The Americas: Rhetoric, Politics and Myths

Objectives and content 

This minor intends to offer participants a specific understanding of the process of constructing a social and cultural identity in the Anglo-American and Ibero-American hemisphere, with particular emphasis on the rhetoric that they have contributed to the emergence of various national and transnational mythologies: the growth and development of the multifaceted idea that the Americas had and continues to have a decisive impact on political, social and  cultural relations on a global level.

The minor will be articulated through three modules that will carry out and indicate the political-cultural peculiarity of the American Continent as a whole. The three modules, 30 hours each (for 6 ECTS) are defined as follows:

  • Latin America: History of an Invention
    This module proposes to examine the cultural dynamics and the consequent literary elaborations in a Hispano-American environment that from the Conquest of the 21st Century has fomented the European vision of their identity, and it’s relationship with others, through invention. Literary texts categorized as from the miscellaneous genre will be taken into consideration, such as the chronicles, the poetry and the narratives to highlight the relationship between disguise and identity.
  • The United States: Rhetorical Making of a Nation
    This module intends to analyze the rhetoric at the base of the construction of American National identity, recalling key moments and movements from the cultural history of the country; in particular, it will concentrate on the Puritan rhetoric as a premise to the successive emergence of the ideas of American exceptionalism; in the rhetoric of religious fundamentalism from the first half of the 20th Century up until the end of the 1900s, and through the rhetoric of media and the diffusion of consumerism in the second half of the 20th Century.
  • The Americas within International Politics
    this module analyses the internal and foreign politics of some states in the American continent, in a book on continental politics in the second half of the 20th Century and the first few years of the 21st Century. In particular it will emphasize American politics in the environment of international political economics after the Second World War and the intervening changes in foreign Latin American policies from 1980 to the present day.

Student requirements

This Minor is aimed to students on all degree programmes at the University except for the degree programme in Languages, Civilisation and the Science of Language that have Anglo-American or Hispanic-American as their A or B language.


There is no maximum number of participants.

Modules that make up the Minor

Academic year 2017/2018