Before I took this class, I just had a simple and fragmentary idea about what the U.S. is. I thought America is a land of freedom and diversity, and somewhat individualistic. However, after taking this class, I found out that defining America in few concepts was wrong. At first, reading tons of articles about the U.S. wasn’t seem reasonable. I couldn’t imagine these much of concepts and ideas about a single country could come up with. This class gave me an opportunity to think of the various aspects of America; politics, culture, economy, and so on. Not only this, I could develop a critical thinking about what the U.S. is now standing for. Therefore, I was pretty astonished after reading war on drugs comic strips which contains lots of criticisms against the U.S.’s drug policies. Also, learning about popular culture was informative. Knowing that the U.S.’s cultural imperialism was interesting that in Korea, I think most of people accept the U.S’s culture such as American pop-song, Coca-cola unconditionally. Also, the example of Inca Cola was impressive how Peru accept the U.S’s cultural imperialism with critical thinking.
What I think I will remember 10 years later is that this class made me think differently about the U.S. Also, I will remember the fact that how America has diverse and various perspective regarding on its history, culture, politic and so on. Moreover, I will also remember that defining a country with just a few concepts is very dangerous as I did before coming to the U.S. and before taking this American Studies.
All the readings and the videos that I read and watched in this class was quite impressive and will last long within my memory. Learning about various perspective from other countries while discussion time was also helpful to conceptualize other nation’s opinion about America. Overall, it was priceless experience learning deeply about the U.S. in the U.S. with other people around the world.