Amcon 202: Pursuits of Happiness, 1920-Present
Sophomore Year, Semester II
Amcon 202 examines the many ways Americans in the 20th and 21st centuries have interpreted a version of Jefferson’s famous phrase, “Pursuit of Happiness.” With ever more technological innovations and consumer products at their disposal, some interpreted the American dream in material terms. Others pursued a happiness that could only come by securing access to the rights and liberties that Americans believed they had fought for in World War II and after – equal rights for all American regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality.
At the same time, such pursuits of happiness took place against the backdrop of increasing fear – of communism, terrorism, economic insecurity, social change, and technological transformation. And all of these struggles played out in a new environment of mass media – television, popular music, and the internet. In the final course in the Amcon sequence, we ask: What kind of America have we inherited? What kind of America do we want to create?