Главная Преподавание регионоведения Учебные программы Introduction to American Regional Studies

Introduction to American Regional Studies

Программа опубликована в сборнике Учебные программы. Специальность Регионоведение (350300) Часть 2. М.,2007
© Факультет иностранных языков и регионоведения

Titova Svetlana

Recommended online textbooks and documents

Recommended books

  • Focus on the U.S. T. Bruner Cox. Prentice Hall. 1998.
  • About the USA. E. Kirn. USDS.1989
  • Explorations in American Culture. K. Jason, H. Posner. ITP. 1995.

Course Description.

This course will introduce students to a picture of American society. I have chosen to base the course on American Memory and some other online resources.

The course is designed to serve as a “bridge” for students, a transition from ESL courses to regular academic study. It means that materials will be studied in order to improve students’ academic study skills, learning strategies and language abilities in all four skill areas – reading, writing, listening and speaking.

This is not a lecture course! Class time will be devoted mainly to discussion of the readings which will require preparation and participation on your part! We will use the Internet as a resource. Even if you are experienced with the computers and the software, you should be prepared to spend time outside of class (either at home or at the lab’s open hours) on various assignments.


Minimum requirements for passing this course are substantial course participation; on-time work and satisfactory attendance. To succeed in the course, you will need to read assignments carefully, to follow the syllabus and be prepared to discuss the readings in-depth when you come to class. During the semester you will also be required to take two tests.

Grading techniques

Course participation 60%

Tests 40%

Fall Semester

(30 academic hours)

Week 1

Introduction to the course

Week 2

Historical Regions of the USA

Puritans in the New World: “The Illustrated History of the USA”pp.

The settlement of America and two cultural streams:

A letter from Christopher Columbus to the Queen and King of Spain http://www.law.ou.edu/hist/columlet.html

Week 3

Main areas in colonial time (New England, Middle Atlantic and Southern colonies):

Colonial America


The 13 original colonies:“About the U.S.” pp. 50

Week 4

Towards the City on the Hill:

A brief history of the USA http://usinfo.org/usia/usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/factover/ch3.htm

The causes of the American Revolution:“About the U.S.” pp. 52-53

Week 5

The Paris Peace Treaty of 1783


The Declaration of Independence


Week 6

The Regional Geography of the USA:

Themes and regions: “An Outline of American Geography“


The regions of the USA: New England | The Mid-Atlantic | The South | The Midwest | The Southwest | The West

Explore the States


Week 7


Week 8

Cultural Regions of the USA


New England: “Focus on the U.S.” pp.31-34.

New England – the Educational Center of the USA.

Week 9

The Pennsylvanian region


The Middle Atlantic States: “Focus on the U.S.” pp.49-52.

Week 10

Urban America today

New York Metropolitan Area: ”Discover America” pp. 166-170.

Hispanics in NYC: Is Spanish the Measure of Hispanic? http://www.nytimes.com/learning/teachers/featured_articles/20030609monday.htm

Week 11

Ethnic diversity of the population:

The blending of the USA by Rochelle L. Stanfield http://usinfo.state.gov/journals/itsv/0699/ijse/stanfld.htm

Week 12

The South

The History of the South

Slavery and the Civil War: “Focus on the U.S.” pp.67-71.

The causes of the Civil War: “About the U.S.” pp. 60-63.

Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural speech (before the Civil War 1861) http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/1inaug.htm

Week 13

Ethnics and Behavior in the South:

The Old South by H.M. Hamill


Identification of the Southerner:

"The South: Where is it? What is it?" from John Shelton Reed's My Tears Spoiled My Aim http://xroads.virginia.edu/~DRBR/REED/tears.html

Week 14

South Florida:

European Discovery & Settlement in South Florida; Everglades today


Traditions of South Florida Folklife by Tina Bucuvalas


Cajuns and Creoles: “Discover America” p.120.

Week 15. Test

Spring Semester

(28 academic hours)


Minimum requirements for passing this course are substantial course participation; on-time work and satisfactory attendance. To succeed in the course, you will need to read assignments carefully, to follow the syllabus and be prepared to discuss the readings in-depth when you come to class.

