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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
April 16, 2014
Canadian Excellence



Introduction to American Studies

This course addresses three important topics in the history of the United States. Avoiding a survey approach, students will be given the opportunity to read in detail and to acquire more specific knowledge of the three selected topics. During this course students will also be introduced to the wide-range of materials used in American Studies, including primary documents, historical monographs, novels, autobiographies, essay collections and films. Students will also learn to develop their skills in critical analysis, argumentation (oral and written) research (individual and group) and good writing.

NO120 is open to all Laurier students. The course is required for students pursuing a joint-major Honours program in North American Studies (the American Studies stream) or a minor in American Studies. Exclusions: HI114.

In 2012/13, the course is offered in the winter term. There are two weekly lectures.

Course Overview

NO120 provides an introduction to American Studies through an examination of specific topics (for example, the Vietnam War; violence and the American West during the nineteenth century; and Ronald Reagan’s America, the United States in the 1980s). The course is taught through a combination of weekly lectures, tutorials and a film series. The tutorials are the place where you will be able to discuss, in depth, the lectures, your readings and the films you will be watching. It is also the place where you can try out your own ideas on the topics we’ll be studying. During the course, you will develop your skills in critical analysis, argumentation (oral and written) research (individual and group) and good writing.

Course Syllabus:

The current course syllabus, as well as course syllabi from previous years, are posted as they are available on the Course Outlines page of the program website.