Timothy Spears

Vice President for Academic Development; Prof, American Studies

 work(802) 443-5391
 Please contact Charlene Barrett to schedule an appointment.
 Old Chapel 401

Tim Spears has been a member of the Middlebury faculty since 1990. He received his B. A. from Yale University and did his graduate work at Harvard University in the History of American Civilization. Professor Spears has taught a wide range of classes, including courses on consumer culture, Chicago, regional and Southern literature, and football and higher education. He is the author of 100 Years on the Road: The Traveling Salesman in American Culture (1995), and Chicago Dreaming: Midwesterners and the City, 1871 to 1919 (2005). He is also a Senior Consulting Editor for The American Midwest: An Interpretive Encyclopedia,a large public history reference guide that Indiana University Press published in 2006. Currently, he is working on a history of college football, based on his family's participation in the sport.



Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

AMST 0295 - Across the Great Divide      

Across the Great Divide: Science, Humanities, and the American Landscape
The American landscape encompasses a diversity of built and natural environments. In this course, we will survey 200 years of history, using the tools of science and the humanities to understand how people have changed the landscape and how the landscape has shaped its human inhabitants. We will read historical, literary, and scientific works—and employ a variety of archival and aesthetic materials—to explore moments of transformation within four geographic regions: New England, the Midwest, the West, and the South. In so doing, we will arrive at an understanding of the interdependency of cultural and ecological history and the intersections between scientific and humanistic modes of inquiry. Readings will emphasize primary texts, and will include writings by Harriett Beecher Stowe, George Perkins Marsh, and photography by Dorothea Lange and others. AMR HIS NOR

Fall 2014, Fall 2015

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AMST 0300 - Everglades History and Science      

Reclaiming the Swamp: History, Science, and the Challenge of the Everglades
In this course we will survey the cultural and ecological history of the Everglades, starting in the early 19th century and culminating in current restoration efforts. A critically endangered ecosystem, the Everglades illustrates the concept of a “wicked environmental problem”: one characterized by high uncertainty and conflict over values. Following our historical survey of the Everglades, we will shift to a project-based investigation of the local and global forces that shape the region. Course materials will be drawn from fiction, art, historical studies, policy documents, and scientific literature. Students should be prepared to work collaboratively to engage a variety of primary sources. 3 hrs. lect./disc. AMR HIS NOR

Fall 2016, Fall 2017

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AMST 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

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AMST 0710 - Honors Thesis      

Honors Thesis
For students who have completed AMST 0705, and qualify to write two-credit interdisciplinary honors thesis. on some aspect of American culture. The thesis may be completed on a fall/winter schedule or a fall/spring schedule. (Select a thesis advisor prior to registration)

Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

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Program in American Studies

Axinn Center at Starr Library
15 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753