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Past Courses

POLH3087, The US Political System and Politics, 4 ECTS​

Time: Mondays 10:15-11:45, from September 4 to October 23, 2017.

​Place: Publicum Building, Seminar Room 269

Teacher: Dr. Anna Kronlund, anna.kronlund@utu.fi

The lecture course gives an introduction to the U.S. political system, taking into a consideration the separation of powers, checks and balances and political institutions. In addition to the introductory lecture, the focus of the lectures is on the characteristics of the U.S. political system examined through different topics and thematic.  The course gives a student a view on the U.S. political system and contemporary issues in the political discussions in the United States.

Examination: 10-12 page essay based on the lectures and given reading materials.


POLH3006, The Eagle Meets the Dragon: Shifts and Tensions in U.S.–East Asia Relations, 2 ECTS 

Time: Friday, September 8, 2017, 13:15–16:45

Place: Publicum 2, Assistentinkatu 7

U.S. and East Asia are “Pacific neighbors” with convoluted histories and a complex web of mutual political, economic, cultural, military, and security relations. These neighbors have formed alliances, made friends and enemies, fought wars, and contributed tremendously to each other’s development. For the past decades, East Asia has been firmly under U.S. hegemony, but predictions abound that the post-WWII and Cold War world-order is gradually giving way to a new one. Today, the relations between the countries are strained and in a flux. How, then, to make sense of the current power shifts and entanglements in the region? How the peoples and politicians of the countries involved view the situation and mutual relations? And where are U.S.–East Asia relations heading to? These are the questions addressed in the seminar.

Students can earn 2 ECTS credits by attending the seminar and writing a 6–8-page report.

Registration for the course via NettiOpsu is open from August 1, 2017 to September 6, 2017.

SEMINAR REPORT INSTRUCTIONS FOR STUDENTS:

Students will write a 6-8 page report.

The report must critically analyze the major issues and questions raised by the seminar. Students will reflect on the ways in which presentations furthered understandings of U.S.–East Asia relations, and their significance. The report should NOT be a mechanical summary of the presentations. Instead, students should carefully consider their paper’s organization and structure, utilizing the larger unifying themes and questions arising from the seminar. The report should include an introduction and conclusion. The assignment is expected to be formally written and carefully proofread. No additional sources are required, though students may include relevant materials, if they wish. If additional material is used, all the sources should be referenced in footnotes or in-text citations and also listed at the end of the report.

Reports can be written in English or Finnish.

Use 1,5 line spacing and the font Times New Roman 12pt (or similar).

The deadline for the Report is Monday, October 2, 2017.

Clearly indicate your name and student number on the report's first page.

Grading scale: 0-5.

Email the report as a Word or .pdf attachment to: 

Henna-Riikka Pennanen [henna-riikka.pennanen@utu.fi]

Or, if you are a NAMS student, to Elina Siltanen [etsilt@utu.fi]

Contact: Henna-Riikka Pennanen


POLH4311, "Ali in Un/Expected Spaces," 2 ECTS​

Time: May 17-19, 2017

Place: Janus Hall, Sirkkala Campus

Muhammad Ali is frequently described as a transcendent figure in sport, politics, and culture. In scholarship as in popular representations, he has often been depicted as the most important cultural icon of the twentieth century. With his passing in June 2016, Ali’s limitless impact has been made evident once again, yet no singular view or image of Ali can be established. During this three-day symposium, students will have the opportunity to explore the ways in which Ali appears in un/expected spaces, beyond conventional readings. The symposium presentations address questions such as: What is Ali’s twenty-first century significance? How do we interpret the global meanings of Ali?  Is sport central or peripheral to understanding Ali? Hearing a range of international Ali scholarship, students can critically assess the multiple discourses, representations, and imagery of Muhammad Ali.

Students can earn 2 ECTS credits by attending the symposium and writing a 6–8-page report.

Registration for the course will begin at 15:00 on Wednesday, May 17, outside of Janus Hall. The first 50 students can participate in the course. 

This course may be taken as part of Contemporary History, Cultural History, Media Studies, or North American Studies. The course is also open to students from Åbo Akademi University.

*Please check http://www.utu.fi/en/units/jmc/conferences/Ali_in_Un-Expected_Spaces for program details and for possible schedule changes.

REPORT INSTRUCTIONS FOR STUDENTS:

Students will write a 6-8 page report. The report must critically analyze the major issues and questions raised by the symposium. Students will reflect on the ways in which presentations furthered understandings of Muhammad Ali’s significance in the world. The report is NOT to be a mechanical summary of the presentations. Students should carefully consider their paper’s organization and structure, utilizing the larger unifying themes and questions arising from the symposium. The report should include an introduction and conclusion. The assignment is expected to be formally written and carefully proofread. No additional sources are required, though students may include relevant materials, if they wish. Reports can be written in English or Finnish.

