Academic year
2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LMJ290 (AF:389632 AR:205222)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
Course year
Go to Moodle page
The course is part of the graduate degree in American, European, and Postcolonial Languages and Culture, Language Sciences and Comparative International Relations (American curriculum). Its aim is to provide students advanced skill in and knowledge about the analysis of American culture through a multidisciplinary approach. Students are expected to develop autonomous critical skills and to be able to analyze and contextualize heterogeneous textual and visual cultural material, using a specific critical vocabulary.
This is an Advanced course in American cultural studies with the following learning goals:
a) comprehension of the historical development of the concept of race, with specific reference to blackness in the US context from the first contacts till contemporary phenomena; development of critical knowledge on this theme, understood in a diacronic and synchronic way, and on the complex relation between blackness and whiteness as a political act determined by the progressive request of authority and agency by African American citizens
b) development of students' critical skills by stimulating the elaboration of original ideas within a specific area of study
c) building students' analytical skills by adopting a multi- and interdisciplinary approach
d) development of independent and autonomous study through the possibility of personal research to be presented to the class.
Advanced knowledge of written and spoken English.
Ability to enrich the syllabus through individual research of material and independent study
The course aims at critically investigate the question of race in American culture and nation, with an emphasis on blackness, its meanings and its representations. The course will feature heterogeneous materials including literary (political speeches and texts, poems, novels, essays) and cinematic (movies, documentaries, videos) products.
Primary Sources (to be defined)

Secondary Sources (to be defined)
a) Final oral exam of about 30 minutes. Students must be able to discuss a topic thoroughly. Every student is asked 3 questions (specific or broad) on 3 different topics, which the students must use to organize their critical discourse on the themes of the course. The questions may be the comment of a text, a precise date/title/etc., or a broad investigation of a topic. The exam is not thought of as a test but as a critical discussion, whose aim is the assessment of the learning goals (knowledge of the historical and critical frame and of the texts; comparative and analytical skills; independent thought; communicative skills).
Primary and secondary sources are mandatory.

b) Participation in the class debate will be evaluated positively (20%).
NOTE: Class presentations of about 10 minutes on an accorded topic are an additional way to show class participation. One class is dedicated to this activity. However, because of the number of students, presentation-time cannot be granted to every student. This must be discussed after the beginning of classes. Group activities are highly encouraged.

c) Students who cannot attend lessons are required to study some extra material (see Further readings folder on Moodle).
Seminar with class debates and class presentations by students.
Please consider that the COVID-19 pandemic has not ended yet; this may have an impact on the teaching methods.
Because of the COVID19 emergency, lessons and exam modality may vary. Please, check the announcements on the professor's page and on Moodle. Remember also to active and daily check your institutional mail (

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Poverty and inequalities" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 03/07/2022