Middle East Technical University Faculty of Arts and Sciences Department of History

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Middle East Technical University

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Department of History

Spring 2011-2012


Instructor: Assist. Prof. Dr. Bahar Gürsel

E-mail address: bgursel@metu.edu.tr

Phone number: 210-3143

Office hours: Thursday, 10.40-12.30, 13.40-14.30 and by appointment

AIM: This course aims to familiarize the students with the cultural history of the United States from the late nineteenth century to the era of globalization. It will also aspire to define various thematic approaches to cultural history, and will also explain the basic features of American popular history.

    • Ashby, LeRoy, With Amusement for All: A History of American Popular Culture since 1830. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2006, selections from Chapters 5-12 (M.E.T.U. Library Call Number: E169.1 .A8525 2006).  

    • Halttunen, Karen, ed. A Companion to American Cultural History. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2008, selections from Chapters 12-30 (M.E.T.U. Library Call Number: E169.1 .C684 2008).


Week 1:

Introduction: American culture in the late nineteenth century

Week 2:

Consumer culture and mass culture

Week 3:


Week 4:

Politics and culture in the 1930s and 1940s

Week 5:

1950s and 1960s

Week 6:

The Globalization of American Culture

Week 7:

Visual Culture

Week 8:

Material Culture + Midterm Exam

Week 9:

Performance and Display

Week 10:

Race and Ethnicity

Week 11:

Popular Culture I

Week 12:

Popular Culture II

Week 13:

Political History and the Tool of Culture

Week 14:

The Cultural History of Foreign Relations

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: The academic assessment of this course will be divided into three parts:
Mid-Term Exam: There will be an in-class mid-term exam which will constitute 30% of the total final grade.

Final Exam: At the end of the semester, there will be an in-class final examination that will constitute 45% of the total final grade.
Attendance & Participation: Attendance and participation will constitute 25% of the total final grade.
CHEATING AND PLAGIARISM: Students who copy out material from the internet or from a book without acknowledging the source will automatically receive an F for that assignment and may be liable to further disciplinary action.

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