Introduction to American Studies

a kurzus adatai

a kurzus címe

Introduction to American Studies

az oktató neve

Cristian Réka Mónika

a kurzus kódja


az óra helye

2018 ősze

az óra időpontja


a kurzus leírása

rövid (300–500 karakteres) szöveges leírás

The course aims to present the connections between the field(s) of cultural studies and the American experience. We will examine the tensions that exist within the multifaceted and heterogeneous cultural mix of American life (gender, sexuality, youth, race, religion, American distinctiveness, art, literature, film, architecture, music, etc.) initiating students into multiple intriguing contexts that best describe the past and recent discourses of America. The tools for introspection include items of global and local culture, objects of everyday use and art making, kitsch and commerce, politics and identity, representations of personal histories and cultures, of relationships perceived in the designs and forms of different sets of artefacts, and the way they relate to organizing principles that tie a whole society together, and how, over time and individual responses, these shift. The goals of the course: 1) to develop interdisciplinary research skills in the domain of American studies; 2) to understand how seemingly unimportant cultural changes of everyday life can be used as tools in the academic interpretation of a given culture as such; 3) to evaluate and synthesize popular culture within American studies. Since this lecture is an interdisciplinary introduction to American culture we will also scrutinize current and older, that is, more “traditional” major fields, methodologies, themes, and topics of the discipline with a view on the wide array of other disciplines (anthropology, cultural studies, literary studies, history, sociology, and so on) that recent American studies have relied on, borrowed from, or appropriated in our current practice.

részletes (hetekre bontott) tematika

Weekly schedule:

1-2 weeks: What is American studies? Introduction (Campbell and Kean 1-19 + Evans). American English (based on Zoltán Kövecses’s American English. An Introduction, Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2000). British vs. American: How We Do It (YouTube ). America and the Environment.

3-4. week: New beginnings: American culture and identity (Garreau + Campbell and Kean 20-43 + Woodard). The Declaration of Independence (2009 YouTube:, Gettysburg Address (YouTube:, Declaration of Sentiments and the Seneca Convention (YouTube: ),

Inaugural addresses of US Presidents (a YouTube selection of John F. Kennedy , Ronald Reagan , Bill Clinton , George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump inaugural speeches)

5. week: Ethnicity and immigration: Between many worlds (Campbell and Kean 44-73). The Immigration History of the USA (TDC documentary on YouTube:, Growth, Cities and Immigration Crash Course nr. 25 (YouTube:

6. week: African Americans. Issues of gender and sexuality (Campbell and Kean 74-99 and 189-214). Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream” speech (YouTube:, Malcolm X “Who Taught You to Hate Yourself?” (YouTube:, Women’s Suffrage Crash Course nr. 31 (YouTube:, Women’s Movement in the USA 1950s and 1960s (YouTube:, The Sixties in America Crash Course nr. 40 (YouTube:

7. week: Religion in American life (Campbell and Kean 100-123). Religious tolerance in America (YouTube:, When is Thanksgiving? Colonizing America Crash Course nr. 2 (YouTube:, The First great Awakening (YouTube: ), The Second Great Awakening (YouTube:

8-10 weeks: Approaches to regionalism I. (Campbell and Kean 124-139 + Stephen Fry in America, 2008, Episode: „True West”). Frederick Jackson Turner “The Significance of the Frontier in American History” (YouTube: Approaches to regionalism II. (Campbell and Kean 140-161 + Stephen Fry in America, 2008, Episode: „Deep South”). Approaches to regionalism III. (Stephen Fry in America, 2008, „Mountains and Plains” episode; and selected parts from Dave Gorman’s Unchained America: A Freewheeling Roadtrip in Search of Non-Corporate USA, 2008). Discussion.

11. week: Representing youth (Campbell and Kean 215-241). The American city (Campbell and Kean 156-183). Ice –T Freedom of Speech (YouTube: and an updated selection of music videoclips from YouTube; Buffalo, America’s the Best Designed City (YouTube:

12. week: Beyond American borders (Campbell and Kean 20-43 + selections from Jean Baudrillard’s America, 1986/1998). The Cold War (YouTube:, The History of NATO (YouTube:, Foreign Policy (YouTube:

13-14. weeks: Technology and media cultures (Campbell and Kean 272-297). The Story of Television (YouTube:, The Future of Virtual Reality Crash Course nr. 21 ( ).



a jegy/aláírás megszerzésének feltétele és módja

Grading: The course ends with an exam.


kötelező olvasmányok (ha vannak)

J. Martin Evans America: A View from Europe (New York and London: W. W. Norton and Co., 1976), Joel Garreau The Nine Nations of North America (New York: Avon Books, 1981), Neil C. Campbell and Alasdair Kean American Cultural Studies. An Introduction to American Culture (NY: Routledge, 2012), Colin Woodard American Nations. A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America (New York: Viking Penguin, 2012) and Martin Halliwell and Catherine Morley, eds. American Thought and Culture in the 21st Century (Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2008).

ajánlott olvasmányok (ha vannak)

László Országh Bevezetés az amerikanisztikába (Budapest: Tankönyvkiadó, 1972), Zoltán Kövecses American English. An Introduction (Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2000), Jean Baudrillard America (London: Verso, 1989) and Stephen Fry in America (BBC film series, 2008) and Stephen Fry Stephen Fry in America. Fifty States and the Man Who Set Out to See Them All (William Morrow, 2009), Rob Kroes If You’ve Seen One, You’ve Seen the Mall. Europeans and American Mass Culture (Urbana and Chicago: U of Illinois P, 1996), Kathleen Stewart A Space on the Side of the Road. Cultural Poetics in an Other America (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1996).