Accepting Nominations for the 2017 Dorothy Ross Prize The Society for U.S. Intellectual History (S-USIH) is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Dorothy Ross Prize for best article in US intellectual history by an emerging scholar (defined as […]
Society for U. S. Intellectual History 2017 Annual Book Award The Society for U. S. Intellectual History (S-USIH) is pleased to announce its Annual Book Award for the best book in U.S. intellectual history. The book should be a work […]
Call for Papers: “Histories of Memory, Memories of History” Society for U.S. Intellectual History Annual Conference Oct. 26-29, 2017 Plano, TX The Society for U.S. Intellectual History invites proposals for its 2017 conference, to be held Oct. 26-29, 2017 at […]
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For over a decade, I’ve begun my lower-division Honors course on American Social Thought with a simple exercise. After we go around and introduce ourselves, I ask the class to write down the first adjective that comes to mind when they think of the United States of America. I then go around the room, ask them to tell the class their word, and write it on the white board. When all the adjectives are on the board, I ask my students to tell me what they think the collection of descriptions they just generated says about America, themselves, and that moment in time.
I get all kinds of responses to this question. I ask them to write their words down first, because I don’t want them to be influenced by each other in the words they pick. Over the years, the collection of words has varied, fluctuating from more celebratory, to more critical as events ebb and flow. (more…)