DRAN1120 - Introduction to the Culture of the English Speaking World
Mode of delivery :
Face-to-face , first term, 30 hours of theory.
Friday from 10:45 to 12:45 at 43 Botanique 1
Language of instruction :
The class, supporting material, exam, and all elements relating to the course (interaction between the professor and students, etc.) are given in English. Needless to say, students are expected to have an active - and comfortable - command of the English language (by way of reminder, one of the evaluation criteria).
Learning outcomes :
The course is designed to offer an initiation to the basic features and diversity of the English-speaking world (primarily the UK and the United States), as well as the fundamental problems it faces (power, identity, sphere of influence, among others).
Course contents :
The course is structured around seven main themes which, together, present a wide range of the English-speaking world's cultural aspects. Following a lengthy introduction, designed to define the very notion of “culture”, the course is built upon the following themes:
1. British History and Politics
3. The Special Relationship Between Great Britain and the United States
4. U.S. History and Politics
5. Race Relations in the United States
6. Economics and Bigness in U.S. Culture
Planned learning activities and teaching methods :
The course is primarily based on theoretical classes given to the entire group (“lectures”) with possible discussions on texts, which students are invited to read and analyze in advance. Discussions should further students' understanding of the theoretical topics covered during the lectures. They will also serve to develop students' ability to take part in discussions in order to attain a certain level of fluency. In addition to the course outline, a summary of the course and a PowerPoint presentation accompany the lectures. Needless to say, course material (in-house or student-made) and PowerPoint presentations are not all-encompassing for the exam. Academic success largely depends on sound concentration during the lectures accompanied by a follow-up of study, insight and focus at home.
The course is given during the first term, on Fridays, from 10:45 to 12:45, Room 1 (30 hours).
As mentioned above, the course is primarily given in the form of classes given to the entire group (“lectures”). This involves a fairly large setting and a degree of self-discipline. No mid-term exam is organized, nor do students take any quizzes. The lectures are given once a week, lasting two hours, with one short break. Please consult the bulletin boards for the venue and exact hours.
Assessment methods and criteria :
The evaluation is carried out by means of a written exam made up of six questions. The exam criteria include an evaluation of the students' understanding of the subjects covered during the course, the structure of their reasoning, their analytical and summarizing skills as well as their ability to establish relations between various parts of the subject matter. The examination will also take account of students' level of English as well as the clarity of the presentation. The exam usually lasts 90 minutes. No documents whatsoever are allowed at the exam.
Recommended or required reading :
The bibliography for each part of the course is summarily described as follows:
Introduction: Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism (London: Vintage, 1993); Amartya Sen, The Argumentative Indian (London: Penguin, 2005); Norman Davies, The Isles. A History (London: Macmillan, 1999); Simon Schama, A History of Britain, 3 vol. (London: BBC Worldwide Ltd., 2002); David Crystal, The English Language (London: Penguin, 1988); Michael Edwards, Racine et Shakespeare (Paris: PUF, 2004); Steven Johnson, Everything Bad is Good for You (London: Allen Lane, 2005); James E.B. Breslin, Mark Rothko. A Biography (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993); Robert Hughes, Culture of Complaint. The Fraying of America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993).
1) Political culture: J. Steven Watson, The Reign of George III, 1760-1815 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1960); Sir Llewellyn Woodward, The Age of Reform, 1815-1870 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962); Sir Robert Ensor, England, 1870-1914 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1936); A.J.P. Taylor, English History, 1914-1943 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965); Godfrey Hodgson, More Equal Than Others (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004) ; Seymour Martin Lipset, American Exceptionalism (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1996); Anthony Sampson, Who Runs This Place ? The Anatomy of Britain in the 21 Century (London: John Murray, 2004); Pascal Gauchon (Ed.), L'exception américaine (Paris: PUF, 2004); Paul Kennedy, Preparing for the Twenty-First Century (NewYork: Random House, 1993).
2) Social culture: A.H. Halsey, Change in British Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991); Robert Hughes, Culture of Complaint. The Fraying of America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993); Lawrence Lader, Power on the Left (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1979); Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things (London: Flamingo, 1997).
3) Economic culture: Bernard W. Wishy, Good-bye Machiavelli. Government and American Life (Baton Rouge, La: Louisiana State University Press, 1995); Louis Menand, The Metaphysical Club (New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001); Robert D. Putnam, Bowling Alone (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2000); Joseph Dorfman, The Economic Mind in American Civilization (New York : The Viking Press, 1946).
4) Legal culture: Richard A. Posner, Law and Economics, 2nd ed. (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1977); Richard Posner, Law and Literature. A Misunderstood Relation (Cambridge, Ma: Harvard University Press, 1988); Antoine Garapon, Juger en Amérique et en France (Paris: Odile Jacob, 2003); Patrick Glenn, Legal Traditions of the World. Sustainable Diversity in Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).
Students have at their disposal a book serving both as a syllabus and as a compilation of texts. As mentioned above, prior reading of the texts is highly recommended in order to enhance students' understanding of the topics covered in class.
Other information :
Students have at their disposal a book serving both as a syllabus and as a compilation of texts. As mentioned above, prior reading of the texts is highly recommended in order to enhance students' understanding of the topics covered in class. The lecturer will answer students' questions by appointment or electronically at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org