Course Description Simplicitus

Engl 301-11 -- Virtual Americana: Studying American Culture 

Perhaps the most astounding educational opportunity provided by the World Wide Web is the availability of primary documents and sources of all kinds to the general public.  For instance, the American Memory Collection (http://memory.loc.gov/) of the Library of Congress alone contains more than seven million items from over 100 of the library’s collections.  Now everyone can do original research!  In this course students will plumb a different collection of Americana on the web each week with the aim of actively “doing history” rather than just settling for pre-digested knowledge from scholarly textbooks and lectures.  Students with special interests in a certain field or figure in American culture, or who have already identified a virtual collection of personal value, should contact Prof Gallagher early enough to influence the syllabus.  Teachers or prospective teachers will be able to explore web resources and develop class exercises or units.