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From Bradford to Obama: An Introduction to American Studies

Vak 2015-2016

Admission requirements

No admission requirements

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to read relevant primary sources, such as the Declaration of Independence, the American Constitution, and various other historical documents and classic texts in American culture.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

General learning objectives
The student can:


    1. organise and use relatively large amounts of information

    1. reflect critically on knowledge and understanding as presented in academic literature

Learning objectives, pertaining to the specialisation


    1. The student has knowledge of a specialisation, more specifically of
    • in the track American History American exceptionalism; the US as a multicultural society and the consequences of that for historiography; the intellectual interaction between the US and Europe;
  • Learning objectives, pertaining to this specific lecture series*


    1. 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

    1. The student has knowledge of basic research skills

Timetable

See Timetable and deadlines History

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

Course Load

BA History Year 2 Lecture – 5 EC
Total course load: 5 EC x 28 hrs = 140 hours

  • Lectures: 14 × 2 = 28 hours
  • Compulsory literature: 14 × 4 = 56 hours
  • Takehome assignment: 36 hours
  • Final exam (preparation): 20 hours

Part of Minor American Studies = 10 EC
Total course load: 10 EC x 28 hrs = 280 hours

  • Lectures: 14 × 2 = 28 hours
  • Compulsory literature: 14 × 4 = 56 hours
  • Takehome assignment: 36 hours
  • Boyer book
  • Final exam (preparation): 50 hours

Assessment method

The course will be assessed through two subtests, that cover all learning objectives:

  • Midterm examination: take-home examination (brief essay)
  • Final examination: final exam consists of multiple choice questions and open essay questions).

Weighing
Midterm examination: 40%
Final examination: 60 %

The final mark for the course is establised by determination of the weighted average.

Resit
Sudents are allowed to take again those subtests that were marked insufficient. The resit exam will take place on one single resit, at which both subtests are offered. For this resit three hours will be reserved, so that students will be able to retake both subtests, if necessary.
Please note that students can only take a resit when their final grade is insufficient. Subtests that were marked sufficient cannot be retaken.

Examination dates
For the date of the final exam, see: Rooster/aanmelding Geschiedenis (in Dutch)

Blackboard

Blackboard will be used in the course:

  • Part of the readings will be posted on Blackboard.
  • Questions about the lectures and reading materials can be posted on the blackboard site.

Reading list

BA History Year 2 Lecture course – 5 EC:
1 anthology of primary sources:
A Nineteenth-Century American Reader (AR2)
Note: some of the assigned primary sources are not in the reader, but can also be downloaded from the Blackboard site for the course.

10 ECTS, Minor Amerikanistiek:
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).
1 anthology of primary sources: A Nineteenth-Century American Reader (AR2)
Note: some of the assigned primary sources are not in the reader, but can also be downloaded from the Blackboard site for the course.

Registration

Via uSis

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte via: www.hum.leidenuniv.nl/onderwijs/alacarte
Registration Contractonderwijs via: http://www.hum.leidenuniv.nl/onderwijs/contractonderwijs/

Contact

mr. Dr. E.F. van de Bilt

Remarks

All other information.
This introductory course can be followed as BA lecture course for 2nd-year history students (5 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.