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From Bradford to Obama: An Introduction to American Studies

Vak
2014-2015

Admission requirements

There are no specific admission requirements for this course.

Description

This course offers a survey of American history and culture from its colonial beginnings in the early seventeenth century to the present, and thus provides a basis for the study of the United States. The weekly lectures will focus on a particular theme, for example New England Puritanism and its cultural legacies, the emergence of a political party system, the reform tradition, slavery and the Civil War, an introduction to the history of Native Americans, African Americans’ struggle for political and civil rights, women’s history, immigration and ethnicity, the New Deal, and the emergence of the U.S. as superpower. To prepare for the weekly lectures students are required to read relevant primary sources, such as the Declaration of Independence, the American Constitution, and various other historical documents and classic texts in American culture.

Course objectives

The student can:

  • organise and use relatively large amounts of information

  • reflect critically on knowledge and understanding as presented in academic literature

The student has:

  • knowledge of a specialisation, more specifically of American exceptionalism; the US as a multicultural society and the consequences of that for historiography; the intellectual interaction between the US and Europe;

Course specific objectives:

The student has knowledge of

  • American history and culture from its colonial beginnings in the early seventeenth century to the present.

  • the American political system and to a number of central themes and concepts in U.S. history, such as republicanism, Manifest Destiny, and the ideology of domesticity.

  • historical debates about a.o. slavery, multiculturalism, and American exceptionalism.

  • basic research skills

Timetable

See course-schedule

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

  • Independent study

Course Load

5 ec: 140 hours:

  • 14 × 2 = 28 hours of lectures.

  • 14 × 4 = 56 hours compulsory literature.

  • 36 hours Takehome assignment.

  • 20 hours (preparation) final exam.

10 ec: 280 hours

  • 14 × 2 = 28 hours of lectures.

  • 14 × 4 = 56 hours compulsory literature.

  • 36 hours takehome assignment.

  • 110 hours Boyer book.

  • 50 hours (preparation) final exam.

Assessment method

Take-home assignment (40%).
Course objectives related to take-home assignment:
The student can:

  • reflect critically on knowledge and understanding as presented in academic literature
    The student has:

  • knowledge of a specialisation, more specifically of American exceptionalism; the US as a multicultural society and the consequences of that for historiography; the intellectual interaction between the US and Europe;

final exam (60%; final exam consists of multiple choice questions and open essay questions).
Course objectives related to final exam:
The student can:

  • organise and use relatively large amounts of information
    The student has:

  • knowledge of a specialisation, more specifically of American exceptionalism; the US as a multicultural society and the consequences of that for historiography; the intellectual interaction between the US and Europe;
    Course specific objectives:
    The student has knowledge of

  • American history and culture from its colonial beginnings in the early seventeenth century to the present.

  • the American political system and to a number of central themes and concepts in U.S. history, such as republicanism, Manifest Destiny, and the ideology of domesticity.

  • historical debates about a.o. slavery, multiculturalism, and American exceptionalism.

Final grade: weighted average

Resits can only be taken if the overall mark is insufficient. The take-home exam can only be re-sat if the mark is below a 5. For the final exam see the examschedule

Blackboard

During the course Blackboard will be used for:

  • A part of the readings

  • Questions about the lectures

  • Reading materials

Reading list

5 EC: 3 anthologies of primary sources:
An Early American Reader (AR1),
A Nineteenth-Century American Reader (AR2) and
A Twentieth-Century American Reader (AR3). Note: some of the assigned primary sources are not in the readers, but can also be downloaded from the Blackboard site for the course.

10 EC, Minor and elective students:
Textbook Eric Foner, Give Me Liberty: An American History (compact Seagull fourth edition, W.W. Norton 2013; available at van Stockum bookstore, Bol.com and Amazon.com).
3 anthologies of primary sources: An Early American Reader (AR1), A Nineteenth-Century American Reader (AR2) and A Twentieth-Century American Reader (AR3)

Registration

Via uSis

Information

dhr. Dr. E.F. van de Bilt

Remarks

This introductory course can be followed as BA lecture course for 2nd-year history students (5 or 10 ec) and as part of the BA-minor American Studies (minor Amerikanistiek, 5 + 5 = 10 ec). Students who take the course as 5 ects BA lecture course will be required to take a written exam on lecture notes and assigned primary sources and a take-home exam; students who take the course as part of the minor in American Studies or as an elective course (10 ec) are required to read both primary sources and the textbook (Foner, Give Me Liberty: An American History) and to take a written exam on lecture notes, assigned primary sources and textbook and a take-home exam. International students can opt for either the 5 or 10 ec option. Please also note that students who pass the course for 10 ec will receive 5 ec for 5772HAG01 and 5 ec for 5772IUIT1.