North American History and Institutions

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course concerns the main political aspects of the history of the United States, considering the historical developments of the nation from its birth to the present, and offering critical discussions of some fundamental documents of U.S. History as well as of current affairs in the U.S. in historical perspective. Topics include the major schools of thought
and approaches, the connection between domestic and foreign politics, and the connection between the principles of the American republic and the pragmatism of its leadership. Concerning knowledge and understanding the course aims to apply original ideas in a research context, and to solve new problems in the field, making judgements on new issues, as well as the ability to communicate these skills to a broad publlic. Finally, with exercises of comprension of historical cases, we will try to obtain learning skills to study in an autonomus way.
Expected learning outcomes
The whole skills will enable the students to develop an ability to understand critically contemporary issues. They would be able to understand the complexity of contemporary world, perceive cultural, social and political interchanges, and behave as careful citizen in a world in transformation.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
More specific information on the delivering mode of training activities for academic year 2021/22 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Course syllabus
The first part of the program addresses issues concerning the history and politics of the United States, including the welfare state, the development of modern conservatism, Congress and presidential powers, and national security. Following the study of American politcal history, as well the main interpretations that chaged over time, these issues will help us for a better understanding of American politics today.
The monographic part of the course will touch the African Americans question from slavery to Black Lives Matter. To carry on the course we will use movies, documentaries, websites, and the resource American Historical Newspapers in our digital library.
Prerequisites for admission
Teaching methods
Lessons with the help of slides, PowerPoint, images, websites and video.
Teaching Resources
Giovanni Borgognone, Storia degli Stati Uniti. La democrazia americana dalla fondazione all'era globale, Feltrinelli, Milano, 2016;
Frederick Douglass, Democrazia e schiavitù. Gli Stati Uniti e la violenza razziale, Ibis, Como-Pavia, 2020;
Marco Sioli, All'ombra di Mao. W.E.B. Du Bois, un afroamericano tra URSS, Cina e Africa, Sandro Teti Editore, Roma, 2021.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists in oral discussion on Teams. Questions point to evaluate in a clear way the general knowledge of the History of United States. and also addressing all the argument treated in the monographic part of the course. There will be also a written paper on a film presented during the lessons or a research on an article chosen by the students on the databank online American Historical Newspapers to be send directly to the mail of the professor. More in general the exam aimed to verify that the lessons drawn from American history can be useful to describe politics in contemporary United States, up to the impeachment of Donald Trump.
Lessons: 40 hours
Professor: Sioli Marco Mario
Educational website(s)
From September 21 in presence. Tuesday from 11,30 am to 12,30 pm in Sesto; Wednesday from 2,30 pm to 4,30 pm
Sesto San Giovanni, Piazza Montanelli 1, room 1052 and Milan, Via Passione 13, room 112.