts and documents collected at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, participants in this seminar will discuss four themes that are central to the Gilded Age: City and Country, focusing on Arcadian mythology, urban realism, and nostalgia, Citizens and Others, especially immigrants, African Americans, and children, Work and Leisure, especially craft, industrialization, and consumerism, and Politics and the State, including party culture, populism, and progressivism. Within each thematic unit, we will be searching for characteristic sensibilities of the age, as manifest in public life, literature, and/or the arts. Across our discussions, we will try to identify those documents, questions, and exercises that might best enliven our own classrooms.

Seminar led by Leon Fink, University of Illinois at Chicago and Carl Smith, Northwestern University

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