An introduction to the major concepts that animate American politics and culture. Students will study the historic and contested meanings of keywords such as freedom, equality, citizenship, racism, democracy, patriotism, tolerance, feminism, capitalism, and colonialism. Readings will be drawn from a range of fields including history, literature, media studies, political science, and LGBTQ studies. Primary sources for examination include both historic and contemporary newspapers, dictionaries, encyclopedias, short stories, social media, and popular culture. The course teaches students the art of close reading, the joy of rigorous debate, the skill of succinct writing, and the value of media literacy. Two class meetings per week.