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Course Information

Instructor Info:Robert Rakoff
Office Extension x5396
TA Info:Joe Olbrych
Term: 2013F
Meeting Info: Monday Wednesday
01:00 PM - 02:20 PM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 101
01:00 PM - 02:20 PM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 101
Description: Rural America is the site of much that defines American life and culture. Our national myths are rooted in rural experience from frontier settlement to rugged individualism to escape from the decadent city and back to the land. Our economy is built on exploitation of rural resources: soil, water, minerals, trees. Our cities continue to sprawl into the countryside, sparking dramatic change in rural populations, politics, economics, and landscapes. In this course we will examine the contested American countryside, looking for the changing meanings and realities of the rural in modern America. We will analyze the role of government and large corporations in reshaping rural areas, the continuing importance of farming and ranching, the role of extractive industries like mining and logging, the changing lives of rural men, women, and children, and the portrayal of rural topics in literature and popular culture. Students will study a range of interpretations of rural life and will undertake their own research projects.