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The Century that Made America: Four Turning Points, 1901-2001 Course Objectives The past century

saw the rise of the United States as a superpower. During this time period, Americans have constantly redefined what it means to be American. This course introduces four periods of great social and cultural change from historical, literary and cultural perspectives. In addition, this course aims to improve students’ English fluency and ability to discuss academic topics in English. Expectations Students must complete all assignments and attend all classes. Classes are conducted in English only, and students are expected to participate actively. Grading Participation and attendance, 30% Photography assignment, 10% Two in-class exams, 15% each Two unit assignments, 15% each Topics to be Covered Unit 1: The Roaring 20’s The devastation of World War I left the world a changed place, and also led to the rise of a new power, the United States. This era saw great prosperity, artistic flourishing, and social change. We will discuss how American society reacted to its newfound wealth. Materials • Excerpts from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The most famous work of this period, this novel discusses the lives of newly rich young Americans as they struggle to find meaning in a materialistic world. • Classics from the Jazz Age. Jazz, the only purely American musical form, emerged as a cultural phenomenon is this period. • Poetry by Langston Hughes. Hughes is the best known representative of the Harlem Renaissance, a flourishing of African-American culture and arts. Unit 2: The Great Depression and the New Deal Following the stock market crash of 1929, America experienced a period of deep poverty. This lead to the growth of the role of the government in people’s lives and changed what it meant to be an American citizen. Materials

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Excerpts from The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. This novel depicts the hardships of American life during the Great Depression. Photography by Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange. Speeches by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the president of the US.

Unit 3: Social Upheaval of the 1960’s This era saw the greatest cultural and social upheaval the country has ever known. Americans began to question mainstream culture, the structure of society, and America’s actions abroad. The people who currently lead America came of age in this setting, and were deeply influenced by it. Materials • Excerpts from Brown v. Board of Education. This famous Supreme Court decision ended segregation between blacks and whites in public life. • Music by Bob Dylan and other famous 1960’s musicians. • Excerpts from Electric Kool-aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe, a novel about drug use and rebellion. Unit 4: 9/11 The attacks on New York City shocked and angered Americans, but also prompted them to reexamine themselves and America’s role in the world. Materials • News reports • Speeches by President Bush • Movie: “United 93” • Excerpts from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. This novel is the first major literary reaction to 9/11.