In answering questions for this final examination, all course material should be integrated into your answers. This means addressing content you encountered in course lectures, on weekly class websites, readings, assigned films, and class set lists.

PART I (30 Minutes): In the first 30 minutes of our final examination, we will simulate a city council meeting debate on whether or not the Astley Belt Race should be permitted to take place at Madison Square Garen during March 1879. Taper Hall will be transformed into Tammany Hall. Professor Barnes will serve as Edward Cooper, the Mayor of New York City (you might want to research some of his predilections to properly appeal to his sentiments). You will be the citizens and taxpayers of New York City (although if you want to develop a more specific identity you are enthusiastically welcome to do so). You will be assigned a team via e-mail pro or against the Astley Belt Race.

You are expected to collectively prepare an opening statement, a rebuttal, and closing arguments.

Issues you might explore include public safety, sanitation, technology, advertising, gender issues, race relations, sexuality, immigration, urbanization, class, religion, and the ultimate legacy the event established for American popular culture throughout the twentieth century. You will be evaluated on your personal participation during the live debate, as well as the overall strength of your team’s arguments and preparation.

PART II (30 Minutes): In the second 30 minutes of our final examination, you will work in a small group to create a mind map using paper, post-its, tape, images, markers, crayons, or whatever visualization tools you bring into the final to develop an in-depth and specific argument about the question below. You will be evaluated on your personal contributions to the mindmap during the final, how you convey mastery of key terms, as well as the collective use of class materials your team pulls in to your overall argument and evidence.

Mind Map Question: Mass entertainment, leisure forms, and American popular culture are often a reflection of contextually specific popular anxieties.  Identify THREE (3) of the most important sources or moments of American anxiety to have been channeled through entertainment forms between 1800 and 1970?  How did specific kinds of entertainment or culture embody, reflect, or otherwise address these anxieties or panics? Give examples. Did this anxiety lead to repression or innovation? Be sure to draw from lectures, assigned readings, films, images, class set lists, and multimedia in your answer.

Please note that you are required to address both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in your answer.

While there is no “correct way” to make a mind map, the video below might give you some ideas of how they typically work.

Part III (60 Minutes): In the final 60 minutes of our examination, you will be given an essay question to complete on your own. Please bring an empty blue book for this component of the examination.

Key Terms 

Below is a list of key terms to help you prepare for the examination and to use in your answers. This is not a conclusive list of the topics we have covered (song and photograph titles, for example, are not listed below).