The deadline for the Report is Friday, June 2, 2017. Clearly indicate your name, student number, and which program you would like the credits to be counted for on the Report's first page. Email the report as a Word attachment to the appropriate program contact:

Contemporary History: jmc@utu.fi

Cultural History: paaoino@utu.fi           

Media Studies: vhietala@utu.fi              

North American Studies Minor Programme: jkorkka@utu.fi

Åbo Akademi University: owinberg@abo.fi


POLH3084, "The Results Are In: Post-election Analysis," 2 ECTS

Time: November 11, 2016, 9:15–18:00 

Place: Elovena Hall, Turku School of Economics, Rehtorinpellonkatu 3

The JMC’s focus on the 2016 presidential election culminates in a one-day election event, “The Results Are In: Post-election Analysis,” featuring a wide range of presenters from students, scholars, political analysts, and media pundits. In addition to offering analyses on the actual results, the presentations will call attention to some of the major shifts that were evident in the unconventional campaigns of the 2016 race and the future of the current bipartisan political system.

Students can earn 2 ECTS credits by attending the sessions and writing a 6–8-page report. 

This course may be taken as part of Contemporary History, Cultural History, European and World History, Media Studies, Popular Culture Studies, or North American Studies. 

The course is also open to students from Åbo Akademi University. With any questions, please contact Fredrik Malmberg: fredrik.malmberg[at]abo.fi. 

SEMINAR REPORT INSTRUCTIONS FOR STUDENTS:

Students will write a 6-8 page Report. The Report must critically analyze the major issues and questions raised by the symposium. Students will reflect on the ways in which presentations furthered understandings of the US presidential election and the election's significance. The Report is NOT to be a mechanical summary of the event. Students should carefully consider the paper’s organization and structure, utilizing the larger unifying themes and questions arising from the presentations. The Report should include an introduction and conclusion. The assignment is expected to be formally written and carefully proofread. No additional sources are required, though students may include relevant materials, if they wish. 

The deadline for the Report is Friday, December 2, 2016. Email the report as a Word attachment to jmc@utu.fi. Clearly indicate your name, student number, and which program you would like the credits to be counted for on the Report's first page. 


POLH2326, "2016 U.S. Presidential Election," 4 ECTS

Time: Thursdays 9-12, from September 15 to November 10, 2016 (no class on Sept 29 and Oct 20)

Place: Publicum Building, Seminar Room 269

Teacher: Dr. Benita Heiskanen, benita.heiskanen[at]utu.fi

This seminar explores the 2016 U.S. presidential election as a socioeconomic, cultural, and political process from a wide range of interdisciplinary American Studies perspectives. Our point of departure will be that the election year is a complex nexus that intertwines various internal power struggles within the United States, exposing various linkages between policy issues, public discourses, and media representations. In particular, we will consider such hot-button issues as voting rights, partisan rhetoric, campaign funding, advertising, immigration reform, the culture wars, and inter/national security during the peak of the electoral race.
 
The three-hour seminars necessitate active participation in all joint discussions. During the semester, students will 1) write and distribute 5 short (2-3 pages) response papers based on ongoing election debates in both traditional media and social media. 2) Students will prepare 20-minute team presentations on an aspect of the 2016 election of their choice. 3) A final team writing assignment related to the election will be published as a blog or a short article. In this class, students will learn to look for information from multiple sources, to practice their presentation skills, and to write publishable texts. This course has mandatory attendance.
 
The course has a cap of 16 students, and it is currently full.

This course may be taken as part of Contemporary History, Cultural History, European and World History, Media Studies, Popular Culture Studies, or North American Studies.


POLH3083, "The Last Two Standing: Streamlining Bipartisan Issues," 2 ECTS

Time: September 9, 10:30–16:00 [TBC]

Place: Publicum Building, Lecture Hall 2

The JMC will organize its second seminar, “The Last Two Standing: Streamlining Bipartisan Issues,” on the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Friday, September 9, 2016. The event will feature eight scholarly presentations taking change as a point of departure for the discussion of the 2016 election year. The topics in the morning session include the populist insurgency, the force of financial capital, new voter mobilization, and the politics of violence. The afternoon session discusses the changing rhetoric of insult politics in this election cycle, with a particular focus on various popular culture forms—such as political comedy and memes—and new media platforms that have become central to the 2016 race. The papers will specifically relate the discussion to the positions of the last two candidates standing, complete with relevant hot-button issues for the Democratic and Republican agendas.

Students can earn 2 ECTS credits by attending the sessions and writing a 6–8-page report. Registration for the course via NettiOpsu is open from August 1 until September 8.

