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Blackburn University

The Blackburn University Center for American Studies, often abbreviated BUCAS, is a Lovian scientific research and study center operated by Blackburn University and primarily funded for by the Lovian American Educational Foundation. It was founded in August 2009 and has its headquarters in King's Gardens, Noble City. The center's primary goal is to gather information on the United States, and to provide an opportunity to students and researchers in Lovia to study American Studies.

Blackburn University invested about 0.5 million US dollars, whereas the LAEF funded 8.6 million US dollars. HRH King Dimitri I of Lovia privately funded 2 million dollars.

American Studies Edit

Outline of the field of study Edit

American Studies or American Civilization is an interdisciplinary field dealing with the study of the United States. It incorporates the study of economics, history, literature, art, the media, film, urban studies, women's studies, anthropology, sociology, and culture of the United States, among other fields.

United States

American Studies

Following World War II and during the Cold War, the U.S. government promoted the study of the United States in several European countries, helping to endow chairs in universities and institutes in American history, politics and literature in the interests of cultural diplomacy. Many scholars and governments in Europe also recognized the need to study the U.S. The field has become especially prominent in Britain and Germany.

The American Studies movement in Europe did not result in a transplantation of American values. Instead, European scholars used American Studies for their own purposes, reinterpreting American history and literature in terms that were relevant to European problems. The Blackburn University Center's purpose is to provide independent and academic research and education on the United States.

Master of Arts Program Edit

The Blackburn University Center for American Studies houses the M.A. Program in American Studies. This is a one-year academic program of the study of the United States, organized in two semesters of 15 weeks. The courses are taught in English in the Center’s reading room. Professors are recruited from Lovian and American universities. The program is open to everyone who has earned an M.A. or an equivalent degree.

Program objectives Edit

The competencies to be obtained by the M.A. student in American Studies have been officially defined. At the end of his studies, the Master:

  1. knows the history of the field of American Studies and is familiar with the key terms of the discipline;
  2. understands the position of the discipline of American Studies in the larger group of disciplines that seek to understand a specific geographical unit;
  3. knows the possibilities and the limits of the interdisciplinary approach as it is practised in the field of American Studies;
  4. is capable of gathering a wealth of information in connection with any item related to American Studies, and also of judging that information;
  5. can evaluate American current events, not least thanks to his or her command of American history. The term "current events" applies to the political, the social, the economic as well as to the cultural realms;
  6. can analyze the ties between Lovia and the USA, and the influence the USA has had on Lovian culture and history;
  7. is able to communicate this evaluation in a logical and coherent way, either in writing or orally;
  8. knows the channels that allow for this communication;
  9. can analyze coverage of the USA in the media;
  10. is aware of the ideological position he or she inevitably takes up with his or her evaluation and analysis;
  11. is capable of using his or her knowledge to enhance the objectivity of the image of America, either in Lovia or abroad.

The M.A. in American Studies is tailored to everyone who stands to profit from a better understanding of the USA for their future careers, whether as a journalist, interpreter, diplomat, academic or employee of an American company. Students with a special interest in the States but without any professional ambitions in this direction are of course also cordially invited.

Courses Edit

Course Semester Professor
American Law and the American Legal System Sem 1 Halle T.S. Burgess
Cinema in the US Sem 2 Ingmar Rochester
Contemporary American Economy Sem 1 Nicole Macintosh
Great American Novel Sem 2 Andy McCandless
Minorities in the US Sem 2 Michael B. Tuck
Theatre in the US Sem 1 Andy McCandless
Modern American Literature Sem 1 Lynelle Farr
Poetry in 20th Century America Sem 1 Lynelle Farr
US Foreign Relations Sem 2 Michael B. Tuck
US Government Sem 1 Michael B. Tuck
US History 1: Colonization to First World War Sem 1 Alain Tork
US History 2: Roaring Twenties to War on Terror Sem 2 Patricia Van den Berghe
Master Dissertation -- --

BUCAS Library Edit

The BUCAS Library is the largest library of American Studies outside the United States. It consists of six departments:

  • The Social Sciences and Humanities Department is a collection of approximately 70.000 titles in the social sciences and humanities of the United States: literary criticism, history, biography, politics, foreign relations, the arts, film, music, religion, law, gender studies, popular culture... and of course a large reference collection. The books are shelved by subject, in open stacks which facilitates the use substantially.
  • The American Civilization Department is a collection of materials on ultracards relating to all aspects of American life and culture from their beginnings to the outbreak of World War I. It numbers 16.000 titles or 23.000 volumes. Included are the most representative titles in American studies: books, pamphlets, periodicals, documents (both public and private), material of foreign origin relating to America, and many rare books not generally available, or long out-of-print. Bibliographic access to the ACD collection is provided by means of printed catalogs. A major part of the ACD collection is already available in the online catalog. The ACD is the only library in Lovia and one of the few in the Americas to possess this unique research tool.
  • The Academic Research Department is a collection of nearly 3.000 recent online periodicals in all academic disciplines - half of them in full text or real image format; half of them abstracted. The number of available years in full text varies retrospectively to as much as ten or twelve years. The ARD collection can be accessed free-of-charge in the reading room of the Blackburn University Center for American Studies. Articles can either be printed or sent by e-mail.
  • The Newspaper Department holds archives of both The New York Times (since 1927) and The Washington Post (since 1979), both with indices.
  • The Microfilm Department is a collection of microfilms of important American documents and serials. It includes the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Papers, the National Review, the Southern Workman, and many more.
  • The Video Department includes hundreds of historically significant videos and DVDs and all sorts of educational videos about the United States.

