This seminar approaches mainstream American journalism as an example of cultural modernism, an idea that was first proposed 20 years ago as a partial explanation for its rise during the Cold War period and its steady decline since then. But the insight has gone mostly undeveloped. In this course, we will explore mainstream journalism's style (impersonal, reproducible), its commitment to objectivity (a scientific way of knowing the world), its avoidance of vernacular discourse (preferring an artificial, official voice), newspaper layout and other design (spare, the use of white space), etc. Modernist architecture will provide much of our conceptual vocabulary. Students will carry out a semester-long project and lead discussions that bear on it throughout the term.