Inventing America: Ideas, Ideals and Ideologies


INSTRUCTOR: Jose Rodriguez


SCHEDULE: Tuesday, Thursday, 2:00pm – 3:15pm

Course Description

Since the inception of the United States, the concept of American democracy has been contested. While we were taught in elementary school that The Founding Fathers came together in Philadelphia to write the Constitution, we were not told how little they all agreed on as to what that constitution should contain. In essence, we’ve been inventing America from the very beginning. Recent changes to the political and cultural landscape have brought up age-old questions about American democracy, the extent of freedom of expression, and the defining values of the so-called American Character. Key to the invention of America has been the central role of public discourse. This course will offer a contribution to that civil discourse. We’ll be making our own attempt at inventing America and debating the various issues facing our society today. The course will take on a multi-disciplinary perspective and students are encouraged to draw upon their various disciplinary areas for contribution. Understanding society and government should not be left to only those who study political science or sociology. We all live in this society and should take some time to deliberate as to what it means to us and to others.