Anglo-American Cultures II

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
Knowledge and understanding: students, who are expected to know and be able to apply basic cultural studies methodologies, will be led to better define and analyse the relationships between culture, discursive strategies, social phenomena, mass communication, production and consumption of cultural products, and to analyze them from the perspective of ideology and their social, spatial, historical and political contexts. Within the frame of their improved language competences and awareness , they will be led to gain an improved awareness of the relationship between language and cultures within the US context and in connection with the chosen syllabus. MA courses are meant for qualitative, more than quantitative, study and tends to privilege a limited number of texts that must be read and analyzed with sophisticated skills.
Expected learning outcomes
Students will be required to be fluent in both written and spoken English in approaching texts and topics of relevant complexity and belonging to the field of culture, society and literature, managing the required critical lexis and organizing contents coherently. They must prove familiar with the texts proposed in the syllabus and they must be able to analyse them both at the syntagmatic level and at the paradigmatic one.
Moreover they must prove able to approach texts and topic autonomously, exploiting the methodological tools acquired during their MA training and perfected during their first-year course, therefore completing their language training through the cultural one.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
In the emergency teaching phase, should it become necessary to use online teaching, the program designed for face-to-face teaching is modified as follows:

Teaching methods:
The lessons will be held in synchronous, trying to enhance interaction (chat and forum), using mainly Teams; only in specific cases and duly communicated, the lessons will be held in asynchronous (videolessons). In case there will be activities in presence (following the indications of the university), students who will not participate will be offered an alternative online activity that will allow them to develop the same critical and text analysis skills.
The timetable of the lessons remains unchanged and all the most important information will be provided through the ARIEL website of the course.
The methods and criteria for attending the lessons in attendance, which require a reservation with the appropriate app, will be published in good time on the ARIEL website of the course.

Reference materials:
The syllabus is ket untouched. For those who decide not to attend the course, we recommend the supporting bibliography.

Testing and grading
The exam is oral and will be conducted, in the case of online teaching, in Microsoft Teams, according to the indications provided by the University. The requirements and methods of evaluation remain the same with respect to the "in presence" program.
Course syllabus
TITLE: On the Road. Touring the Southern States of the US through video, films, literature and music

The course is focused on the geography and history of the some Southern US States with the purpose of analyzing the way in which cultural documents (films, TV series, songs and photos) provide a picture of landscapes and cultures that may promote tourism and offer different representations of the places. A basic knowledge of the tools and methods of cultural studies is required

The work will be organized into two units:
Unit 1 - South East (Mississippi & Louisiana)
Unit 2 - South West (Texas & New Mexico)
Prerequisites for admission
Before sitting for the exam of AngloAmerican Culture II, students must have taken the exam of AngloAmerican Culture I. They must be able to read and understand complex texts in English and they must prove able to express their own critical position on the suggested issues, also showing to be aware of the characteristics of the method.
Teaching methods
Classes will develop on a lecture-based method, occasionally involving guest speakers and the participation to external events. Whenever possible, team-working will be encouraged.
Teaching Resources
Unit 1 - South East (Mississippi & Louisiana)

Documents: Homestead Act (1862), Pacific Railway Act (1862), Emancipation Proclamation (1863), Gettysburg Address (1863), 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1865)

Tourist guides:

Mississippi: Mississippi Burning (A. Parker, 1988)
Louisiana: True Detective - S01 (HBO, 2014)
NB: Selected sequences to be specified in the Ariel website of the course. Students unable to attend lessons are suggested to watch the entire films

Mississipi Goddamm (
Unit 2 - South West (Texas & New Mexico)

Tourist guides:
New Mexico:

Texas: Dallas Buyer's Club (jean-Marc Vallée, 2013)
New Mexico: Little Miss Sunshine (J. Dayton & V. Faris, 2006)
NB: Selected sequences to be specified in the Ariel website of the course. Students unable to attend lessons are suggested to watch the entire films

V. Luiselli, Lost Children Archive (2019; Selected passages to be specified in the Ariel website of the course. Students unable to attend lessons are suggested to read the entire book).

Optional suggested readings:
Borgognone, Storia degli stati Uniti, Feltrinelli, 2017
D. Campbell, D. Levinson (eds), This is America. A Short History of the United States (also Kindle Edition)
Those who have no training in CS are advised to look for hints exploiting the following bibliographical resources (all of them available in our libraries):
Chris Barker, Cultural Studies. Theory and Practice, London, Sage, 2016
Stuart Hall, Representation. Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices, London/Thousand Oaks (cal.), Open University Press, 1997
Nicoletta Vallorani (a cura di), Introduzione ai Cultural Studies. UK, USA e paesi anglofoni. Roma, Carocci, 2016.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Students will have the opportunity to carry out some in itinere tests and in-depth activities that will be subject to evaluation and on which more specific indications will be given in class. The overall evaluation will be elaborated and communicated at the end of the oral exam.
Lessons: 40 hours
Educational website(s)