In order to make an issue as complex and controversial as that of ‘national identity’ teachable in the advanced EFL-classroom, it has to be reduced to exemplary aspects and illustrated with concrete examples. Therefore, I will suggest an appropriate “Course Opener,” briefly survey the historical unfolding of the American identity concept in order to provide teachers with the necessary background knowledge, and then suggest two teaching units, the first of which traces some major developments by means of “classic” texts, whereas the second deals with the crucial issue of whether a shared language is a prerequisite for a shared identity.
This essay describes and analyzes the various statutory and constitutional provisions which denied specific rights to Asian immigrants and their descendants and relates the various processes by which these rights were granted or restored from the earliest days of the American republic to the penultimate decade of the 20th century.
The essay introduces some aspects of the history, demography, and culture of Latinos and gives an overview on films particularly suitable for discussing the history of this ethnic minority in the EFL-class. Questions of representation of Mexican-Americans-the biggest group of U.S.-Latinos-in Hollywood film and of self-representation in Chicano film are addressed in the last part of the essay.
Since the law has been crucial in defining and delineating the dimensions of African American experience both in slavery and in freedom, the encounter with the American legal system and its representatives has left a strong imprint on African American cultural and literary memory and expression. The article sketches out a few aspects and features which characterize the reflection of law and race in African American culture and literature.
This article addresses the question of what different audiences ‘see’ when watching movies depicting Native Americans, arguing that ways of ‘seeing’ are deeply embedded in specific cultural contexts. In particular, it is concerned with what a German movie-going audience—our EFL-students, in particular—see when watching blockbuster Hollywood movies like Dances with Wolves or popular Native American productions like Smoke Signals? Against the background of the West German Winnetou films and the East German DEFA westerns, respectively, German audiences on both sides of the iron curtain have been appropriating ‘Indians’ on their own terms, ‘using’ them for their own purposes and within their own cultural frames of reference.