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AM ST 100: Introduction to American Studies (Sachsenmeier)

American Culture Group Presentation

For this assignment, you several other students will work as a small group to present an aspect of American Culture. This can be any part of American culture we discussed or learned about in class, or one that you have observed on your own outside of class. To do so, you will need to pick three examples of American culture, called cultural artifacts. This could be anything, from books, TV shows, movies, songs, food dishes, architecture, fashion, etc. Anything that interests you and your group is possible. However, you will have to analyze these three artifacts for their cultural significance, e.g. how they relate to American culture, how they are unique within American culture, how they relate to other aspects of culture, and what overall conclusions can be drawn from them together about American culture.

As a group, you will do research outside of class to find at least two outside sources, other than the artifacts and any background research you do to explain them. These sources must critically analyze the cultural concepts associated with the artifacts to help you make your argument. These two sources can any type of source, so long as they are credible, trustworthy, scholarly sources (Wikipedia is not allowed). These sources, along with any other sources used, will be summarized in an Annotated Bibliography. An annotated bibliography is made up of full citations for the sources, followed by short paragraphs describing the information contained in the sources, their credibility and trustworthiness, and their use and value to your argument.

You will create an outline of your group’s argument, summarizing the three artifacts, explaining their cultural significance, analyzing them and your two outside sources, and, most importantly, explaining how it all connects back to your overall argument about American Culture. You will also create some sort of presentation of your argument, which you and your group will present to the class. Remember, this is a group presentation, and all members of the group will be expected to contribute actively to the presentation.

You will be required to turn in for this assignment:

1. Presentation Outline

2. Presentation materials (Powerpoint slides, list of websites used, class handouts, etc.)

3. Annotated Bibliography of sources used

Remember that everything must be properly cited, formatted. Any further guidelines and due dates will be given to you in class and/or posted on Canvas.