This course aims at introducing students to the basic theories that led to the development of American Studies during the 20th century and hence to the development of Cultural and Atlantic Studies by looking at various primary sources. In particular, students: • Will study concepts, such as religion, identity, immigration, gender and sexuality, technology, popular culture, politics and so on • Will collaborate with a different member of staff for each thematic section • Will study both theoretical and literary texts.
Course Content (Syllabus)
The course aims at introducing students to the basic theories/trends that led to the formation of the field of American Studies in the course of the 20th century and then to the founding of Cultural and Atlantic Studies. It touches upon great diversity of themes (religion, gender, mass media/digital technologies. immigration, American South, puritanism and politics, political ideology) and texts: theoretical essays, fiction, drama, autobiographies, historical background information, reference to socio-cultural and political events, reference to big 20th century movements, attention to the formation of American Studies
Additional bibliography for study
Boorstin, Daniel. The Americans (3 volumes) (1958, 1964, 1974).
Campbell, Neil and Alasdair Kean. American Cultural Studies: An Introduction to American Culture (1997).
Howard, Philips, and Steve Jones. Society online: the internet in context (2004).
Kellner, D. Media Culture: Cultural Studies, Identity and Politics Between the Modern and the Postmodern (1995).
Kerber, Linda K. “Diversity and the Transformation of American Studies.” American Quarterly vol. 41, no.3 (Sept. 1989): 415-31.
Lynd, Robert Staughton, and Helen Merrell Lynd. Middletown: A Study in Modern American Culture (1956).
Manning, Susan, and Andrew Taylor. Transatlantic literary Studies: a reader (2007).
Marx, Leo. The Machine in the Garden (1964).
Mauk, David and John Oakland. American Civilization: An Introduction (1995).
Parrington, V.L. Main Currents of American Thought (1930).
Pease, Donald. The Futures of American Studies (2002).
Roth, Benita. Separate roads to feminism (2004).
Rowe, John Carlos. The New American Studies (2002).
Rutherford, J., ed. Identity, Community, Culture, Difference (1990).
Smith, Henry Nash. The Virgin Land: The American West in Symbol and Myth (1950).
Temperley, Howard, and Christopher Bigsby. A New Introduction to American Studies (2006).
Students also have access to online journal databases (JSTOR, PROJECTMUSE etc.)