Art and the American Civil War
Margaret Storey, DePaul University
This seminar will explore the history of Civil War-related art, as well as the great rewards and challenges of using visual evidence in historical research and the classroom. Our central text will be the novel online exhibition, “The Civil War in Art: Teaching and Learning through Chicago Collections” (www.civilwarinart.org) funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art. We will examine a range of types of visual material–from photographs and newspaper sketches to paintings, color lithography, and sculpture–created both during and after the war.
N. Scott Momaday’s The Way to Rainy Mountain: A Journey in Storytelling
Ann Brigham, Roosevelt University
In 1968, Kiowa writer N. Scott Momaday won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel House Made of Dawn. That moment is often understood as the start of the Native American Renaissance, a period characterized by unprecedented publication of literature by American Indian writers. In this seminar, we will focus on Momaday’s 1970 work The Way to Rainy Mountain, a journey story in which he juxtaposes three perspectives of Kiowa culture, showing how this culture is a living, moving entity shaped by history, memory, language, imagination, and a sense of place. Taking a journey that is legendary, historical, and personal, Momaday conveys the multi-dimensional power of storytelling. Discussing these ideas and dipping into some of his other short works, we will also devote some time to student writing activities shaped by the themes of the literature.
The Religious Right in Historical Perspective
Chris Cantwell, Independent Scholar
Convention states religion and politics are the two things you do not discuss in polite company. But heading into this election year, they seem to be all that matters. In this seminar, we will bring some historical context to all of this punditry on religion and the American electorate by exploring the history of the Religious Right. Drawing upon a range of primary sources, we will consider the movement’s origins, its constituent parts, contentious development, and current fragility. Through text, photographs, and audio-visual material suitable for classroom use, we’ll discuss how to deepen our students’ understanding of the past through current events, as well as approach contentious issues with civility.