Encyclopedia Brunoniana

American Civilization

The American Civilization program began in 1945 as an interdepartmental effort under a general committee headed by Professor Randall Stewart, and featured Stewart’s course, “Studies in American Literature,” James B. Hedges’ “History of American Economic Life,” Guy Dodge’s “American Political Theory,” and Hans Kurath’s “History of American English.” In 1949 a $36,500 grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York financed new courses in the history of science, philosophy, and art and architecture in the United States as aspects of its life and culture. The history of science course was taught by Donald Fleming, the history of philosophy by Vincent Tomas, and the history of art and architecture by Will S. Taylor. American Civilization, at first a graduate program leading to a master of arts or a Ph.D. degree, became an undergraduate concentration in 1949. The program continued to be administered by an interdepartmental committee, which has been chaired or co-chaired by Donald Fleming, William G. McLoughlin, Hyatt H. Waggoner, Barry D. Karl, John L. Thomas, George Monteiro, Howard P. Chudacoff, David H. Hirsch, Bruce A. Rosenberg, Barton St. Armand, and Wilson J. Moses, In 1988 the program received departmental status and has been chaired by Mari Jo Buhle and Richard A. Meckle.