This seminar uses the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition held in St. Louis as a lens to explore the intersection of exhibitionary culture, nation building and history. In the second half of the 19th century, world's fairs became a fact of life in many parts of the world. By the end of the century, American historian and cultural critic Henry Adams argued there was indeed a "religion of world's fairs." These international expositions, as sites of pilgrimages not only informed people's perception of the world but also were ideal stages for young countries to showcase their achievements, to attract investors and to craft a national identity. Students will examine the rise of exhibitionary culture and the construction of patriotic histories and national symbols, the manufacturing of racial ideologies and otherness, and how these were all embedded in debates on civilization, modernity and progress. This course fulfills the history major capstone requirement as an Advanced Seminar.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM