This biannual course is taught on years 2014-2015, 2016-2017, ...
Level B2 of the Common Europea Framework of Reference for Languages
The course studies :
1. the material reality;
2. political and social organisation (forms of government);
3. moral attitudes;
4. Cultural, intellectual, philosophical and religious life;
5. the hopes, failures and achievements of the communities in English-speaking countries.
The course studies the major developments and structures in politics, social relationships and culture, and introduces the students to contemporary life in the United States.
By the end of the course, students are expected to have acquired in-depth knowledge of the identity and culture of the United States.
The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
This course offers students a survey of American history in its broader conceptualization, taking into account cultural, artistic and memorial aspects. It asks the question why and how America remembers the past through monuments, texts or visual art forms that offer diverse modes of engagement with cultural production and politics. Starting from Nora's concept of "Site of memory" and American national/ethnic holidays, it attempts to understand the construction and Americanness of America.
The class is organized around 10 modules: 1. Introduction. American Icons Contested. 2. Columbus Day & American Beginnings: Plurality & Unity 3. Manifest Destiny and Westward expansion. The Frontier. 4. Kwanza & MLK Day: slavery, civil war and the Civil Right's movement 5. St Patrick’s Day: Immigrants and New Comers. Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression, Prohibition Years and the urban experience. 6. Memorial Day & Veterans day: WWI & WWII 7. American comics and politics 8. Apocalypse Now: The cold war, the Vietnam War and 1980s 9. American interventionism, the Gulf War and 9/11. 10. US & Climate change debates.
Teaching method: formal lectures, personal readings, museum visits.
Assessment: written exam.
Study aids: course book, text syllabus, video extracts of films, documentaries and archives.