History professor Tore Olsson is combining his love for history and his love for games in a new history class at the University of Tennessee titled “HIUS 383: Red Dead America.” The class will use both Red Dead Redemption and its sequel as jumping off points to explore the 1899-1911 period of American history. In a Twitter thread explaining what the class’s syllabus will cover, Olsson admits that, taken alone, the games are “often historically inaccurate,” but still provide good jumping off points for the discussion of numerous historical issues including colonialism, racism, and the rise of monopoly capitalism. Though often historically inaccurate, the games skillfully broach a number of crucial historical issues in the 1899-1911 period, such as: — Tore Olsson (@ToreCarlOlsson) February 11, 2021 -The astounding inequalities in wealth that became obvious during the Gilded Age — Tore Olsson (@ToreCarlOlsson) February 11, 2021 -The memory of the Civil War and the making of the Lost Cause myth — Tore Olsson (@ToreCarlOlsson) February 11, 2021 -Stereotypes of Appalachian degeneracy and poverty alongside the reality of corporate extraction and dispossession — Tore Olsson (@ToreCarlOlsson) February 11, 2021 Olsson has credited fellow historian Jonathan S. Jones for inspiring him to develop… Read full this story
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