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Spring 2017
Monday 2:00-2:50 in 921/311
Wednesday 1:00-2:50 in 7/303

Patricia Peknik Office: 7

Haviland 318
ppeknik@berklee.edu Office hours:
M 1-2; W 12-1
FB-123/617-747-3101 & by

America from the Jazz Age to the MTV Age

The 20th century, often referred to as The American Century, was a

of turbulent transformation in which Americans were forced to rethink
their political ideals, their commitment to social justice, and their
definitions of art and culture. This course focuses on the "big ideas" in
American culture that shaped the nation's history from the Roaring
Twenties to the Radical Sixties and on into Reagans corporate
The course will help you place music culture within the broader context
of U.S. history.

READING: The following books, available at the Berklee bookstore are

The Sixties, Terry Anderson
Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression, Studs Terkel

The full text of the third required book is online. The book title is Only
Yesterday, An Informal History of the 1920s, and the site is:

Other materials, including historic photographs and links to

presidential speeches, will be posted under Shared Files.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Each student must write 2

papers, one at midterm and one at final, and take a midterm a final
exam. Each of these is worth 25% of the grade. Students who actively
participate in class by asking questions, answering questions and
making constructive comments in response to the reading or class
discussion will have their final grade boosted by one-half step.
Participation and attendance are not the same acts; no credit is
given for mere attendance, which is mandatory anyway, whereas
penalties are imposed for missed classes. There is no distinction made
between excused and unexcused absences; absences are
absences, and will be recorded as such. In the event of three or four
absences, I do not wish to intrude upon your privacy and will express
no curiosity about your whereabouts, nor will I tend to remember your
explanations; however, in the event of absences beyond four, those
absences will bear on the calculation of the final grade as follows: final
grade will be lowered by one half step for each absence
beyond four.

I pass the attendance sheet around during the first few minutes of
class, and collect it quickly, so if you are late, you may end up being
marked absent.

Should you be absent, please use classmates as a first resort regarding

summaries of missed lectures and announcements. Please consult the
syllabus before asking the sort of question that can likely be answered
by so doing.

You may NOT use your laptop or text. We would love to hear your
ideas, hopes, dreams and fears, but we dont want to watch you type
or scroll. As the hippies said, Be Here Now. If I notice you texting (and
trust me, I do notice), I will quietly mark you absent and your final
grade will be adjusted accordingly.

Berklees attendance policy is as follows: Berklee recognizes that its

students will be presented with professional opportunities, such as job
interviews, auditions for professional positions or graduate school, and
exceptional performance opportunities (including those sponsored by
Berklee). Students hoping to take advantage of such opportunities are
not excused from course assignments or deadlines, and are required to
discuss the ramifications of any related absences with their course
instructors in advance.

Kindly refrain from going in and out of the classroom during lecture and
discussion. The revolving door mood is extremely distracting. I take it
that you are equally confounded by people who come to your show
late, sit in the front row and text, leave halfway through your set, and
so on, so lets strive for the do unto others karma.


will not be given for this course except in the case of the death of a
parent or spouse, or grave personal illness that requires
hospitalization, and in either of those cases, only if the student is in
good standing at the time of the emergency. Both such circumstances
must be documented through the Counseling/Advising Center (ext.

SUPPORT SERVICES: ESL Tutors see the Liberal Arts office, room 334
in 7 Haviland; Center for College Writing and ESL room 110 of 7
Haviland; Counseling/Advising Center, 3rd floor of the Uchida Building
(921 Boylston)

ACADEMIC HONESTY: Berklee College of Music insists on academic honesty.

Unless the assignment explicitly is a group project, all of the work in this
class must be your own. The source of all information in any written
assignment must be cited properly, whether it is a quotation, paraphrase,
summary, idea, concept, statistic, picture, or anything else you get from any
source other than your own immediate knowledge--including the Internet.
Writers give credit through accepted documentation styles, including
parenthetical citation, footnotes, or endnotes; a simple listing of books and
articles at the end of an essay is not sufficient. Plagiarismnot giving proper
credit to a source and thereby passing off someone elses material or idea as
your ownis a type of intellectual theft and deceit and cannot be tolerated in
an academic setting. Plagiarism may result in a failing grade for the
assignment or course, and possible dismissal from the College. It is your
responsibility to be aware of and abide by the rules governing plagiarism,
fraud, and cheating found in the College Bulletin under the section "Honesty
in Academic Work and in Scholarly and Professional Practice." If you have
any questions about what plagiarism is and how to avoid it, please talk with
a reference librarian, ask a teacher, or refer to a writing handbook. Websites
that provide guidance on proper documentation of sources include:


CONTACT INFORMATION: Students are expected to check their Berklee

e-mail regularly, as that is the only way I can communicate with the
class about changes in class schedule or materials. I read e-mail daily
Monday-Thursday and respond quickly, but I ask that you refrain from
sending messages on weekends, as I cannot read or respond to
messages from Friday-Sunday.


