R306 Summer 2020 The Declaration Deconstructed
Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, June 23–July 28, No class July 7
Instructor: Heather Dudley
The Declaration of Independence is the most read, listened to, and celebrated of our nation’s founding documents. It has inspired people from around the world and across time, from the French revolutionaries of 1789 to Ho Chi Minh. Both Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln claimed to be defending its principles. The Continental Congress approved the Declaration on July 4, 1776, and that event is now commemorated as the birthday of the United States. In this course, we will examine the narrative flow of Thomas Jefferson’s argument for independence. We will grapple with some important questions: What did Jefferson mean when he used words such as “equality,” “liberty,” and “happiness?” In what way was the Declaration an expression of the classical and Enlightenment philosophies that were of such great importance to the founding generation?
Heather Dudley loves the classroom. Her profession is teaching and her avocation is being a professional student. She taught history, economics, and psychology at Gonzaga High School for 20 years and is currently an adjunct professor of psychology at NOVA. She earned a BA from the University of Maryland, an MA from George Mason University, an MA from American University, and a doctorate from Georgetown University.