After a three-semester hiatus from undergraduate instruction, I’m returning to the classroom this spring at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU). The plan is to teach a post-Civil War U.S. survey course.
I’m posting today in the hope of gathering suggestions on how to underscore the importance of U.S. intellectual history in a survey setting.
An obvious answer, when using a text such as Faragher, et al’s Out of Many, is simply to dwell longer on the subsections dealing with issues like the Harlem Renaissance, education reform, ethical issues, political ideas, literature, Progressive Era experts and intellectuals (including pragmatism), ideological aspects of WWI and WWII, culture critics, dissent, consciousness raising, the Culture Wars, etc.
But, what specific, practical things do you do? What primary documents have you found most useful? Which issues resonate the most with your students?
How can I subtly inspire another group of NEIU students to think about U.S. intellectual history after May 2008?!
Being fresh from your own semesters of success (hopefully!), I’m looking forward to your replies. – TL