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  • Even after classes have commenced, course descriptions and online syllabus information may be subject to change according to the size of each class and the students' comprehension level.

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Course Information

Year 2019  School School of Culture, Media and Society
Course Title
Seminar on American Culture (Spring)

Instructor CHAN, Edward K.
Term/Day/Period spring semester  Thur.5
Category Theoretical Configuration Seminars Eligible Year 3rd year and above Credits 2
Classroom 31-201 Campus Toyama
Course Key 23Z2513008 Course Class Code 01
Main Language English
  Course Code ARSF481S
First Academic disciplines Area Studies
Second Academic disciplines North American Studies
Third Academic disciplines Others
Level Final stage advanced-level undergraduate Types of lesson Seminar

Syllabus Information

Latest Update:2019/03/05 16:52:50

Course Outline  3rd-year students: (NOTE: The content and format of this seminar has changed from previous years.) The content and format of this seminar has changed from previous years.) The seminar will be an introduction to American studies, which is an interdisciplinary field of study focused on various aspects of American culture. We will organize our study of America around key topics (many of which are overlapping), such as national identity, race and ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, globalization, immigration, regionalism, foodways, consumerism, countercultures, and so on. The seminar will emphasize “active learning,” meaning students are expected to actively contribute to the class through participation, discussion based on homework assignments, presentations, among other things. The course will be conducted entirely in English, and students should be prepared to speak in English during class every week.
 4th-year students: The main focus of this course is to conduct research and produce a draft of the Graduation Thesis (4,000 words) to prepare for the final version (final version: 8,000 words) in the fall semester. Students will conduct research for the graduation thesis each week and do informal status reports and a presentation on their research to both 3rd-year and4th-year students during the semester. The class format will be research/writing workshops meeting with 3rd-year students. The course will be conducted entirely in English, and students should be prepared to speak in English during class every week.
Objectives  3rd-year students: Students will learn about various aspects of American culture and how to analyze culture from an academic perspective. They will also develop critical thinking, analytical skills, and English-language discussion skills. The main objective is to prepare students for researching and writing the Graduation Thesis during the fourth year.

 4th-year students: Students will learn and practice academic research and writing skills for the main objective: to produce the graduation thesis.
before/after course of study  3rd-year students: There will be short weekly reading assignments as homework, which students need to be prepared to discuss during class (this will be evaluated as part of the participation score). Students will also do two group presentations, as well as a final paper at the end of the semester.

 4th-year students: Students will engage in research, reading, and writing outside of class.
Course Schedule  Schedule for 3rd-year students:
 (subject to change)
 1 Course introduction
 2 National identity
 3 Democracy and freedom
 4 Immigration
 5 Race and ethnicity Part 1
 6 Race and ethnicity Part 2
 7 Library research training 1
 8 Social and economic class
 9 Sex and gender
 10 Regionalism: West Coast, Northwest, Southwest
 11 Regionalism: Northeast, South, Midwest
 12 Foodways
 13 Consumerism
 14 Countercultures
 15 Library research training 2
 Schedule for 4th-year students:
 (subject to change)
 1 Course introduction
 2 Thesis workshop, individual meetings, Annotation 1 due
 3 Thesis workshop
 4 Thesis workshop, Annotation 2 due
 5 Thesis workshop
 6 Thesis workshop, Outline for entire graduation thesis due
 7 Library research training 1
 8 Thesis workshop
 9 Thesis workshop,Bibliography due
 10 Thesis workshop, individual meetings, Annotation 3 due
 11 Thesis workshop
 12 Thesis workshop, Annotation 4 due
 13 Thesis workshop
 14 Individual meetings, Partial draft of graduation thesis due (4,000 words)15 Library research training 2, individual meetings
Evaluation  Evaluation for 3rd-year students:
 Final paper 40%
 Presentations (2 x 20 points) 40%
 Participation/In-class activities 20%
 TOTAL 100 %

 Evaluation for 4th-year students:
 Annotations (4 x 10 points) 40%
 Bibliography 10%
 First draft 20%
 Thesis presentation 20%
 Participation/In-class activities 10%
 TOTAL 100 %

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