Introduction to American Culture

Course Code: IAC101
Start Date: 2023/1/28 End Date: 2023/4/8 Day: Sat Time: 11:00-12:50 Hours: 20 Sessions: 10 Semester: Spring Medium of Instruction: English Location: Online

Registration Open

Course Description

Have you ever wondered why people see things differently from one another? People's perspectives are a reflection of their values and ways of thinking shaped in turn by historical events and customs passed down from generations. This course aims to give participants a glimpse of American culture through reading and analyzing short texts that express American values and ways of thinking. Covering the span of American history from the colonial era to the present time, we will discuss the following topics: What role did religious foundations play in shaping American thinking? What basic values were embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution? What about the status and role of women in American society, the experience of African-Americans, and the current culture war over the meaning of core American values? Readings will be put into context and explained by the instructor to stimulate lively discussions about the texts and their ideas. It is hoped that by the end of the course, students will have gained a deeper understanding of American culture and be able to apply these insights to their work or personal circumstances.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:
1. discuss major topics in American culture.
2. relate aspects of American culture to a general framework of cultural analysis and to their own cultures.
3. use English at a higher level than previously.

Who should take this course

Those who want to understand key aspects of American culture and to gain fresh perspectives into their own cultures and who wish to improve their English (especially vocabulary) through focus on communication about topics that interest them.
English Level: Advanced


Readings provided by the instructor. / Recommended (American Culture: An Anthology of Civilization Texts; ISBN 9780415124409)


Patrick Rosenkjar

Instructor Biography

Professor Rosenkjar is an expert in various aspects of linguistics, language teaching methods, and literature. He has a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University in German language studies; a master's degree from San Francisco State University in English, with a concentration in language teaching and in American and British literature; and a doctorate from Temple University in second language education. He has published in the areas of content-based English teaching, designing English reading courses for Japanese students, research and theory of curriculum and course design, and understanding poetry. His interests include culture studies, history, linguistic theory, and literary texts; and he reads extensively for pleasure and professional enrichment in these areas. He has been a full-time faculty member of Temple University Japan Campus since 1988.