This course examines the history of the Great Depression in the United States (1929-1941); its causes, especially during the 1920s; its legacies, both immediate and current; and its place in world history. The course emphasizes the economic course of the Depression, the political responses of the government (especially the New Deal), the development of social movements to defend the interests of various sectors of the society, and the cultural and artistic productions of the period. Particular consideration is given to the realities of the Depression for communities of color and for women. This course may be taken with an optional lab (HST 355L) for one additional credit. This lab extends the focus of the course beyond the history of the Great Depression strictly understood, into the realm of popular cultural understandings of that history. In this lab, students will study the ways that this history has been represented and "taught" in the popular media and in public discourse, and the ways that these representations themselves have impacted broader historical processes. Particular attention will be paid to depictions of this history in movies, television, print media, museums, musical productions, and various other types of performance. This lab will also attend to the ways that these depictions have shaped popular understandings.
HST 355: Great Depression in the US
RSC General Education Breadth: Humanities - History