What is American Studies? How can we define the discipline? What are the questions that animate our field? This course will help you to frame tentative answers for these questions. It provides an overview of some of the most important and influential (a) areas of American Studies (e.g. early America, Enlightenment, industrialization, globalization); (b) approaches to the field of U.S. American literature, culture and media (e.g. New Criticism, Myth and Symbol School, ideology critique, new historicism, transnationalism); (c) methods and theories employed in the study of North American literary and cultural production (e.g. theorizing on race, class and gender; concepts of (inter)mediality; (sub)urban studies).

A reader with the relevant material will be provided. Requirements for successful completion of the course: active participation in classroom debate, submission of short assignments, oral exam at the end of the term.

This class will allow students to improve their Reading and Oral Communication competences.