2021 Special Lecture: American studies

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Academic unit or major
Humanities and social science courses
Akaba Sanae 
Class Format
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
Access Index

Course description and aims

In this class, students will learn about race, racial issues, and systemic/institutional racism impacted by the white supremacy ideology by reviewing various historical events and policies in the United States (U.S.).

The aim of this class is for students to gain knowledge and ideas that are helpful to become aware of and better understand racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity and to respect the differences that people bring into the world.

Student learning outcomes

1. Obtain foundational knowledge of social issues in the U.S., especially race and systemic racism.
2. Learn about the functionality of white supremacy in the U.S. society and elsewhere in the world.
3. Apply the understanding of racism and white supremacy to the various social issues in the U.S.


Race, systemic/institutional racism, white supremacy

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

In each class, instructor will provide a lecture on the topic(s) in English and time for class and group discussion. Students are expected to attend each lecture, participate in class and group discussion, and submit a reflection paper weekly.

*** Update (8/5/2021) ***
This class will be held in English, not Japanese as currently listed. The syllabus will be updated accordingly in September.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Orientation Unites States today Learn about contemporary issues in the U.S.
Class 2 Race Learn about race and racial composition in the U.S.
Class 3 Social class, immigration, intersectionality Learn about social class, immigration, intersectionality in relation to race in the U.S.
Class 4 Systemic racism (1) Enslavement, Jim Crow law, housing (red lining) Learn about enslavement, Jim Crow law, and red lining.
Class 5 Systemic racism (2) Health care, education, immigration Learn about health care, education, and immigration.
Class 6 Systemic racism (3) Law enforcement, criminal justice, economy Learn about law enforcement, criminal justice, and economy.
Class 7 Review Review the topics covered in class.

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


Not required.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Course materials will be provided as needed in class.

Assessment criteria and methods

Attendance and participation in class and group discussion (5% x 7=35%)
Reflection paper (5%x7=35%)
Final paper (30%)

Related courses

  • LAH.S444 : Essence of Humanities and Social Sciences52:American studies

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)



*** Update (8/5/2021) ***
This class will be held in English, not Japanese as currently listed. The syllabus will be updated accordingly in September.

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