Anti-Intellectualism in US Literature and Culture



Time and place

  • Thu 14:15-15:45, Room A 603 (Bismarckstr. 1) ICS

Das Seminar gehört in folgenden Studiengängen jeweils zu folgenden Modulen:

  • MA North American Studies: 4, 5
  • MA The Americas/Las Américas: 3b, 5, 7
  • BA English and American Studies: Hauptmodul A (für BA-Studierende ist eine Independent Study Group angeschlossen)
  • Lehramt Englisch an Gymnasien: Hauptmodul L-GYM Literature


Almost 60 years ago, Richard Hofstadter published |Anti-Intellectualism in American Life|, a study on US politics and culture that became a go-to reference. In the aftermath of the Trump presidency, with its populist outbursts, fake news and climate change denial culture, we critically revisit Hofstadter’s theses and ask about their tenacity then and now. Readings range from 19^th^-century literature and drama through contemporary political satire. We critically examine the intellectual types Hofstadter sketches, anti-intellectualism in frontier and founding discourses, gendered and intersectional perspectives in contemporary politics. Next to regular attendance and reading, in-semester tasks include reading responses and rhetoric analysis. The course credit will be awarded based on a final paper and on the Independent Study Groups tasks (for BA students).

Additional information

Expected participants: 20