This course may be taken as part of Contemporary History, Cultural History, European and World History, or North American Studies.
 
The course is also open to students from Åbo Akademi University. With any questions, please contact Fredrik Malmberg: fredrik.malmberg[at]abo.fi.
 
SEMINAR REPORT INSTRUCTIONS FOR STUDENTS:
Students will write a 6-8 page Seminar Report. The Report must critically analyze the major issues and questions raised by the seminar. Students will reflect on the ways in which presentations shared thematic overlaps, and how these furthered understandings of the current US presidential election. The report is NOT to be a mechanical summary of the event. Students should carefully consider the paper’s organization and structure, including an introduction and conclusion. The report will be formally written and carefully proofread. No additional sources are required for this assignment, though students may include relevant materials, if they wish.

The deadline for reports is Friday, September 30, 2016. Email the report as a Word attachment to jmc@utu.fi. Clearly indicate your name, student number, and which program you would like the credits to be counted for on the report's first page.

POLH3074, "Immigrant Women in Canada," 6 ECTS

Time: January 12-May 24, 2016
Place: Publicum Building
Teacher: Dr. Samira Saramo

This seminar course allows students to expand their understanding of Canadian history and the Canadian immigrant experience by focusing specifically on women’s experiences. Immigrant women’s encounters with home life, the immigrant community, labour force, wider Canadian public, and the state and official policy will be examined. The course delves into the ways that gender, class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, and citizenship intersect in different ways.

The course provides a thematic overview of key issues in gendered immigrant experiences. However, the themes are also temporally grounded in order to provide students with a clear understanding of the changes and continuities over time from pre-Confederation to wartime Canada. The course introduces students to the history of a wide array of immigrant groups and communities present in Canada.


POLH3075, "North American In/Securities: A Local-Global Nexus," 5 ECTS

Time: October 1-2, 2015
Place: Publicum Building
 
"North American In/Securities: A Local-Global Nexus" is a two-day symposium that can be taken as a 5-credit course by UTU students.

This course deals with late twentieth century and early twenty-first century security concerns in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and their global implications. The multidisciplinary sessions include "Urban Ethnoracial Insecurites"; "Policy, Practice, and Rhetoric of In/Security"; "Grassroots Activism against Insecurity"; "Cross-border In/Securities"; and "Playing, Performing, and Reading In/Security."  Underscoring the multiple scales at which security issues are explicated, experienced, and represented, the symposium points to their far-reaching geographic, political, socioeconomic, military, and cultural ramifications.

During the symposium, the documentary film, "An American House,"  will be broadcast for the first time in Finland, with an introduction and Q&A with Director Chris Trani. The film describes the daily lives and activities of migrants staying at Annunciation House, a safe house for undocumented immigrants in El Paso, Texas.
 
 
 
POLH3072, "Transnational North America," 2/5 ECTS

Time: September 11, 2015
Place: Publicum Building

This one-day seminar, which can be taken as a course by UTU students, considers Finland’s relations with the United States, Canada, and Mexico as well as recent developments between Cuba and the United States.

Chairs

Dr. Markku Henriksson, Professor Emeritus, University of Helsinki
Dr. Samira Saramo, Post-Doctoral Researcher, JMC

Speakers

Dr. Vesa Vares, Professor of Contemporary History, University of Turku
"America as a Stranger and a Friend: The Image of the United States in Finland during the 20th Century"
 
Dr. Samira Saramo, Post-Doctoral Researcher, John Morton Center for North American Studies, University of Turku
"A Hundred Years of Finnish-Canadian Letters"
 
Ph.D. Candidate Nadia Nava Contreras, Department of Political and Economic Studies, University of Helsinki
"Modern, Western: Mexico and Finland through the Olympic Lens"
 
Dr. Benita Heiskanen, Director, John Morton Center for North American Studies, University of Turku
"'A New Chapter in the Americas': USA-Cuba Détente"


POLH3005, "Racial Relations in the United States," 2 ECTS

Time: February 3-April 14, 2015
Place: Calonia Building
Teacher: Dr. Benita Heiskanen

This course examines racial relations in 21st century United States from an interdisciplinary American Studies perspective. In particular, we will consider how various racial/ethnic identities— White, African American, Asian American, Native American, Latino/as, and Middle Eastern—are negotiated in relation to domestic policies, legal discourses, and everyday practices. The course challenges the notion of "whiteness" as a seemingly "neutral," "invisible," or "unmarked" racial category and underscores the nature of all racial/ethnic categorization as social constructions. Our discussion will also consider the ways in which racial/ethnic conceptualization interacts with other social formations, such as class and gender. We will take contemporary events as starting points for our discussion, but will also pay attention to historical incidents that have shaped our understanding of racial relations today.







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