America and Americanisms
The course is centered around the most frequently used cultural-historical-linguistic phenomena (known in Russian as "реалии") and realities which have emerged in the course of American history and which reflect the mentality, attitude to events and people, as well as the everyday behavior of Americans. These images, events and historical phenomena represent that assortment of cultural images which are indoctrinated into the popular consciousness of Americans from their childhood and which are on the tongue of every American from his or her birth. These phenomena and realities, which are collectively called "Americanisms," are examined two—dimensionally: linguistically, as a set of idiomatic expressions, collocations, quotations, and allusions, and, culturally, and as a set of typically American attitudes, opinions, judgements and ways of expressing them. The aim of this course is to show how these cultural "realia" are interwoven into everyday interaction and social communication, and, as a result, to better understand modern America. We will be studying materials from different sources: literature, political science, articles from newspapers and magazines about American history and politics, feature and documentary films, contemporary American art. Images from American art will be presented in the section "Imaging America," feature films and documentaries in the section "Visualizing America through the movie."