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History

Core 132: The 20th Century: Global Perspectives

The Sinking of the RMS Lusitania

Abstract: On May 7th 1915, the Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat in the Irish Channel (RMS Lusitania). The sinking of the Lusitania is considered the main reason for the United States joining the war. In this paper you will read about why the Lusitania was built, the Lusitania itself, the fateful sinking of the Lusitania, why Germans targeted ships like the Lusitania, and why it caused the United States to enter the war.

Pages: 6-7

Grade: A

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HIST 4077: American Popular Culture

Masculinity and Modernism

Abstract: The period in which Eugen Sandow, Harry Houdini and Edgar Rice Burroughs lived was one of change. Americans were loosing hold on the beloved Victorian lifestyle and the defining characteristics of masculinity of that time. In Houdini, Tarzan, and the Perfect Man, John F. Kasson shows us the nude white male body as a symbol of self-attained power in this changing society. Kasson makes a compelling argument with these three - all exemplified self-attained power with their displays of manliness and restored hope to Americans faced with the confinements of industrialization and tiresome 'desk jobs'. These three men's bodies serve as icons of every man's own potential of success despite the end of the Victorian era and constant physical exercise.

Pages: 4-5

Grade: A-

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Hollywood, the Production Code, and Women

Abstract: The years between the rise in popularity of sound films, in the late 1920’s, to the enforcement of the production code, in 1934, marked an era of uninhibited expression in filmmaking. This same period in time calls to mind relaxed moral standards and a modernization of sexual ideas. These ideas about sexual behavior, unheard of only a generation earlier, became a popular way for women to have more freedom and power. In Complicated Women, Mick LaSalle sets out to prove how the constraints levied on films from 1934 until 1968 effected women's freedom to have power and be sexual beings. More specifically, Mick LaSalle shows the production code took away women's sexuality and power. Not only is LaSalle’s argument compelling but also after convincing the reader, he invites the reader to answer a new question: How might have film evolved without the code at all?

Pages: 4-5

Grade: A-

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Melodrama and Race

Abstract: Racial tension between blacks and whites in America no doubt arose when the very first slave-ship landed. In Playing the Race Card, Linda Williams argues that this situation serves as a seed for the most popular American melodramas of our time. Williams supports this claim with an array of popular 'stories'. I find a more accurate description of these stories as a popular topic rather than the central mode in American popular culture. As Williams intended, this book brought me to the conclusion that melodramas of black and white are one of the most popular in America. In addition, Williams brings to light the "Tom" and "anti-Tom" dialogue presented in all racial melodrama to date. Williams sees racial melodrama as being the primary mode of Americans ongoing discussion of race. Drawing from class lectures, I hypothesize that the popularity of black and white melodramas stems from the uniqueness of the subject matter American society.

Pages: 4-5

Grade: A-

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HIST 4091: History of China to 1600

Review of Family and Kinship in Chinese Society

Discription: A short book review of Family and Kinship in Chinese Society, by Maurice Freedman in relation to pre-modern China.

Pages: 5-6

Grade: 88

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