Study the American Enlightenment, a Fall 2020 MA Course, with Professor Caroline Winterer of Stanford University

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and Pace University are pleased to announce that registration for Fall 2020 courses is open for the online Master of Arts in American History Program. We highlight here one of the five courses offered in the coming semester.

The American Enlightenment with Professor Caroline Winterer

Landscape watercolor painted by (Hiram) Ulysses S. Grant as cadet at West Point, ca. 1842 (Gilder Lehrman Collection, GLC07641)The Enlightenment is often associated with Europe, but in this course Professor Winterer will explore how the specific conditions of eighteenth-century North America—slavery, the presence of large numbers of indigenous peoples, a colonial political context, and even local animals, rocks, and plants—also shaped the major questions and conversations of the time. Students will examine how Enlightenment ideas directly influenced the American Revolution’s commitment to liberty, natural rights, separation of powers, and the pursuit of happiness, and how those ideas crept into almost every other area of American life as well.

Caroline Winterer, the William R. Coe Professor of History and American Studies at Stanford University, specializes in the era before 1900, especially the history of ideas, political theory, and the history of science. Her most recent book is Time in Maps: From the Age of Discovery to Our Digital Era (University of Chicago Press, 2020), edited with her Stanford colleague Karen Wigen. She is also the author of four other books, including American Enlightenments: Pursuing Happiness in the Age of Reason (Yale, 2016).

Read more about Professor Winterer’s work in this Smithsonian Magazine article and the short lecture below.

Register for the American Enlightenment course here.