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Products for grant FZ-231666-16

FZ-231666-16
Queen of the Muckrakers: The Life and Times of Jessica Mitford (1917-1996)
Carla Kaplan, Northeastern University

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FZ-231666-16

Literature in the Public Interest -- Muckraking and American Realism (Course or Curricular Materials)
Title: Literature in the Public Interest -- Muckraking and American Realism
Author: Carla Kaplan
Abstract: This course, on the “long Twentieth Century” of American realism and muckraking will consider the American muckraking tradition, as a literary tradition, with particular attention to the ways in which muckraking writers have employed rhetorical and realist techniques to persuade readers and engage audiences. Our discussion will begin with the question of why slave narrators are not considered muckrakers, using “cultural work” as an analytical framing device, and continue with some of the earliest works of the accepted tradition of American muckraking, such as Nellie Bly’s “madhouse” exposé (1887), Jacob Riis’s How the Other Half Lives (1890) and the American muckrakers associated with McClure’s magazine: Upton Sinclair, Ray Stannard Baker, Lincoln Steffens, and Ida Tarbell. Attention to a second generation of mid-century muckrakers will begin with social protest works which expose social conditions but are considered far from muckraking; Fannie Hurst’s sentimental stories (1916; 1925) and Richard Wright’s classic work of realism, Native Son (1940). With those works as a backdrop, our reading will then track two very different social activists, Rachel Carson (widely credited with instigating the environmental movement) and radical writer Jessica Mitford (whose advocacy of working and poor people earned her the honorific “Queen of the Muckrakers”). Our reading will continue with more recent works of popular muckraking, such as Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed (2001), Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation (2001), and Naomi Klein’s No Logo (2009), and conclude with issues raised by the recent case of The WikiLeaks Files (2015).
Year: 2016
Audience: Undergraduate

Literature in the Public Interest -- Muckraking and American Realism (Course or Curricular Materials)
Title: Literature in the Public Interest -- Muckraking and American Realism
Author: Carla Kaplan
Abstract: This course, on the “long Twentieth Century” of American realism and muckraking will consider the American muckraking tradition, as a literary tradition, with particular attention to the ways in which muckraking writers have employed rhetorical and realist techniques to persuade readers and engage audiences. Our discussion will begin with the question of why slave narrators are not considered muckrakers, using “cultural work” as an analytical framing device, and continue with some of the earliest works of the accepted tradition of American muckraking, such as Nellie Bly’s “madhouse” exposé (1887), Jacob Riis’s How the Other Half Lives (1890) and the American muckrakers associated with McClure’s magazine: Upton Sinclair, Ray Stannard Baker, Lincoln Steffens, and Ida Tarbell. Attention to a second generation of mid-century muckrakers will begin with social protest works which expose social conditions but are considered far from muckraking; Fannie Hurst’s sentimental stories (1916; 1925) and Richard Wright’s classic work of realism, Native Son (1940). With those works as a backdrop, our reading will then track two very different social activists, Rachel Carson (widely credited with instigating the environmental movement) and radical writer Jessica Mitford (whose advocacy of working and poor people earned her the honorific “Queen of the Muckrakers”). Our reading will continue with more recent works of popular muckraking, such as Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed (2001), Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation (2001), and Naomi Klein’s No Logo (2009), and conclude with issues raised by the recent case of The WikiLeaks Files (2015).
Year: 2016
Audience: Graduate


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