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