Introduction to American Studies
Tutor: Milena Katsarska
Mode of delivery: Face-to-face lectures and seminars, discussions, screenings of documentaries, tutoring, independent work, guided reading
Course place and status within the program
This is a core course runs for all majors containing an English component and its contact hours and credit workload varies according to different degrees.
For English Studies students: The course comprises 45 academic hours of contact hours (both lectures and seminars) during the Spring Term (Second term) of the academic year for second year students and awards 4 credits.
For Applied Linguistics (English and another language) and Linguistics and IT (English and another language): The course comprises 30 contact hours in lectures and seminars and runs in the Spring Term for first year students, awarding 3 credits.
For Applied Linguistics where English is a Second Foreign Language: The course is for second year students during the Fall Term and comprises 30 contact hours, awarding 4 credits.
Note: Lists of readings for different majors may vary, according to linguistic competence and credit weight
Students taking this course are expected to
A useful background to the course are previous courses in any of the following: Introduction to British Studies, Critical Theory, Critical Reading and Writing
Aims and objectives of the course
This course provides students with an introduction to key concepts in the interdisciplinary approach to American Studies and a general awareness of its disposition as a field. The focus will be upon trans-historical ideas that have structured the ideological field of the American imaginary, while at the same time enabling students to discuss and analyze their manifestations in texts of a variety of genres: fiction, philosophical essays, policy documents, court cases, etc.
By the end of the course, students will have:
To successfully complete the course, students should:
Mode of assessment
Active participation in seminar discussions and occasional oral presentations on a given topic/text – 40%
Quiz – 40%
Exam – Essay discussion 20% (the first two may lead to exam exemption)
Mauk, David & John Oakland. American Civilization: An Introduction. 5th edition, NY & London: Routledge, 2010.
Urofsky, Melvin I. ed. Basic Readings in US Democracy. USIA, 1994.
McDonogh, Gary W., Robert Cregg, and Cindy H. Wong, eds. Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Culture. London & New York: Routledge, 2005.
Campbell, Neil, Jude Davies & George McKay, eds. Issues in Americanization and Culture. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2004.
Campbell, Neil & Alasdair Kean. American Cultural Studies: An Introduction to American Culture. NY & London: Routledge, 2005.
Cincotta, Howard, ed. An Outline of American History. Washington DC: USIA, 1999.
Horwitz, Richard P. The American Studies Anthology. Washington, Delaware: A Scholarly Resources Inc. Imprint, 2001.
Kroes, Rob. If You've Seen One, you've Seen the Mall: Europeans and American Mass Culture. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1996.
Lane, Jack & Maurice O'Sullivan, eds. A Twentieth Century American Reader. Vol. 1 (1900-1945) & vol. 2 (1945 – present) Washington DC: USIA, 2000, 2002.
Sardar Ziaudin & Merryl Wyn Davies. Why Do People Hate America? London: Icon Books, 2002.
Youtube series Crash Course in US History, hosted by John Greene https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtMwmepBjTSG593eG7ObzO7s
American Corner at Plovdiv University website: http://files.slovo.uni-plovdiv.bg/amcorner/
Washington State University resources in American Studies: http://libarts.wsu.edu/amerst/
USIA electronic publications: http://usinfo.state.gov