HIS 102M-1: America in the 1980s


Cecilia Tsu






Fall Quarter 2017


This seminar examines the political, economic, social, and cultural history of the United States during the 1980s, one of the most tumultuous and controversial decades in popular memory.  Topics include the rise of a new conservative movement, the collapse of the Cold War, growing economic inequality, changing family and gender values, the impact of new influxes of immigrants and refugees, and redefinitions in popular culture in the era of action heroes, cable television, and MTV.  We will draw on primary documents—political speeches, newspaper articles, films, song lyrics, music videos, and fiction,—and consider the ways in which scholars have analyzed this recent history.  While we will devote the bulk of our attention to the 1980s, this course will also reach back to the 1960s and 1970s, as well as evaluate the continued legacy of the 1980s in contemporary America.