Civilisation américaine - Programme A - Université Bordeaux Montaigne

Civilisation américaine - Programme A

Volume horaire CM : 12.0

Volume horaire TD : 18.0

Code ELP : LIA6M41

Composante : UFR Langues et Civilisations

Langue d'enseignement : Anglais

Période de l'année : Semestre 6

Formes d'enseignement : Non accessible à distance

Mobilité d'études : Oui


*Ce cours comporte quatre programmes obligatoires :

Environmental History (Y.-C. Grandjeat)

Relation to the natural environment, notably to the “wilderness”, has always been a key feature in the way the U.S. has defined itself, since the early days of colonial America, then through the years of nation-building, and all the way, through the creation of the first national parks at the height of the industrial age, to our current times, when environmental issues appear regularly on the national social and political agenda, as heated controversies around “fracking” have demonstrated recently, among other examples. Today, the U.S. appears as a nation which has contributed much to the growth of a global environmental awareness, and to the momentum of environmental movements worldwide, leading to increasingly loud calls today for “environmental ethics” and “environmental justice. Yet, as the most economically developed country in the world, it also carries much responsibility in the global environmental crisis. This course aims at retracing some of the major stages in the evolution of the environmental awareness and environmental politics in the U.S., looking at some of the major figures which have promoted an ethics of respect for the natural environment, thus paving the way for the contemporary environmental movement, whose history will also be examined. In the process, the course should provide background material helping students assess the acute, constant tensions and contradictions in the U.S. relations to its “natural resources” and in its imagination of nature.


Art and Nation Building (B. Rigal-Cellard)

This course considers the struggle to establish genuinely American styles of art and architecture as an expression of the nation’s political maturation. We will examine painting ranging from the colonial era to the present. Particular emphasis will be given to the 19th century school of the Sublime, which imbued new conquered territories out West with the same majesty as European monuments. In the architectural realm, we will consider the long life of classicism in the American built environment and the belated 20th century revolt against that style. The Federal style endowed official buildings with imperial grandeur through its plain imitation of Roman or Greek architecture. Classical motifs persist even in the first truly original American architectural invention: the skyscraper. We will then study how Frank Lloyd Wright initiated a radical break with European architectural models. The course will rely on images of paintings and of buildings (and possibly some sculptures) shown during the lecture. The documents will be on e-campus for all students to examine them at home.


Anti-Communism in the United States, 1945-1957 (L. Larré)

The course addresses the rise of political and social anti-Communist activism against the backdrop of the early Cold War, from President Truman’s anti-Sovietic policy to domestic redbaiting. McCarthyism—as the phenomenon was nicknamed—will be analyzed from several perspectives, notably as the upshot of institutional tensions between the Executive and Legislative powers during a period marked by international instability and accelerating social change.


A History of African Americans from Brown to Obama 1950-2010: Lisa Veroni-Paccher

Despite the conservative and politically repressive atmosphere of the Cold War period, African Americans became more vocal in their demands for better living conditions. Black and interracial organizations were also created in the 1940s and 1950s, such as CORE, the Congress of Racial Equality (1942), which concentrated on strategies such as sit-ins and picket lines, or the SCLC, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (1957). Leaders emerged, some at first advocating nonviolent direct action, such as Martin Luther King, while others went for a more radical approach, such as Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael. Together, the grassroots movements and their leaders would bring about a long Civil Rights and Black Power Movement dedicated to put an end to segregation practices and offer alternate means to achieve somewhat similar ends: the transformation of American democratic institutions. Their struggle made the dream of seeing one day a black person elected to the White House come true, but the postracial era remains hypothetical. This course thus addresses this movement from litigation and nonviolent action to a more radical approach, and later from black power to black politics. Documents available on the Virtual Office and/or Moodle.

Contrôle des connaissances

Guide de licence d’anglais

Session 1 : Étudiants régime général et régime spécial : épreuve écrite 3 heures : questions de cours et/ou commentaire et/ou dissertation.

Session 2 (« rattrapage ») : Étudiants régime général et régime spécial : oral 15 minutes.

Informations complémentaires

Cours magistral : 1 heure hebdomadaire par programme

Travaux dirigés : 1 heure 30 hebdomadaire par programme

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