Syllabus for American Studies B1

USA-kunskap B1

Syllabus

  • 30 credits
  • Course code: 5EN721
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: English G1F
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2006-12-07
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Languages
  • Revised: 2015-06-04
  • Revised by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: week 01, 2016
  • Entry requirements: American Studies A1 or 30 credits within the humanities or social sciences disciplinary research domain.
  • Responsible department: Department of English

Learning outcomes

Upon completing the course, students will have a deeper knowledge of central features of the cultural and societal life of the United States, especially in the subjects of history, politics, mass media, and literature. Students will also have developed their ability to communicate in English, both orally and in writing, on the issues and problem complexes treated in the course.

The goals for each course component are given below.

Component 1. United States history (7.5 credits)
Upon completing the component students will be able to

  • show, in English, a good knowledge of selected themes in American history
  • analyse in English the factors and events that have influenced American history within these themes
  • analyse in written English a history text about the history of the United States.

Component 2. United States politics (7.5 credits)
Upon completing the component students will be able to
  • evince a good knowledge of some of the issues and problem complexes that characterise today’s US domestic and foreign policy
  • argue in English for or against a particular standpoint in a current issue of contention in US politics
  • analyse in written English a given text in English in the field.

Component 3. United States mass media II (7.5 credits)
Upon completing the component students will be able to
  • Give an account in English of the main features of several central media theories pertaining to American media productions
  • Discuss in English the historical and cultural conditions in the US during the 20th and 21st centuries of relevance to different mass media
  • Critically discuss in English the many different roles of US media in national and international contexts.

Component 4. American literature during the 20th century (7.5 credits)
Upon completing the component students will be able to
  • give an account in English of intellectual and cultural history behind a number of representative works from the 20th century
  • give an account in English of social and cultural conditions in the US during the 20th century
  • argue in English for their interpretation of a text with the support of the text
  • present an independent analysis in English, in essay form, of literary texts in English.

Content

The course consists of four components, each worth 7.5 higher education credits as shown below.

American History 7.5 credits

The component discusses selected important themes and problems in American history from both historiographical and analytical perspectives. The choice of themes can vary from term to term.

American Politics 7.5 credits

The component takes up some current problems in present-day US politics, such as the declining importance of parties, voter turnout, financing election campaigns, relations between the president and Congress, the power of the courts, and current US foreign policy.

American Mass Media 7.5 credits

The component discusses problems and issues regarding modern U.S. mass media. We read and discuss texts, study different forms of media and place them in their political, cultural, and historical contexts. Topics that may be covered include news assessments, cultural memory, visual culture, race/ethnicity and gender, popular culture, political communication, and the Internet.

American 20th-Century Literature 7.5 credits

The component comprises readings and discussions designed to elucidate, on the one hand, representative texts from the 20th century and, on the other hand, the cultural and intellectual background to these texts.

Instruction

Group instruction. Instruction, class discussions, and examinations in all components are in English. Special emphasis is placed on written assignments in the components. All course reading is in English.

Active participation in course seminars is obligatory. In cases of absence students will be given the opportunity to complete an extra assignment within the framework of the course period.

Assessment

Examination is both oral and in writing. Grades used are either Fail, Pass, or Pass with Distinction. To receive a grade of Pass with Distinction for the whole course, students must have achieved the grade of Pass with Distinction for at least three of the course components.

Students who do not achieve a passing grade on the regular examination will have another opportunity to take the examination within a reasonable period of time after the regular examination.

Students who fail a certain examination twice have the right upon request, following consultation with the head of department, to have another examiner appointed.

Transitional provisions

For transitional regulations in the case of changes in the syllabus, please contact the student adviser.

Other directives

Results that are more than five years old are normally not recognised if the syllabus for the course component has been changed.

If the syllabus or course reading for a component has been changed, students have a right to be examined under the original syllabus and course reading on three occasions during the following three semesters. Normally this right then expires. Otherwise there are no limitations on the number of examination opportunities.

The course may not be included in a degree if equivalent parts have been read within another course included in the degree.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 01, 2019

American History

  • Holsti, Ole R To see ourselves as others see us : how publics abroad view the United States after 9/11 [Elektronisk resurs]

    2008

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Nolan, Mary The transatlantic century : Europe and America, 1890-2010

    Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Tyrrell, Ian R. Transnational nation : United States history in global perspective since 1789

    Second edition.: New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • American Political Thought [Elektronisk resurs]

    University of Chicago Press,

    Vol 1, No 1 (spring 2012). Articles by James Ceaser, Patrick Deneen, Rogers Smith.

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • The American Economist : journal of the International Honor Society in Economics

    New York, N.Y.: 1960-

    62:27, 2017. Ramrattan, Lall B. "American Exceptionalism: An Appraisal-Political, Economic, Qualitative and Quantitative".

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Bender, Thomas. A nation among nations : America's place in world history

    1st ed.: New York: Hill and Wang, 2006

    116-181, chapter 3.

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

Photocopied material.

American Politics

  • The Articles of Confederation [Elektronisk resurs]

    Champaign, Ill.: Project Gutenberg, [199-]

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • The Constitution of the United States of America [Elektronisk resurs]

    199u

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Federalist Papers [Elektronisk resurs] ALEXANDER HAMILTON, ; Hamilton, Alexander; Jay, John; Madison, James; Shapiro, Ian

    Yale University Press, 2009

    No 10, 51, 78

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Mill, John Stuart On liberty [Elektronisk resurs]

    Raleigh, N.C.: Alex Catalogue, [199-?]

    Excerpts

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • O'Brien, David M. Constitutional law and politics. : Vol. 2 Civil rights and civil liberties

    9. ed..: New York: W.W. Norton, 2014

    Excerpts

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • O'Brien, David M. Struggles for power and governmental accountability

    Tenth edition.: New York: W.W. Norton & Company, [2017]

    Excerpts

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

American Mass Media

The course reading is compiled in a compendium supplied by the department.

American 20th-Century Literature

  • Williams, Tennessee; Browne, E. Martin A streetcar named desire

    [New ed.]: London: Penguin, 2009

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Lee, Harper To kill a mockingbird

    London: Vintage, 2004

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Morrison, Toni Beloved

    London: Vintage Books, 2005

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Villanueva, Tino Scene from the movie Giant

    1. ed.: Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 1993

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Foer, Jonathan Safran Everything is illuminated

    Penguin Books Ltd., 2003

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Hamid, Mohsin The reluctant fundamentalist

    [New ed.]: London: Penguin, 2008

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

Ginsburg, Allen. "Howl", "A Supermarket in California", "America" (handout)

Cisneros, Sandra. "Never Marry a Mexican" (handout)

Reading list revisions