American Holidays, Rituals and Celebrations


This seminar examines a variety of religious holidays and civic rituals in American history and culture. Topics include: public conflicts over Christmas, African-American emancipation celebrations, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Roman Catholic street festivals dedicated to the Virgin Mary, modern renderings of Hanukkah, as well as the memorialization of the Union and the Confederacy. Various interpretive approaches are explored, and the intent is to broach a wide range of questions about history and tradition, gender and race, public memory and consumer culture, religion and nationalism, through this topical focus on holidays and holy days.
Course Attributes: BU Eth; BU BA; AS HUM; EN H

Section 01

American Holidays, Rituals and Celebrations
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