Instructor: Richard Friswell
Classes: Thursdays from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
April 30, May 7, 14, 21 & 28
The United States, as we have come to know it, is an invention. Like no other nation in the world, its settlers and founders had the luxury of being able to invent a culture out of whole cloth. Complicating this process, however, was the presence of indigenous cultures on the land we chose to occupy, and the importation of enslaved populations needed to realize Western European objectives. Central to the tenuous success of this country, though, was an emerging, shared belief in an idea—however mythologized—that of a series of principles and values could be set out in a range of documents, portrayals in art, literature and music. This course explores the evolution of a concept for nationhood, first anchored in 17th century European Enlightenment values, only to evolve as experimental communities—then colonies and states—coalescing into the coherent Republic we know today. The stages of growth over the last 400-years can best be summarized as the evolutionary attributions of The Laws of Nature; The Laws of Religion, The Laws of Man; And The Laws of the City. The cultural impact of art, literature, the written word (documents) and music will be factored into our understanding and appreciation for how we, as a populous, absorbed these overt representations of ‘who we are’ to become who we are, today.
Cost: $125.00 for members │ $150.00 for non-members
- The walk-in price for individual classes is $35 members / $40 non-members.
- No seat substitutes if you are unable to attend class.
Richard J. Friswell, M.Ed., M.Phil, is a cultural historian and associate director of Wesleyan University’s Institute for Lifelong Learning. He is publisher and managing editor of ARTES magazine, a fine arts publication. He is an elected member of the International Art Critics Association, and author of a collection of autobiographical short stories, Balancing Act: Postcards from the Edge of Risk and Reward. Friswell lectures and speaks widely on topics of modernism, its art, literature and history.