2022 Special Lecture: American studies

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Academic unit or major
Humanities and social science courses
Akaba Sanae 
Class Format
Lecture    (Face-to-face)
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

In this class, students will learn about race, racial issues, and systemic/institutional racism impacted by the white supremacy ideology that have been frequently discussed in the United States (U.S.) today.

This class aims to help students gain knowledge and ideas of the functionlity of white supremacy and systemic racism in the U.S. and to become able to apply them to act against and dismantle systemic discrimination in the U.S., Japan, and elsewhere in 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 various social issues in the U.S., Japan, and elsewhere in the world.


Race, culture, racism, 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, the instructor will provide a lecture on the topic and facilitate a brief topic-based group discussion. Students are expected to submit a reflection paper weekly.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Orientation Single story: Stereotypes We will cover course objectives, class expectations and agreements. Students will learn about stereotypes.
Class 2 Race & racial identity Students will learn about race and racial identity in the U.S.
Class 3 Culture (Entertainment, sports, culinary, etc) Students will learn about cultural diversity in the U.S.
Class 4 Systemic racism (housing, education, and medicine) Students will learn about systemic racism in the U.S. through a historical lens.
Class 5 Systemic racism (immigration, criminal justice) Students will learn about systemic racism in the U.S. through a historical lens.
Class 6 Action plans Students will learn about and discuss action plans for social and racial justice.
Class 7 Reviews We will 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 are provided as needed in class.

Assessment criteria and methods

Reflection paper: 10%x6 = 60%
Final paper: 40% (This may change to final presentation contingent upon enrollment.)

Related courses

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

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


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