CONN 358

The Mississippi River

Named with an Ojibwa word meaning ?Great River,? the Mississippi River is 2,320 miles long and its drainage basin covers 31 states and roughly 40 percent of the United States land mass. This course considers the river as an historical and imaginative site, a place where a diversity of people have lived, worked, loved, fought, and died, and also as a place that has played a role in the imaginations of those peoples. Investigations focus especially on the river as it shaped the United States and as Americans have constructed it, imagined it, and used it to tell stories about themselves and their nation. Students have the opportunity to explore contemporary issues facing the river and those whose lives are intimately connected to it. As a course meeting the requirements for the Connections core, the course takes seriously its employment of multiple disciplinary methods, and student have the opportunity to integrate their studies in scholarly and primary sources drawn especially from history, literature, film studies, environmental studies and African American Studies. As a course meeting the Knowledge, Identity, and Power requirement, in turn, readings, class discussions and assignments ask students to engage together in the consideration of issues of knowledge, identity, power, and disparity in the history, imaginings, and contemporary issues of the Mississippi River and its peoples.