During the semester you will be required

to write a paper by the end of the semester;

to make an oral presentation as your pre-writing activity;

to take two tests.

Grading techniques

Course participation 35%

Presentation 15%

Paper 20%

Tests 30%


Required reading

Week 1

Introduction to the course

Sign up for presentation!!!!!!

Week 2

The Midwest

The Midwest History and Culture


The Midwest: “Focus on the U.S.” pp. 76-83.

We Are What We Eat: We Are a Nation of Immigrants! D. Rosengarten

Presentation #1: The Upper Midwest Region Today.

Week 3

The West

The Westering adventure and the Frontier experience:

Exploration of the West; Western life and culture.


The West: “Focus on the U.S.” pp. 99-107.

Presentation #2: The Exploration of the West in the 18-19th century.

Presentation #3: Western life and culture in the 18-19th century.

Week 4

Lewis and Clark expedition and Native Americans:

An Overview of the Lewis and Clark Expedition


Two centuries later, a moment for Indians to retell the past by T. Egan


Tribes and Culture Areas on the Lewis and Clark Trail


Presentation #4: The interaction of American Indian tribes with M. Lewis and W. Clark.

Week 5

The Mormon cultural area:

A Brief overview of the Mormon Trail Experience. Mellvil L. Bashore


The Definition of Mormon


Presentation #5: Culture and Traditions of American Mormons.

Week 6

The immigration problem on the U.S.-Mexico border:

The Desperate Risk Death in a Desert. Ginger Thomson.

Nuevo Mexicanos of the Upper Rio Grande: Culture, History, and Society


Hispanics in the USA


Presentation #6: Hispanics and Westward expansion

Week 7

Latino culture in the U.S.:

Forging a New Vision of America's Melting Pot. Gregory Rodriguez.

Latinos Gain Visibility in Cultural Life of U.S.

Presentation #7: Chicano Culture in the USA

Week 8 Midterm Test


The Outline of American Geography (ch.14) http://usinfo.org/usia/usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/geography/geog14.htm

Chasing a Golden Dream: the story of the California Trail by Michael N. Landon


Week 9

The Pacific Region

Assimilation Through Education: Indian Boarding Schools in the Pacific Northwest


Current status of Native Americans in the USA


Presentation #8: The American Indian movement today in the USA.

Week 10

The phenomenon of Asian Americans:

The Chinese on the West Coast


Asian Americans in the USA


Presentation #9: Asian Americans in the West.

Week 11

Strangers in Paradise. Howard G. Chua-Eoan: “Explorations in American Culture” pp. 109-115

Your papers are due!!!!!!

Week 12

The Alaskan Region

Explore Alaska


A Brief History of Alaska Statehood. Eric Gislason


“Focus on the U.S.” pp. 117-121.

Presentation #10: Alaska: historical overview.

Week 13

The Hawaiian Region

Explore Hawaii


Hawaii: “An Outline of American Geography”


“Focus on the U.S.” pp.122- 127.

Presentation #11: The role of the Hawaiian region in the US economy, politics and cultural life.

Week 14 Final Test


Assignment # 1. Oral presentations.

Description: Each of you will sign up for a brief oral presentation (15 minutes), during which you will be responsible for leading the class discussion and presenting historical, social, cultural data that you’ve collected in your research on the chosen topic. The date of this presentation will be determined by the topic you sighed up for. You will be required to consult at least three outside sources (some web sites mentioned below will be of great help). You have to sign up for a presentation by the end of the first week!!!!!!

Some possible topics for presentation (you can also come up with your own suggestions):

  • The exploration of the West in the 18-19th century
  • Western life and culture in the 18-19th century
  • The interaction of American Indian tribes with M. Lewis and W. Clark
  • The Upper Midwest region today
  • Culture and Traditions of American Mormons
  • The American Indian movement today in the USA
  • Asian Americans in the West
  • · Hispanics and westward expansion
  • Chicano Culture in the USA
  • Alaska: historical overview.
  • The role of the Hawaiian region in the US economy, politics and cultural life.

