Plans are afoot across the US for a major upcoming historical commemoration: the 250th anniversary of our war of independence, our country’s creation story. Most of us took a course on the Revolution back a half century ago. It’s time for another look!
What have historians discovered in the last 50 years? What are most significant areas of research lately, and how do these inquiries change our sense of the meaning of the event? What new interpretations of that 18th century time period offer us insights that we lacked back when we first studied the Revolution? What factors have deepened and complicated our understanding of that time? Whose experiences and perspectives, once overlooked, have contributed to our grasp of complex situations and motivations in this period? How have the characters, concerns, and crises of our own time impacted the way we perceive those of 1775? What are some of the ways that communities across America will recognize and celebrate the Revolution - and why? The course will explore these questions, using excerpts from books and articles supplied by the teacher.
Instructor Jayne Gordon, President of Coastal Senior College, has taught many history-related courses for CSC. Her interest in the American Revolution began when she was a guide on Lexington Green at age 16, and culminated with her work as project director for three nationwide teacher institutes on the beginning of the Revolution (funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities) when she was Director of Education and Public Programming at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
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