This course takes morality and the question of “what’s right” seriously as a lens through which to understand and assess modern American history. “Morality” is, of course, a devilishly flexible rhetoric, a language invoked to tell people how to act and how to be good, or, conversely, to criticize and to shame. When the state or a community wants its citizens or members to be “good,” it crafts laws and creates customs to encourage or inhibit behaviors. This class examines how state and non-state actors have attempted to regulate the lived experiences of Americans and the conflicts that emerge over what, exactly, is correct, or right, or good for individuals, society, and the state. It interrogates what values the state impresses upon its citizens and what values citizens want the state to uphold.
- Spring 2016: taught by Dr. Ronit Stahl
- Fall 2017: taught by Prof. Marie Griffith
This course was a great opportunity to discuss current moral debates in an academic setting.
— Fall 2017
It helped me learn more ways to see the views of others and why they view things the way they do. This allowed me to question and change some of my own views.
— Fall 2017