This page provides a detailed calendar of course readings, sessions, and assignments.

Course Schedule Information

Session Topic Readings Resources
1 Democracy and Tradition Jeffrey Stout, Democracy and Tradition, Introduction and Chapter 1
F.O. Matthiessen, "Method and Scope," from American Renaissance
Timothy Powell, Ruthless Democracy, "Introduction" (preview)
Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance"
Henry Highland Garnet, "An Address to the Slaves"
Walt Whitman, selections from Democratic Vistas

Handout: Major Types of Democracy (pdf)

2 Democratic Pasts Josiah Ober, "Historical Legacies: Moral Authority and the Usable Past"
Pericles's "Funeral Oration"
Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address
Daniel Webster, The Plymouth Oration
William Apess, "Eulogy on King Philip"

Library of Congress Exhibition: The Gettysburg Address

Gettysburg Address (video)

Lincoln's Legend & Legacy (video)

3 Foundations of Democracy Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Walter Benn Michaels, "Walden's False Bottoms"

The Thoreau Reader

Thoreau's Walden multimedia resources

4 Puritan Legacies and Jacksonian Democracy Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, through page 60 (Vol. 1)
Nathaniel Hawthorne, House of the Seven Gables
Judith N. Shklar, "Hawthorne in Utopia"
Edward L. Widmer, "Democracy in Literature"

5 Democracy and the Public Sphere Jurgen Habermas, "Social Structures of the Public Sphere" (preview)
Nancy Fraser, "Rethinking the Public Sphere" (preview)
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (Vol. 1-2

Democracy in America (online resources)

6 Transnational Spaces of Democracy Anna Brickhouse, "Introduction: Transamerican Renaissance"
Daniel Webster, Bunker Hill Monument Address, Speech on the Panama Mission
Simon Bolivar, "The Jamaica Letter"
Paul Gilroy, "The Black Atlantic as a Counterculture of Modernity"
David Walker, Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World

The works of Daniel Webster

7 Democratic Discourse Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, "Hegemony and Radical Democracy"
Iris Marion Young, "Inclusive Political Communication"
Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglass, "The Ottawa Debate"
Sojourner Truth, "Ain't I a Woman"
Frederick Douglass, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?"
Wendell Phillips, "Toussaint L'Ouverture"

The Lincoln-Douglass Debates

"What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" (Time Magazine article)

8 Mediating Democracy Harvey Graff and John Duffy, "Literacy Myths"
Harvey Graff, "The Nineteenth-Century Origin of Our Times"
Michael Schudson, "Click Here for Democracy"
Sandra M. Gustafson, "Margaret Fuller and the Forms of Sentiment"
Margaret Fuller, Woman in the Nineteenth Century
9 Democracy and The Book Jorge Luis Borges, "On the Cult of Books"
Walter D. Mignolo, from "Signs and their Transmission"
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
10 The Novel as Democratic Form Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin
Sandra Gustafson, "Democratic Fictions"
Jane Tompkins, "Sentimental Power"
Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture (multi-media archive)
11 Dramas of Race Eric Lott, "Uncle Tomitudes: Racial Melodrama and Modes of Production"
Dion Boucicault, The Octoroon
William Wells Brown, Clotel

Uncle Tom's Cabin on Film

The Silent Film Still Archive: The Octoroon

12 Outlaws in the Cultural Borderlands John Rollin Ridge, The Life of Adventures of Joaquin Murieta
Shelley Streeby, "Joaquin Murieta and Popular Culture"

Corrido de Joaquín Murrieta

"Murieta" (movie clip)

13 Dickinson and the Politics and Poetics of Medium Emily Dickinson, selected poems
Susan Howe, "Flames and Generosities"
Betsy Erkilla, "The Emily Dickinson Wars"
Martha Nell Smith, "Dickinson's Manuscripts"
Browse The Dickinson Archive
The Dickinson Archive
14 Whitman and the Forms of Democracy Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself" (1855 edition), "Salut au Monde," "I Sing the Body Electric," "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd," "Passage to India," "Prayer of Columbus"
Karen Sanchez-Eppler, Michael Moon, Allen Grossman, Betsy Erkilla, critical essays included in the Norton edition of Leaves of Grass
Kenneth Cmiel, "Whitman the Democrat"
Browse The Walt Whitman Archive
The Walt Whitman Archive


Move on to the Discussion Questions.


Citation: administrator. (2008, January 27). Calendar. Retrieved November 23, 2014, from Notre Dame OpenCourseWare Web site:
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