The American Imagination: From the Puritains to the Civil War, HUMS 351a
Interdisciplinary examination of the uniqueness of the American experience from the time of the Puritans to the Civil War. Readings draw on major works of political theory, theology, and literature.
Admission by instructor permission.
Professor Anthony Kronman
Anthony Kronman is Sterling Professor of Law at Yale Law School. A former Dean of Yale Law School, Professor Kronman teaches in the areas of contracts, bankruptcy, jurisprudence, social theory, and professional responsibility. Before coming to Yale, he taught at the University of Chicago. Among his books are Education’s End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life, Max Weber, Contracts: Cases and Materials (with F. Kessler and G. Gilmore), and Lost Lawyer. His latest book, Confessions of a Born-Again Pagan, was published by Yale University Press in 2016. Professor Kronman received his B.A. from Williams College, and his Ph.D. in Philosophy and J.D. from Yale.
Professor Steven Smith
Steven B. Smith received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He has taught at Yale since 1984 and is the Alfred Cowles Professor of Political Science. He has served as Director of Graduate Studies in Political Science, Director of the Special Program in the Humanities, and Acting Chair of Judaic Studies and from 1996-2011 served as the Master of Branford College. His research has focused on the history of political philosophy with special attention to the problem of the ancients and moderns, the relation of religion and politics, and theories of representative government.
He is also the Co-Director of Yale’s Center for the Study of Representative Institutions (YSCRI) that focuses on the theory and practice of representative government in the Anglo-American world.
This course was previously offered in the Fall of 2017. Testimonials are taken from student course evaluations.
“An absolutely essential course for anyone interested in politics, philosophy, history, literature, or just America. Every lecture will inspire, excite, or challenge you – a must take.”
“ As a sort of “DS for America”, this course will truly expand your understanding of what, if they exist, are America’s core principles in relation to a national narrative.”
“ this course was the first time I’ve read most of these crucial American works seriously.”