L311 Winter 2019 History of America in 101 Objects, Enhanced, Part 2
Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 24–Feb. 14
Instructor: Mark Weinstein
This is not your typical comprehensive American history course. This is a review and discussion of the Smithsonian Institution’s extensive distillation of over ten million objects in their collections down to the 101 objects that illustrate American history. An Atlantic Monthly article points out 22 of the 50 most significant inventions and discoveries that occurred since the invention of the wheel and that occurred in America between 1750 and the present. Some are in the Smithsonian list and the others are added. This is the second part of a two-part course, but Part 1 is not a prerquisite. Part 1 (1750s to early 20th century) was taught in fall 2018. Part 2 will cover mid-20th century to the present. The course will contain an overlay of chronological points. As an added benefit, many of the objects are displayed in the local Smithsonian museums. The course raises several questions: How do these objects fit in particular points in our history? Did they impact a majority of the population, the economy, or the government? Are they linked to other objects and, if so, what is their combined impact?
See L306 for instructor information.