• American Culture Under the Historical Perspective
    • School of Foreign Languages
    • Credit. 2
    • HI904
    • Enroll
    • Spring , 2015
    • 3780
    • Course Description:
    • ( Exchange Programme )
    • The main concern of this course is continuity and concentration rather comprehensiveness. It tries to highlight the most significant figures and events in American history from the development of the colonies to the 20th century. Some minor happenings bubble around the major events, whose chronological sequence are strictly observed as carefully as possible, thus furnishing students with a linear, therefore clearer, narrative thread in the text. Strenuous efforts are made to guide the students through a complex yet coherent story, a story easier to grasp than other voluminous books, a story meandering here and there yet streamed together with many salient figures and events, and a story containing a great reservoir of important vocabulary with profound, significant, and interesting historical repercussion. Every chapter has its own chronological table, listing not only important events in American history, but also some historical landmarks in European history and Chinese history, so as to provide the students with some striking comparable landmarks. For language–conscious students wishing to learn English in an efficient way, the historical text would provide an excellent context where the students could efficiently improve their English through discussing fascinating figures and events. The comparative continuity of the text would help students sustain their interest in English; the historical reality in the text would help enhance their desire to delve further into the historical background. Once they learn to talk about the kaleidoscopic spectrum of American civilization, students will be able to converse and communicate on a high plane of intellectuality in colloquial English.
    • Course Syllabus:
    • This course is projected:

      To Pursue Liberal Education Ideology,
      To Follow Clear-cut Chronological Order,
      To Present Vicissitudes of American History,
      To Explore Significant Influential Figures and Events,
      To Illustrate Head-on Challenging and Opposing Views,
      To Excite Eye-opening and Horizon-Expanding Perspectives,
      To Instill Enlightening and Thought-provoking Cultural Inspiration,
      To Discipline Piercing, Perceptive and Cutting-edge Political Judgment.
    • Schedule:
    • 1. Topics / Credit hours:

      Chapter 1.5 The English Reformation (1534) 2hours
      Chapter 2.2 Mayflower Compact (1620) 2hours
      Chapter 3.7 A Distinctive American Nationality 2hours
      Chapter 4.6 Declaration of Independence (1776) 2hours
      Chapter 5.5 The Federal Constitution (1787) 2hours
      Chapter 6.6 Transcendentalism (1836) 2hours
      Chapter 7.7 The Lincoln–Douglas Debates in 1858 2hours
      Chapter 8.4 Gettysburg Address (1863) 2hours
      Chapter 9.4 Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) 2hours
      Chapter 10.7 The Monkey Trial (1925) 2hours
      Chapter 11.3 FDR’s New Deal (1933) 2hours
      Chapter 12.4 The Manhattan Project (1942) 2hours
      Chapter 13.5 Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955) 2hours
      Chapter 14.3 The Woodstock Festival (1969) 2hours
      Chapter 15.1 Bakke v. Regents of the UC at Davis (1978) 2hours

      2. Teaching methodology / Tasks / Intended learning outcomes / Assessment methods

      Applying the theory of "Immersion" and "Dynamic Mode of Teaching", this course will use such methods as lectures, discussions, research and reports, reading, debates and plays to work through the above selected topics with the hope that the students will be able to talk, converse and discuss about these important events in the history of American civilization. In the duration, the students' performance will be assessed.
  • Reading list
  • Other Materials
  • Discussion
  • Homework download/submit
    • Matthew Xiaofei WEI
    • Professor
    • Read more
    • Male
    • E-mail:
    • xwei668@163.com
    • Profile
    • Professor Matthew (Xiaofei) Wei, who obtained his Ph.D at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and went to Harvard University (2007) and Columbia University (2013-14) as a visiting scholar, is specialized in American literature and American history. He has single-handedly chaired several academic projects, international as well as national, among which, the National Project of Social Sciences (2011) and the Gilder Lehman Institute Project (New York, 2007) are of great moment.
      He has published a number of essays and authored several monographs. His book, A Panoramic History of American Civilization for Colleges, which was proofread by Prof. Howard Woods, a renowned Canadian linguist, and published by Peking University Press, the most prestigious university presses in China, is now of considerable influence in the country and has won twice the Distinguished Prizes of Shanghai Jiao Tong University and a first-rate Prize of Shanghai Municipal Committee of Education.
  • Prerequisite Course:

  • Textbooks:

    WEI, Xiaofei, A Panoramic History of American Civilization for Colleges. Peking Uni Press & Shanghai Jiao Tong Uni Press, 2013.
  • Grading:

    20% / Participation: Focus on the ability of independent thinking and in-class presentation, discussion and interaction
    20% / Interview: Focus on the ability of talking on any relevant topic.
    20% / Network Forum: Focus on understanding of important historical events.
    40% / Thesis / Focus on analyzing some momentous history in USA civilization.
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