Syllabus query

Academic Year/course: 2017/18

416 - Degree in English

27822 - History and Culture of the United States

Syllabus Information

Academic Year:
27822 - History and Culture of the United States
Faculty / School:
103 - Facultad de Filosofía y Letras
416 - Degree in English
First semester
Subject Type:

5.1. Methodological overview

The primary objective of this module is the acquisition of a general knowledge about the history and the culture of the United States of America as well as the development of abstract thinking and critical skills for the analysis of written and audio-visual cultural texts. An active methodology is followed, favouring both individual and cooperative group work. Classes include expository sessions, in which learners are expected to participate actively, and practical sessions, in which a selection of texts will be analysed. In addition to in-class teaching, students will be given an opportunity to write an individual essay. 

5.2. Learning tasks

1. Guided activities (theory and practice):

a) Lectures: 1,2 ECTS credits (30 hours). Theory: expository sessions where the basic concepts of each unit are introduced.

b) Practical sessions: 1,2 ECTS credits (30 hours). Practice (individual and group work): learners carry out a number of tasks aimed at the critical analysis of various cultural texts. Learners adopt a critical stance and apply their knowledge of U.S. history and culture to the analysis of texts.

2. Supervised activities:

a) Individual and group tutorials: 0,3 ECTS credits (7,5 hours). Monitoring the different steps in the writing of an individual academic essay.

3. Individual work:

a) Individual work: 2,7 ECTS credits (67,5 hours). Reading of compulsory bibliography, viewing of audio-visual texts, and on-line work.

Learners will be provided with detailed information as regards individual work in class and/or on the Moodle platform.

4. Assessment:

a) Written exam (theory and practice): 0,1 credits (2,5 hours). Submission of an individual essay, if applicable.

5.3. Syllabus

(27822) History and Culture of the United States

1.U.S. Physical and Human Geography. Mayor mountain and river systems. Climate. Cultural and economic regions. Waves of immigration. Ethnic and racial diversity.

2.The Invention of America. The Foundational Myths of American Society. National Identity and Symbols.

3.Historical Overview: Colonial America. American Republic: A New Nation.

A Divided Nation: Antebellum America. Towards a Global Presence, 1870-1920. The US in the Twentieth Century. Toward an American Century. Post-Cold War. Globalization and Its Discontents.

4.Political Institutions. U.S. Congress. U.S. Presidency. Supreme Court. Electoral System.


5.4. Course planning and calendar

Planning and Course calendar

Learners will be provided with further information on the subject in class and on the Moodle online platform.

See the website of the University of Zaragoza for the academic calendar year ( and the website of the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts for the schedule of classes ( and the exam timetable (

5.5. Bibliography and recommended resources

 BB Brinkley, Alan. The unfinished nation : a concise history of the American People / Alan Brinkley . 5th. ed. Boston [etc.] : McGraw Hill, cop. 2006
BB Foner, Eric. Give me liberty! : an American history / by Eric Foner . - Seagull 3rd ed. New York ; London : Norton, cop. 2012
BB Mauk, David. American Civilization : an Introduction / David Mauk and John Oakland . 2nd ed. New York : Routledge, 2000
BB The Enduring Vision : a History of the American People / Paul D. Boyer...[et al.] . 4th ed. Boston : Houghton Mifflin, cop. 2002
BC A companion to 19th-century America / edited by William L. Barney. Malden, Mass. : Blackwell, cop. 2006
BC A companion to American cultural history / edited by Karen Halttunen . Malden, MA : Blackwell, 2008
BC A companion to Colonial America / edited by Daniel Vickers . Malden (MA) : B. Blackwell, 2006
BC A new introduction to American studies / edited by Howard Temperley and Christopher Bigsby . Harlow (England) [etc.] : Pearson Education, 2006
BC Campbell, Neil. American cultural studies : an introduction to American culture / Neil Campbell, and Alasdair Kean . 1st ed. London ; New York : Routledge, 1997
BC Introduction to American studies / [edited by] Malcolm Bradbury and Howard Temperley . 3rd ed. New York : Longman, 1998
BC Madsen, Deborah L.. American Exceptionalism / Deborah L. Madsen Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, 1998
BC Making America : the society and culture of the United States / edited by Luther S. Luedtke . 1st ed., 4th print. Washington, D.C : U.S. Information Agency, Division for the Study of the United States, 1988
BC Modern American culture : an introduction / edited by Mick Gidley . 3th imp. New York : Longman, 1997
BC Ruling America. A History of Wealth and Power in a Democracy / Stever Fraser & Gary Gerstle ( eds.) London & Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2005
BC The Cambridge companion to modern American culture / edited by Christopher Bigsby. Cambridge ; Madrid : Cambridge University Press, 2006
BC Understanding the American Dream: Understanding What Shapes Our Fortunes / Mark Robert Rank, Thomas A. Hirschl, Kirk A. Foster. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2014