“Hamilton’s America” will be taught by history professors Geraldo Cadava and Caitlin Fitz, who will “explore Hamilton the man as well as Hamilton the musical, attempting to account for its extraordinary contemporary resonance,” according to a university statement.
“Why has this past person’s life inspired such interest today, in a nation that looks so different from the one that Hamilton and his enemies knew?” asked Cadava, associate professor of history in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. “But the important point isn’t about Hamilton himself, but about the power of history to shape and reshape the world we live in today.”
“Hamilton: Bullets, Banks, and Broadway,” an interdisciplinary course, will be taught by legal studies professors Laura Beth Nielsen and Joanna Grisinger, with the help of faculty from theatre, African American Studies, communication, political science, School of Education, and Social Policy, English and history.
“I want to use this as a moment to showcase some of the extraordinary faculty on the Evanston campus,” said Nielsen, director of the Legal Studies program and professor of sociology in Weinberg.
Covering Hamilton’s life and politics, the course also will explore “early American notions of honor and masculinity, marriage and infidelity, freedom and slavery.”
Lecture topics include “Building a Constitution: Who’s Included and Not Included in the Story of the Founding”; “Dueling Culture, Reputation, and Honor in Early America and Today”; and “Founders’ Chic: What Would Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison, and Washington Think if They Were Alive Today? And Should We Care?”
Harvey Young, chair of the theatre department in the School of Communication and one of the course’s lecturers, said he hopes the class helps students appreciate the value of interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary thinking.
“Very few topics or issues are the provenance of a single academic discipline,” Young said. “The class reminds us of our similarities even as it introduces us to differing perspectives on a range of topics that commonly interest us.”
Hamilton plays the PrivateBank Theater in Chicago.