Print, Literacy, and Power in America to 1900
Three hours lecture per week. Focuses on European Americans, Native Americans, African Americans, and in the western United States, Asian Americans and Chicano/Latinos. The course explores the nature of oral and print societies as found in the focus cultures to assess the impact of the dominant print culture on oral cultures. This course satisfies the American cultures requirement.
This course uses contemporary print material to understand the interaction of print and oral cultures in America. It examines the role of print in shaping political policy, ethnic and religious identity, distribution of resources, and resolution of conflict. Topics include the definition and interaction of orality and print, Native American interaction with colonialist empires, African American and education, the bestseller Uncle Tom's Cabin, the newspaper of many cultures in West, the power of the image from woodcut to photograph to poster, the centralization of control of publishing in the emerging cities, and the role of print in emerging law on Chinese citizenship in the late nineteenth century.