Social Class and Nostalgia in Trump’s America



It is often said that Donald Trump won the 2016 election by appealing to the part of the rural, white working class that felt left behind by globalization. While this claim is highly contested, it seems clear that appeals to class were an important part of his campaign. Trump’s claim to “make America great again” appeals to a return to particular jobs, industries and social hierarchies that have become outmoded. As such, it perhaps represents a nostalgia for the return of a class system that once was.
In this course, we will approach social class and nostalgia from a cultural perspective. We will engage with contemporary fiction, memoirs, film and theatre that represent class and nostalgia in America in a variety of ways.