March 13: midterm paper due

March 15: midterm exam:
May 8: final exam
May 10: final paper due

If there is a reading listed under a date, it means that you are to have
read that assignment by that class date, for discussion on that class

* * *
Monday, January 23: Modernism and popular culture

Wednesday, January 25: WWI and cultural pessimism

Monday, January 30: From libertines to the bread line: the party and
the Crash
Reading: Only Yesterday: The Revolution in Manners and Morals, ch.
5, and Alcohol and Al Capone

Wednesday, February 1: High living in low company: jazz and

Scenes from: The Lonedale Operator and the It Girl

Monday, February 6: Speculation and despair: Wall Street

Reading: Only Yesterday: Crash!, Ch. 13, and Aftermath: 1930-31, ch.
Scenes from: FDR
Wednesday, February 8: But if Roosevelt was living: The

Reading: Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression

Yip Harburg, 19-21
Ed Paulsen, 29-34
Frank Czerwonka, 35-38
Louis Banks, 40-43
Blackie Gold, 57-59
Arthur A. Robertson, 65-69
Jimmy McPartland, 69-72
Sydney J. Weinberg, 72-74
John Hersch, 75-77

Monday, February 13: FDR and The New Deal

Riding the Rails

Reading: Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression

Larry Van Dusen, 105-108
Scott Farwell, 136
Diana Morgan, 153-159
Win Stracke, 165-167
Alec Wilder, 176-178
Oscar Heline, 217-221
Carey McWilliams, 240-244

Wednesday, February 15: WWII and Brain Drain: American Art and

Reading: Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression

Gardiner C. means, 247-250
C.B. Baldwin, 254-262
Joe Marcus, 265-269
David Kennedy, 272-276
John Beecher, 277-281
Robert Gwathmey, 373-376
Little Brother Montgomery and Red Saunders, 377-379
Ray Wax, 454-458

Monday, February 20: Presidents Day no Berklee classes

Tuesday, February 21: Berklee follows a Monday schedule

Tuesday, February 22: McCarthyism and Reactionary Politics

Good Night, and Good Luck

Monday, February 27: The Physicists and the Cold War; HUAC; building
a wartime consensus through popular culture

Wednesday, March 1: Rebels Without a Cause: Youth Culture in the


Reading: The Sixties, Cold War 1945-1960 (introduction)

Monday, March 6: Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and the Free Speech

Reading: The Sixties, The Years of Hope and Idealism, 1960-1963 (ch.
JFK v. Johnson: Style v. Substance

Wednesday, March 8: Berkeley in the 60s: college campuses and social

Scenes from Berkleley in the 60s

Reading: The Sixties: The Pinnacle of Liberalism, 1964-65 (ch. 2)

Monday, March 13: Turning Point in Vietnam

Scenes from wartime: 1940s/1970s
midterm paper due

Reading: The Sixties, Days of Decision, 1965-67 (ch. 3)

Wednesday, March 15: midterm exam

----SPRING BREAK------

Monday, March 27: The Pivotal Year

Reading: The Sixties, 1968 (ch. 4)
Scenes from: 1968 (RFK)

Wednesday, March 29: The Counterculture

Reading: The Sixties: From Counterculture to Sixties Culture (ch. 5)

Monday, April 3: Yippies, The Chicago DNC

Scenes from: The Chicago 10

Wednesday, April 5: Underground Politics and the Crisis of Radicalism

Screening: The Weather Underground

Monday, April 10:

Reading: The Sixties: Days of Discord, 1969-70 (ch. 6)

Wednesday, April 12:

Reading: The Crescendo, and Demise of the Sixties, 1970-1973 (ch. 7)

Monday, April 17: Patriots Day no Berklee classes

Wednesday, April 19 Berklee follows a Monday schedule

Reading: The Sixties: The Decade of Tumult and Change (Legacy)

Watch: Nixons farewell to his staff (I am not educated, but I do read


Monday, April 24: The Me Decade/Cultural Malaise

Watch Carters Crisis of Confidence speech:


Wednesday, April 26: Reaganomics, the neoconservatives, and


Watch Reagans evil empire speech:


Monday, May 1: Postmodernism and its discontents

Watch Clinton's Farewell Address to the White House Press Corps:

Watch Clintons farewell to the White House staff:

Wednesday, May 3: Postmodernism in film

Monday, May 8: final exam

Wednesday, May 10: final paper due