Dr. Andrew Wood
Office: HGH 210; phone: (408) 924-5378
We explore notions of "America" as an ideal place, focusing on utopian literature and community building as a social force in European and United States societies from the Puritan age to the Gilded Age. Starting with a brief introduction to John Winthrop's notion of America as a "city upon a hill," we explore literary depictions of this ideal place. Twin social conflicts form the backdrop of our analysis: (1) the wrenching transition from an agrarian economy to an industrial economy and (2) the growing sense that excessive individuality must be tempered through science and planning. Reading Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward, we discover Edward Bellamy's ideological response to the teeming cities and idiosyncratic visions of the good life that marked his age. We also interrogate Bellamy's social machinery as a seed of the technological and social disciplines imposed in the twentieth century. In our studies, utopianism and dystopianism meet in the public sphere that re-submerges the individual under the power of state.
Viewing: Frontline - Apocalypse
Notes: Key Concepts in Looking Backward
Notes: National-Socialism in Looking Backward
Supplemental Resource: The American Jeremiad
Supplemental Resource: Summary of Winthrop's "Model of Christian Charity"
Supplemental Website: Wood's Bellamy Resources
Off-campus webpages about the Puritans
Life of Anne Bradstreet - maintained by American Literature on the Web
Library of Congress, America as a Religious Refuge: The Seventeenth Century
Jonathan Edwards' Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God - maintained by John Mark Ministries
Christine Heyrman, Puritanism and Predestination
Phillip R. Johnson, The Hall of Church History: The Puritans
Maria Russo, Debunking the myths of the Puritans
Off-campus webpages related to Bellamy
Chicago Public Library, 1886 The Haymarket Riot
Gaslight, Edward Bellamy
Lucia Knoles, Edward Bellamy at the Lyceum
David Schwalbe, Haymarket Riot - more good background on labor issues in late nineteenth century
Note: These pages exist outside of San Jose State University servers and their content is not endorsed by the page maintainer or any other university entity. These pages have been selected because they may provide some guidance or insight into the issues discussed in class. Because one can never step into the same electronic river twice, the pages may or may not be available when you request them. If you have any questions or suggestions, please email Dr. Andrew Wood.