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GH 101: The North in the American Imagination

GH 101: The North in the American Imagination

Where is “the North”? Is it a physical space? An imagined place? What defines the North? Resources? Opportunities? Weather? Boundaries? Frontiers? Limitations? What does the North mean to people who live there? What is it about the North that appeals to explorers, fortune seekers, immigrants, and environmentalists? What words, sounds, materials, images, signs, and symbols do writers, musicians, filmmakers, painters, and sculptors use to convey the North?

This course explores the idea of north in North America in history, literature, film, art, tourism, gender studies, anthropology, science, and geography, starting in Nicaragua and then moving north to Guatemala, Mexico, the United States, Alaska, Canada, and the Arctic. Students will explore the North in a topic of their choice in a 4- to 6-page paper or alternative project. Further requirements include active in-class participation, helping lead class discussions, contributions to group projects, and short writing assignments.

Instructor: Dr. Donald Maxwell

Professor Maxwell has been in ISU’s history department since 2011, where he has taught many courses in U.S. and world history. He is especially interested history of the 1960s and 1970s and people who emigrate from the United States. He is at work on a book about Vietnam War‒era draft resisters who moved from the United States to Canada. He has degrees in arts administration, library science, and history.

Please contact Dr. Maxwell if you have questions about this course.