Washington DC is the center of American government. It’s monuments and museums serve as testaments to the triumphs, tragedies and contradictions inherent in the term “democracy.” Concentrating on the themes of race and American empire, this class will encourage students to see interconnectivity involved in the construction of public memory—particularly in the nation’s capital. What or who is included? What and who are excluded? And why? What are the ethical obligations inherent in the construction of public memorials? This is an experiential learning course that will introduce students to the major monuments, government buildings, and sites of general interest in national history and politics. Outings include visits to such places as Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, the Native American Museum, the Lincoln memorial, the Korean War memorial, the Holocaust museum and the newly established Smithsonian museum in African American History and Culture.
Taught by Professor Jessica Millward