Fall 2022, Fall 2023

Taught by Jennifer Tucker

This course examines the changing place of guns in U.S. society, from the colonial era through to the present day. Readings and discussions consider guns both as material objects involved in specific ways of life and as symbols and sites of contested meaning in American culture. Projects explore how guns have been, and remain, intimately involved with questions of race, gender, class, labor, capital, war, resistance, repression, vigilantism and ideas of freedom and self-defense. Special emphasis is placed on student research in local archives and museums in the Connecticut River Valley, the nation’s historical gun manufacturing center. This course is accompanied by a research lab (taught separately for .25 credit), designed for students to delve into an individual topic or project with the guidance of a research assistant, postdoc, and/or the professor. This lab will result in a research paper, a theater sketch, a short documentary film, podcast, art project, museum exhibit, oral history project, and/or other project idea to be discussed.