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This course investigates the origins, meanings, and
contested legacies of one of the most consequential
political documents in world history. What does the
Declaration of Independence declare? What did the
Declaration's language of equality, liberty, and rights
mean to its authors and earliest readers? How and why
have understandings of the document changed over time?
And what place do the words and ideals of the
Declaration hold now, 250 years later?
- Twelve lectures
Primary source readings to complement the lectures
A certificate of completion for 15 hours of
Readings: The suggested readings
for each session will be listed on the “Resources” link
on the course site. Please note that you are not
required to read or purchase any print materials. The
quizzes are based on the lectures.
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by signing into the Gilder Lehrman website. Click on the
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Classroom-Ready PD series.
Eric Slauter, Associate Professor of English and
Director, Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American
Culture, University of Chicago
Professor Slauter specializes in early American
cultural, intellectual, and literary history, with
additional research and teaching interests in a range of
fields and methods: legal history; the history of
political thought; book history; visual and material
culture studies; quantitative analysis; the history of
slavery, abolition, and emancipation; labor history;
environmental history; and Atlantic history.