  • Travelogues and guides for Northerners
  • New Orleans
  • fancy girls
  • musical skills
  • sexual consent
  • Cynthia
  • 1806 Louisiana Black Code
  • Metamora
    • Nahmeokee
    • Oceana
    • Walter
    • John Augustus Stone
  • Edwin Forrest
  • Indian Removal
  • Push-ma-ta-ha
  • King Philip’s War
  • vanishing Indian
  • Red Devil
  • Noble Savage
  • Colorism
  • Notes on the State of Virginia
  • Anti-literacy laws
  • Slave Trickster Tales
  • Br’er Rabbit
  • The Tar-Baby story
  • Slave (or Negro) Spirituals
  • The Chosen People
  • Jim Crow
  • D. Rice
  • Stephen Foster
  • Olio
  • Afterpiece
  • Interlocutor
  • “Oh! Susanna”
  • Zip Coon
  • Mammy
  • T. [Phineas Taylor] Barnum
  • American Museum
  • T. [Phineas Taylor] Barnum and James W. Cook, The Colossal P.T. Barnum Reader
    • humbug
    • publicity
    • Joice Heth
    • Feejee Mermaid
    • Tom Thumb
    • Jenny Lind
    • animal exhibits
    • living curiosities
    • What Is It?
    • Currier and Ives
  • The Penny Press / The Sun
  • Daguerreotype
  • Lithograph
  • Postal Holidays / Valentine’s Day
  • Christmas in Antebellum America
  • Juneteenth
  • Congo Square
  • Mount Auburn
  • Moon People
  • Mary Rogers
  • Flash Press
  • Bloomers
  • Comstock Laws
  • Lydia Marie Child
  • American Anti-Slavery Society
  • Gag Rule
  • Tour Itineraries
  • Calliope
  • Circus Families
  • Scott Joplin
  • Nina Simone
  • Electrification
  • The White City
  • The Midway
  • Aunt Jemima
  • Rough Dancing
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Kinetoscope Parlors
  • Jesse Owens
  • “Take the A Train”
  • Josephine Baker
  • Zora Neale Hurston
  • Harlem
  • Paris
  • Ida B. Wells
  • Double Consciousness
  • The Talented Tenth
  • Works Progress Administration
  • Skip James
  • Hallie Flanagan
  • Orson Welles
  • The Great Migration
  • Eugene Jacques Bullard
  • Gold Star Mothers
  • Rent Parties
  • Slumming
  • Panoramas
  • Rosie the Riveter
  • Perez v. Sharp
  • The Ricardos
  • The Petries
  • Juvenile Delinquents
  • Hound Dog
  • The White Washing of Rock
  • Goldstein, Playing for Keeps
    • volunteer firemen
    • baseball clubs v. baseball nines
    • male sociability
    • sporting weeklies
    • self control
    • paid admission
    • National League
    • Albert Spalding
    • female spectators
    • baseball segregation
    • reserve clause
  • Algeo, Pedestrianism
    • Edward Payson Weston
    • gambling
    • Daniel O’Leary
    • Frank Hart / “Black Dan”
    • Ada Anderson
    • pedestriennes
    • Madison Square Garden
    • doping
    • endorsements
    • anti-pedestrianism
    • pedestrianism’s decline
  • Kasson, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, Part I
    • William F. Cody
    • The Life of Hon. William F. Cody(autobiography)
    • Yellow Hand
    • Ned Buntline (E.Z.C. Judson)
    • color lithographs
    • Indian performers
    • “Custer’s Last Charge” show narrative
    • Nate Salsbury
    • European tour (1887-92)
    • Chicago World’s Fair
    • frontier thesis
  • Glenn, Female Spectacle
    • Sarah Bernhardt
    • the New Woman
    • Eva Tanguay
    • Trixie Friganza
    • Fanny Brice
    • Salome
    • Aida (Ada) Overton Walker
    • Suffrage movement
    • Inez Milholland
    • vaudeville
    • Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr.
    • Ned Wayburn
    • “the girls”
  • Kasson, Amusing the Million
    • Coney Island
    • Central Park
    • White City
    • George Tilyou
  • Radio Listening Environment
  • American vs. British Radio System
  • Jim Jeffries
  • Jack Johnson
  • Lomax Field Recordings
  • Carter Family
  • Border Radio
  • Article 231
  • Grand Ole Opry
  • Sister Rosetta Tharpe / Secularized Gospel Music
  • Recy Taylor
  • House Un-American Activities Committee
  • “Blah Blah Blah”
  • Motown
  • Politics of Respectability
  • Fannie Lou Hamer
  • The Movement
  • Interracial kisses (film and television firsts)
  • The 1963 March on Washington
  • Houston Convention
  • Car Culture
  • Ms. Magazine
  • Radical Listening

Movies That Can Be Used in Final Exam

  • W. Griffith, The Birth of a Nation (1915)
  • Frank Capra, Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
  • Charlie Chaplin, The Great Dictator (1940)
  • Don Siegel, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
  • John Ford, The Searchers (1956)
  • Robert Wise, West Side Story (1961)
  • John Frankenheimer, The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
  • Stanley Kubrick, Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
  • Amiri Baraka, Dutchman (1964)
  • Ken Burns, Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson (2004)
  • Morgan Neville, Twenty Feet from Stardom (2013)

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Rhae Lynn Barnes is a member of the Society of Fellows at USC and Assistant Professor of American Cultural History at Princeton (beginning 2018). She earned her Ph.D. at Harvard University and B.A. at U.C. Berkeley. She is the co-founder of U.S. History Scene.