Darwinism at the World’s Fair

Full Title: 
Darwinism at the World’s Fair: Investigating Progress, Marvel and Murder on the Eve of the American Century
Andrew Miller
Day/Time Taught: 
TR 5:00-6:15 pm
Course Number: 

Few events illustrate the crucible of change in Victorian America like Chicago’s 1893 Columbian Exposition. One of the largest single gatherings in history, this World’s Fair involved many visionaries and firsts like Nikola Tesla’s lighting designs that forever changed the use of electricity. Innovations in architecture and academia were also on display. For instance, social science pioneer Franz Boas demonstrated the advance of civilization through living anthropological exhibits. The Exposition was a celebration of all that Columbus had begun 400 years earlier. However, not everyone trumpeted positive notes. African Americans, suffragists and Native Americans challenged what they saw as a facade covering up oppression and injustice. Is it any surprise that America’s first psycho killer’s handiwork reached its zenith during the fair? Drawing from a rich mix of tension and marvel, this course uses a unique historical moment as an avenue for thinking critically about the past and present. Since World’s fairs ostensibly promoted a broader global understanding, this course includes hands-on experiences with world music, food, literature, and film. The ASU campus provides excellent opportunities for us to explore internationalism and innovation in degree programs like Sustainable Development and International Business.

Contact FYS

The First Year Seminar is part of the General Education Program located in Anne Belk Hall, Room 250.

Phone: 828-262-2028

Our mailing address:
First Year Seminar
ASU Box 32065
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608

Director of First Year Seminar:
Rick Klima

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