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American Studies - 3rd year


Introduction to the American experience, with particular emphasis on its significant values and institutions. The course examines the significance of social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental factors, as it explores ideas of individualism, success, and national character. It also analyzes representative figures from different historical periods to understand dominant values, beliefs and myths over time.



Objectives:

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

1. Analyze the origins and development of significant American values and institutions;

2. Recognize the impact of social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental forces that have shaped American development;

3. Identify representative figures and the ideas that have forged dominant American values, beliefs, and myths over time;

4. Recognize the transcendent values, institutions, and historical experiences that unite a heterogeneous people within a single nation;

5. Demonstrate appreciation of the range of sources (material from history, literature, the arts, and popular culture), illustrating the nature of inquiry in the humanities.

Topics:

Course topics will include the following:

1. Native American attitudes and beliefs

2. Puritan influence

3. Revolutionary ideals

4. Significance of the frontier

5. Industrialization

6. Gender and class in American life

7. Culture and technology

8. Ethnic/racial diversity

9. American religious beliefs

10. Mass media in the information age

Method of Instruction:

1. Lectures

2. Discussion

3. Small Group Activities

4. Student Presentations

5. Role Playing

6. Audio Visual

Types of Assignments:

1. Chapter length

2. Debates

3. Role playing presentations

4. Short papers, research paper

5. Individual projects

Sample Text:

1. From these Beginnings: A Biographical Approach to American History. 6th ed. Roderich Nash and Gregory Graves. Addison, Wesley, Longman Publishers, New York 2000.