Dartmouth College: In Fiction and in Fact

Last Taught: Winter 2018
Course Description

Dartmouth College, as both a setting and object of analysis, has appeared in numerous cultural objects as alumni, students, and those looking in from the outside have reflected on the intellectual and social life of the College. In this writing-intensive course we will examine the range of representations of Dartmouth in a variety of prose sources including memoirs, novels, and essays. We will write our own analyses of these texts before conducting historical research in Rauner, Dartmouth's special collections library. Along the way, well learn something about the history of our institution, differences between various student experiences, and debates over the past and future of Dartmouth College.

Why this Class?

For the past few years I have been teaching courses on the idea of the university and the ways in which the university has been represented in a variety of media. After thinking through the national problems that characterize the present crisis in higher education (rising costs, student debt, violence on campus, vocationalization, corporatization, and adjunctification and more), I wanted to create a course that would examine local manifestations of the contested visions of the university. My institution, Dartmouth College, has a rich history and archive of visual, textual, and filmic texts that offer examples of these contesting views. "Dartmouth College: in Fiction and in Fact" seeks to build upon what Jeffrey Williams and his students call "critical university studies" through an examination of our institution, our college. We look at both the "texts" that construct and critique the public imagination of Dartmouth as well as primary sources, objects within Rauner, our special collections library.

Sample Past Student Paper Titles: Reading List:
  1. Barreca, Gina. Babes in Boyland: A Personal History of Co-Education in the Ivy League. UPNE, 2005.
  2. Barreca, Gina. "Dartmouth College Then: 1975 in the Ivy League."
  3. Barreca, Gina. "A Dartmouth '79 Discusses That 'Rolling Stone' Article About Hazing."
  4. Calloway, Colin G. The Indian History of an American Institution: Native Americans and Dartmouth.
  5. Coffey, Mary. "The 'Hovey Murals' and the 'Greening' of Orzco's Epic of American Civilization"
  6. De St. Phalle. Anne. "The Ivy League Male As Seen by the Ivy League Female." 1969.
  7. Erdrich, Louis and Michael Dorris. The Crown of Columbus HarperCollins, 1991.
  8. Hill, Ralph Nading. The College on the Hill: A Dartmouth Chronicle. Dartmouth Publications, 1965.
  9. Hodges, Jane. '92, "A Bunch of Characters" Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. January, 1997.
  10. Hooke, David. O. Reaching that Peak: 75 Years of the Dartmouth Outing Club Phoenix Publishing, 1987.
  11. Horowitz, Helen. Campus Life: Undergraduate Cultures from the End of the Eighteenth Century to the Present. University of Chicago Press, 1987.
  12. Hovey, Richard. "Eleazar Wheelock."
  13. Hovey, Richard. "Men of Dartmouth."
  14. Hughes, C. J. '92 "Zoology: Does the World's Most Infamous Fraternity Deserve Its Reputation?" Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. May, 2014.
  15. Imbs, Bravig. The Professor's Wife. The Dial Press, 1928.
  16. Kreiger, Barbara. "The Alma Mater." Miraculously Builded in Our Hearts: A Dartmouth Reader. Edited by Edward Connery Lathem and David M. Shribman. Dartmouth College, 1999.
  17. Lohse, Andrew. Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy: A Memoir. St. Martin's Press, 2014.
  18. Latham, Aaron. "Of F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Movie 'Winter Carnival'"
  19. Maclean, Norman. "This Quarter I'm Taking McKeon" Norman Maclean Reader University of Chicago Press, 2008.
  20. Marks, Percy. The Plastic Age. The Century Company, 1924.
  21. Miller, Chris. The Real Animal House: A Mostly Lucid Memoir. Back Bay Books, 2006.
  22. "Dartmouth College Charter" 1769.
  23. Orr, Clifford. The Dartmouth Murders. Grosset & Dunlap, 1929.
  24. Quint, Wilder D. The Story of Dartmouth. Little, Brown and Company, 1914.
  25. Reitman, Janet. "Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy: Inside Dartmouth's Hazing Abuses." Rolling Stone.
  26. Shulberg, Budd. "The Disenchanted."

© Copyright by James E. Dobson