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Timothy Spears

College Professor

 work(802) 443-5318
 On Leave for 2020-2021 academic year - please email.
 Ross Commons Dining 009

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. He has taught a wide range of classes, including courses on consumer culture, Chicago, regional and Southern literature, the Everglades, and football and higher education. Spears is the author of 100 Years on the Road: The Traveling Salesman in American Culture (1995), Chicago Dreaming: Midwesterners and the City, 1871 to 1919 (2005), and Spirals: A Family’s Education in Football (2018). He was 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.  He is currently working on a photographic study of the national cemetery system. 



Course List: 

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

AMST 0215 - Football and Higher Education      

Football and Higher Education
Football originated on US campuses, and its 150-year history reflects the vibrant, uneasy relation between sports and higher education. The first "big time" college sport in the United States, football became a media spectacle in the 1890s, and since then critics have debated the game's violence, educational merits, commercial trappings, and bearing on college admissions policies. The course will move from the 19th century to the present, tracing the sport's cultural meanings, its relation to class identity and gender roles, and its educational mission, including the sport's regulation by the NCAA. We will take an interdisciplinary approach to these issues, and readings may include literary and secondary works by Steve Almond, Owen Johnson, Dave Meggyesy, and Michael Oriard. 3 hrs. lect. AMR HIS NOR SOC

Spring 2020

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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 2017

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AMST 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021

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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)

Spring 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Winter 2020, Winter 2021

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ENAM 0282 / AMST 0282 - Reconstructing Literature      

Reconstructing Literature: Realism, Regionalism, and the American scene, 1870-1919 (Pre-1900 AL)
American literature evolved in the late 1800s as a new generation of writers portrayed a rapidly changing culture, transformed by urbanization, industrial growth, immigration, class tensions, new roles for women, shifting race relations, and demographic transformations that seemed to split the nation into city and country. While realism was an effort to describe “life as it is” and regionalism focused on the distinctive features of specific places, both modes of representation stemmed from historical forces that were reshaping the nation. Works to be covered may include fiction by William Dean Howells, Charles Chesnutt, Sarah Orne Jewett, Kate Chopin, and Theodore Dreiser. 3 hrs. lect. AMR HIS LIT NOR

Fall 2019

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ENAM 0500 - Special Project: Lit      

Special Project: Literature
Approval Required.

Spring 2020, Spring 2021

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INTD 0420 / EDST 0420 - Senior Seminar/Liberal Arts      

Senior Seminar in the Liberal Arts
This course is for seniors who would like to reflect upon the meaning of liberal arts education during their final year at Middlebury. As a senior, what do you now understand to be the meaning and purpose of a liberal arts education? How have you chosen to engage the intersections between the intellectual and residential life? Through an interdisciplinary study of various “texts,” we will engage these questions and explore what a ‘good life” might be and how one might pursue such a thing after graduation. There will be opportunities for public speaking and oral presentation, as well as regular writing assignments. This class is not open to students who have already taken INTD/EDST 0210 Sophomore Seminar in the Liberal Arts. 3 hrs. sem.

Spring 2019

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Program in American Studies

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15 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753