H330 Studies in the History of American Thought

Murphy American Countercultures

Winter 2001

Course Instructor: Daniel Murphy

Office Classic 312

Phone 7222, email - murphy

Office hours MWRF 111, MWF 1-2 and appointments

Course Texts: Miller, TROPIC OF CANCER; Kerouac, ON THE ROAD; Charters, BEAT READER; Burroughs, NAKED LUNCH; Kesey, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO"S NEST; Wolfe, THE ELECTRIC KOOL-AID ACID TEST; Hoffman, THE BEST OF ABBIE HOFFMAN; Warhol, THE PHILOSOPHY OF ANDY WARHOL; Stein, EDIE; Rechy, CITY OF NIGHT.

We will also watch some films, which will be available in the library.

Course Evaluation: Four 4 page paper exams, due Jan. 29, Feb. 21, March 19 and the final exam date. These will each be worth 20% of the course grade. 20% of the course grade will be based on class attendance and discussion. Because the course will be conducted as a seminar, attendance at every class session is important. Any unexcused absences will be held against the course grade. The instructor reserves the right to increase the proportion of the final grade based on attendance and discussion in cases of repeated unexcused absences.

Course Purpose: In this course we will study certain individuals and movements highly critical of mainstream 20th century American culture. The persons we will encounter helped define alternatives to the cultural status quo. We will examine these people in the context of their time, exploring the presuppositions underlying their ideas, and to a much more limited degree, the consequences of their actions. In doing so, we will address the important issue of defining the nature of a counterculture, and ask ourselves to what degree any counterculture is merely a distorted mirror of the larger society.

 

 

Jan. 8 Introduction

Jan. 10-15 Miller

Jan. 17-22 Kerouac

Jan. 24 Beat Readings

Jan. 26-Feb. 5 Charters

Feb. 7-12 Burroughs

Feb. 14 Burroughs Documentary

Feb. 16-21 Kesey

Feb. 23-March 7 Wolfe

March 9 Music

March 12-16 Hoffman; Film WOODSTOCK

March 19-23 Warhol

March 26-30 Stein

April 2 Movie

April 4-9 Rechy

April 11 PARIS IS BURNING

April 13 - Summary