Myth and American History

Brought to you by Odyssey.

Feb. 9 to March 9 (five sessions), virtual
Wednesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. ET

What do we actually know about the American myth? How do we define it, who gets to shape it, and how does it affect the way we live today? Despite dealing with stories from over 200 years ago, these questions are urgent and important today. Societies select and promote information about their past to help people develop a sense of their history and identity. Much of this material is often overly simplified, half-true, excessively biased, or just false. It's often difficult to separate legend and popular misconceptions from historically accurate information. This course will explore why myths arose, the role they play, and what historians say really happened. It will attempt to assist students to think critically while challenging widespread misunderstandings. It will examine how popular culture, politics, and education influence our knowledge of the past. Historical topics will include myths of the county's founders; the old West; slavery, Civil War, and Reconstruction; American wars; and the presidents.

For more information and to register, click on the class's webpage.