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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

Adult courses

When American Culture Popped: A Story of Leisure, Consumption, and the Movies

Week 4: July 26-August 1, 2015

The registration period for this program has passed.
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The Ralph Janis Seminar in History

Glenn Altschuler, dean of the School of Continuing Education, the Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies, and an inspiring CAU leader, will set the stage for our examination of the birth of American popular culture in the first decades of the twentieth century.

He will focus on changes in technology, increases in leisure time, a societal shift from a culture of production to a culture of consumption, and the emergence of the film industry.

In lecture and discussion, Glenn will refine our understanding of stardom and the cult of individualism; the western in an urban age; anarchy, order, and the vaudeville aesthetic; all the news that fits; and personality, notoriety, and gossip.

In its own distinctive way, each of these subjects signaled a newly self-conscious sense of national identity—one that absorbs us still—about what we Americans do, what we like, and who we are.

Glenn Altschuler

Glenn Altschuler is dean of the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions and the Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies at Cornell University. He received his PhD in American history from Cornell in 1976 and has been... > more


Once you've registered, we'll send you materials on the academic program and other information to help you prepare for CAU. A $50 per person, per class, non-refundable deposit is required with your registration. All deposits are applied to the full program charges. Register now!

Program charges

Below are the program fees and housing choices for the on-campus summer programs. Please contact us if you have questions.

For those staying on campus, the program fee (per adult, per week) covers the course, lodging, sixteen meals, coffee breaks, hospitality hours, welcome and farewell parties, conference-lot parking fees, and use of most of Cornell’s campus facilities. Some courses have additional fees. Wednesday supper is on your own. Some campus facilities, such as the golf course, also charge specific user fees. Weekly program rates vary with the accommodation you select:

Program fee including on-campus housing and meals

  • Court/Kay Hall: double occupancy per adult $1,932, single supplement $100
  • Room w/private bathroom: double occupancy per adult $1,990, single supplement $150

Program fee for commuters and for those staying at Hilton Homewood Suites*: $1,115

*This fee does not include housing or meals. If you wish to stay at Hilton Homewood Suites, please call 607.266.0000 to make a reservation in the CAU block.

Commuter meal plan option: $425. Most CAUers staying at Hilton Homewood Suites select our meal plan for the week in order to enjoy the full CAU experience.