The American Culture & Difference faculty have agreed on the following learning objectives for all AC&D allied courses.
We understand that these objectives are ideals. No class can meet all of these objectives equally. Some courses will emphasize specific objectives over others. For instance, depending on the level of the class, someone teaching a 100-level American Culture & Difference class will apply these learning objectives at a more rudimentary level than someone teaching a senior seminar.
The objectives are also extremely broad so that individual teachers have enough flexibility to apply these objectives within the practical parameters of their discipline. The fifth objective, for instance, can be interpreted as broadly or as specifically as the teacher desires.
At least one of the assignments in an American Culture & Difference class should try to address one or more of these objectives. One or more of the learning outcomes for the class should result from one or more of these objectives. An outcome can be tied to a specific assignment, for instance.
These objectives are designed to allow American Culture & Difference classes to have some pedagogical and political commonalities—not to make us all teach in the same way. We are not working together because we replicate one another as teachers and scholars. We are drawn together because we share a common vision for our students: we want our minors to be politically engaged, critically aware, and to participate actively in trying to work toward a more just world.
American Culture and Difference Learning Objectives for Allied Courses
- Students will analyze a range of texts (for example, art, advertisements, film, folklore, music, political and historical documents, and television), critically examining how socially constructed categories, such as race, nation, gender, and/or class have affected power differences over time.
- Students will explore the transnational character of “American” culture, reflecting on its multiple manifestations and meanings.
- Students will critically examine the historical and material conditions that have contributed to the marginalization of groups, and study how these groups have struggled and fought against these conditions, creating in the process their own cultures and traditions.
- Students will reflect on the unequal relationships through which cultural identities and political and economic power intersect.
- Students, applying principles learned in class, will work actively to fight social injustice.