Publications Edit

On the university's website, BUCAS frequently posts an interesting investigation article, or an opiniated article.

Recent: U.S.A. All the Way Edit

I Love Liberty

Roy Lichtenstein's I Love Liberty (1982, Royal Art Gallery)

By Kirk Bettman, December 6, 2009.

American style — basic American style, the American style that goes back to Henry Ford’s cars, James Dean’s T-shirt and the Timex watch — is not a pose but an adaptation to basic, fundamental challenges. Take jeans, our sartorial signature and our most influential contribution to the modern global wardrobe. They may sell for hundreds of dollars in swank boutiques from Boston to Buenos Aires, but it must be remembered that they originated as work wear for 19th-century laborers who valued them not for their color or silhouette but for their riveted ruggedness. Cowboy hats, truckers’ wallets, nylon windbreakers and Converse high-tops, to mention just a random sampling of the wearable artifacts that have come to define our nation’s aesthetic, were inspired by necessity rather than an intent to catch the eye. Design for design’s sake, our history suggests, is not an American priority. Instead, we design things to do a certain job (whether it’s in a mine, an office or a basketball arena), and when we devise a solution to the challenge, especially one that’s ingenious, simple or cheap, the result is a forward leap in style that may not even seem like one at first. (Until the Japanese trend scouts come along and hawk it in Tokyo department stores.)

Lately, we seem to be doing our job well. Sorry, you prophets of cultural decline, but American style is on a roll again, exuding a new energy and confidence that’s not only reshaping fashion but also affecting cuisine, technology, art and architecture. Let’s begin at the bottom, with the lowly hamburger, which is American style on a bun. Given up eating at McDonald’s? Don’t. Thanks to a drive to boost its brand, the new Angus Burger actually tastes like beef, its fries have retained their minimalist perfection, and its recession-friendly prices suddenly have a charming retro feel. Meanwhile, over at Whole Foods Market, a gourmet populism has arisen based on supplying elite organic ingredients in amiably packaged abundance. Ace Hotel, a small Portland, Ore.-based lodging chain, has done something similar, renovating buildings in cities like Seattle, New York and Palm Springs, Calif., in a manner that preserves their local color while updating them with hipster eclecticism, all while keeping the room rates reasonable. It’s a peculiarly American strategy, combining our fondness for respecting tradition with our libertarian playfulness and our utilitarian good sense.

And then there’s Apple, Apple the Almighty, no longer just a computer and phone producer but a high-tech fashion house that works in microchips, L.C.D.’s and polymers, introducing its hottest new lines with high-impact music and theatrics that outmatch the hottest Paris runway shows. Apple, like Ace and Levi’s, affects a populist sensibility (its products work simply and want to be your friend) burnished with a rounded space-age look that subtly portends a nerdy rapture: Mac users will ascend to techie godhood, if only they keep trading up their laptops. And there we have it: the secret spiritual promise, traceable to our nation’s religious origins, that subtly underlies American style and fuels its resurgent allure. American style whispers of a day when all will be attractive, healthy and competent, when style as we know it — that urge to differentiate — will finally prove obsolete because all will be equal, idols every one.

Research Edit

Planned Edit

The following research programs are being planned:

Changing European views in the media on the US between 1980 and 2009 Edit

No information given yet.

Survey: Great American Novel Edit

In a survey, one thousand Lovians with a higher education degree, one thousand Americans (from California, Oregon and Washington) with a university degree, and one thousand Europeans (from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands) with a university degree, will be asked which American novel they consider "the Great American Novel". Also, other questions regarding American literature will be asked and brought into relation with the first question. All participants will receive a letter by mail, containing the question and answer form. 4.500 questionnaires will be mailed in an attempt to receive at least 1,000 forms from each of the three groups. Participants will not have to pay for sending the questionnaire back.

See also Edit

Noble Educational Corporation
Standard of Blackburn University General and history: Nobel University - Noble Educational Corporation
Blackburn University: Blackburn University - Blackburn University, Newhaven - Blackburn University, Noble City - Blackburn Royal Center for Religious Survey - Blackburn Royal Center for Rational Thought and Skepticism - Blackburn University Center for American Studies - Blackburn University Center for Third World Studies
Secondary education: King Arthur I College - King Arthur II College
Primary education: J.W. Pennington Primary School - Kennedy Primary School - R. Pennington Primary School - Rider Primary School

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