Assignment # 2. Essay.

Description: during this semester you will be required to write a 5-6 page essay. Your paper should include some primary sources (newspapers, journals, letters, diaries, etc.). Online resources mentioned below (Sites on American Regional Studies) also will be of great help for you. Be sure to cite all the sources you are going to use in the paper!

Please let me know if you have any questions or want to discuss your ideas. Since you might have difficulties with this assignment, you may turn in a paper at any point before the final due date, and I will grade it, and allow you to resubmit it after you revise it.

Submission format: turn in the paper in two ways: first, give me a printout of it, second, send it to my e-mail.

Ten questions to ask yourself while writing a paper:

  1. Do I understand the topic I intend to discuss?
  2. Are my notes clear and complete, allowing me to describe key images and other elements of the literary work?
  3. Does my opening paragraph lead to a specific and precisely formulated thesis which anticipates the main points of the argument of the paper?
  4. Do my topic sentences reflect a logical development of that thesis?
  5. Are there smooth transitions between paragraphs and sentences?
  6. Do paragraphs cohere, usually around a single idea?
  7. Is the meaning of each sentence clear, and are the structures of sentences varied?
  8. Are general or abstract observations supported with concrete examples?
  9. Have I carefully proofread and revised for grammatical, spelling, and typographical errors?

10.  Have footnotes and quotations been double-checked for accuracy and proper placement?

Requirements to a paper:

  • the paper should contain 6-10 pages.
  • it should be typed (type #12, Times New Roman); don't forget to put your name and date in the right-hand corner of the first page, title pages are unnecessary;
  • center your title twelve lines from the top of the first page;
  • leave uniform margins on each page: an inch (2,5см) on both sides and at the top and the bottom of the page;
  • double-space all the copy;
  • number the pages in the top right-hand corner;
  • Citing put the author's last name and the page number in parentheses at the end of your sentence: "A recent study has described these images as "pillow shots" (Burch 160-161).
  • the title "work cited" should be at the top of the last page without quotation marks: "Everson, William K. American Silent Film. New York: Oxford UP, 1978.
    Petro, Patrice. "Mass Culture and the Feminine: The Place of Television in Film Studies." Cinema Journal 25.3 (1987): p.5-21.

Possible topics for your final papers (you can also come up with your own suggestions):

  • · American Regional Cooking (The Plantation South: New England: The Chesapeake Bay Shore: The Mid-Atlantic: Louisiana: The Mexican Border: The Appalachian South)
  • · The Multicultural American West
  • Small Town America
  • Regional differences in American religion
  • Folk music of the American South
  • The position of women in the South
  • The Everglades today
  • Hispanics of the Upper Rio Grande River
  • American national identity and the idea of the West
  • American Indians of the Pacific Northwest
  • Religion in the Southern States/ Western states
  • Ethnics and cultural groups in Florida

Assignment #3. Tests.

During the course you’ll have to take two multiple-choice and short-answer tests. The midterm test will count 10% and the final will county 20% of the total course grade. The final test will cover the entire course, including all readings. Makeup exams can only be provided for absences documented and excused in advance (e.g., activities, illness).

Sites on American Regional Studies

  1. America’s History from American Library


  1. A Timeline of The USA


  1. Explore the States


  1. Encyclopedia WordIQ


  1. American Memory. The Library of Congress


  1. A Chronology of US Historical Documents


  1. The Regions of the USA


  1. 50 American states: facts and figures.
  2. USA Travel and Geography

10.  Americans at the table: reflections on food and culture.


11.  Regional Outline by Alexis Tocqueville


12.  Documenting the American South


13.  The Center for the Study of the American South

14.  Mid-Atlantic Regional History


15.  The multicultural American West


16.  The Wild West


17.  History of the American West

18.  The Oregon Trail

19.  Rocky Mountain USA

20.  Images of the Southwest

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