Syllabus/achievement requirements


  • Deborah L. Madsen, American Exceptionalism (University of Mississippi Press, 1998).
  • Gary B. Nash, Charlotte Crabtree, and Ross E. Dunn, History on Trial: Culture Wars and the Teaching of the Past (Vintage Books, 1997, 2000).

Scholarly Articles:  All are either available via America: History & Life–Library Database, with electronic link, or direct from the web).

  • Michael Adas, “From Settler Colony to Global Hegemon: Integrating the Exceptionalist Narrative of the American Experience into World History,” The American Historical Review 106:5 (Dec 2001) 1692-1720.
  • Thomas Bender, “Can National History Be De-Provincialized? U.S. History Textbook Controversies in the 1940s and 1990s,” Journal of Transnational American Studies 6:1 (2015) 25-38.
  • James W. Ceaser, “The Origins and Character of American Exceptionalism,” American Political Thought: A Journal of Ideas, Institutions, and Culture vol 1 (Spr 2012) 3-27.
  • Joseph Darda, “The Exceptionalist Optics of 9/11 Photography,” Journal of American Studies 50:1 (2016) 185-204.
  • Patrick J. Deneen, “Cities of Man on a Hill,” American Political Thought: A Journal of Ideas, Institutions, and Culture vol 1 (Spr 2012) 29-52.
  • Jason Gilmore, “Translating American Exceptionalism: Comparing Presidential Discourse About the United States at Home and Abroad,” International Journal of Communication 8 (2014) 2416-2437.
  • Jason Gilmore, Penelope Sheets, Charles Rowling, “Make No Exception, Save One: American Exceptionalism, the American Presidency,” Languages, Philosophy, and Communication Studies Faculty Publications. Paper 330 (2016). https://digitalcommons.usu.eud/lpsc_facpub/330
  • Michael Kammen, “The Problem of American Exceptionalism: A Reconsideration,” American Quarterly 45:1 (Mar 1993) 1-43.
  • Uri Friedman, “’American Exceptionalism’: A Short History,” Foreign Policy URL: .
  • Peter S. Onuf, “American Exceptionalism and National Identity,” American Political Thought: A Journal of Ideas, Institutions, and Culture vol 1 (Spr 2012) 77-99.
  • Hilde Eliassen Restad, “Old Paradigms in History Die Hard in Political Science: US Foreign Policy and American Exceptionalism,” American Political Thought: A Journal of Ideas, Institutions, and Culture vol 1 (Spr 2012) 53-76.
  • Stephen Tuck, “The New American Histories,” The Historical Journal 48:3 (Sept 2005) 811-832.
  • Ian Tyrrell, “American Exceptionalism in an Age of International History,” The American Historical Review 96:4 (Oct 1991) 1031-1055.
  • Srdjan Vucetic, “What is so American about the American Empire?” International Politics 48:2/3 (2011) 251-270.
  • Stephen M. Walt, Thomas L. Friedman, & Michael Mandelbaum, “Just How Special is America Anyway? (An FP Debate),” Foreign Policy 189 (Nov 2011) 71-78.

Popular Articles:

  • Edward Countryman, “In Texas Textbooks, Moses is a Founding Father,” The Daily Beast (Sept 22, 2014). URL: 
  • Ron Fournier, “Obama’s New American Exceptionalism,” The Atlantic (2016)
  • S.T. Karnick, “Ronald Reagan’s American Exceptionalism,” Blog: Heartland (Feb 2017) URL:
  • Hilde Eliassen Restad, “Are We Coming to the End of ‘American Exceptionalism’?” URL: .
  • Zachary Stepp, “President Obama’s Reclaiming of American Exceptionalism,” Huffington Post Jan 11, 2017. URL:

Articles/Chapters on Canvas

  • Robert A. Beauregard, “The Short American Century,” (chapter 1) in When America Became Suburban (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006.
  • Seymour Martin Lipset, American Exceptionalism: A Double-Edged Sword (NY: W.W. Norton & Co., 1996) Excerpts.
  • Peter Temin, “Free Land and Federalism: American Economic Exceptionalism,” in Byron E. Shafer, ed. Is America Different?: A New Look at American Exceptionalism (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991). 71-93.
  • Robert N. Bellah, Richard Madsen, William M. Sullivan, Ann Swidler, and Steven M. Tipton, Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life (Updated edition). (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985,1996) Chapters 2, 3, 6.
  • Alexis De Tocqueville, “Of Individualism in Democracies,” from Democracy in America.  Excerpt in Robert N. Bellah, Richard Madsen, William M. Sullivan, Ann Swidler, and Steven M. Tipton, Individualism & Commitment in American Life: Readings on the Themes of Habits of the Heart (NY: Harper & Row, 1988) 11-13.
  • Frederick Jackson Turner, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” Paper read at the American Historical Association, 12 July 1893, later published. (excerpts provided on Canvas) Can also see 

YouTube: lectures and documentaries

  • Anissa Naoiai, Exceptionalism URL:
  • Fluck, W. Lecture on Tocqueville, Myth-making and American Studies Today (2010).
  • Martin Luther King, “I have a dream” speech URL:

Films: Required

  • Hidden Figures

Films: Optional

  • Apollo 13
  • October Sky
  • Little House on the Prairie (2 episodes – specified about race and immigration)

YouTube (Music)

  • Lee Greenwood, “Proud to be an American” (aka “God Bless the U.S.A.”)
  • “America the Beautiful”
  • “God Bless America”
  • “Battle Hymn of the Republic”
  • “You’re a Grand Old Flag”
  • “Yankee Doodle Dandy”
  • Neil Diamond, “Coming to America”
  • “This Land is Your Land”
  • Alan Jackson, “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning”
  • Darryl Worley, “Have You Forgotten?”
  • Toby Keith, “American Soldier”
  • Mix: Patriotic songs USA
  • Billy Ray Cyrus, “Some Gave All”
  • Brooks & Dunn – “Only in America”
  • Trace Adkins, “Arlington”

Web Documents:

  • Kennedy Inaugural speech
  • Kennedy’s New Frontier Speech
  • Kennedy’s Moon speech
  • Martin Luther King, “I have a dream” speech
  • Reagan tribute to John Wayne:
  • Obama, 2004 Convention keynote speech
  • Democratic film, 2008
  • Obama’s speech on race
  • Trump campaign song (2016)
  • Campaign ads and speeches (2016)
  • Campaign ads, 2018
  • Remington Art Prints
  • Textbookinformation:

Required Reference Works for Papers:

  • Library Databases: America: History & Life; ERIC

Required (Pensum) Reference Works:

Kompendia Utsalg:

  • Dorothy Burton Skårdal, Rules for Writing English. (compendium for ENG3501)


  • A good dictionary: (For American Studies students, Webster’s New Collegiate is preferable, but others will suffice if you are unable to get Webster’s – though they are often better for British English, than American.  It is often considerably cheaper to buy this on Amazon than to buy Oxford at Akademika, according to other students.)
  • Mary Lynn Rampolla, A Pocket Guide to Writing in History, 9thedition (Bedford/St. Martins, 2017).

Also excellent:

  • James D. Lester and James D. Lester, Jr., Writing Research Papers (available in Akademika in the English section).  See especially the chapter on plagiarism, which will be on Canvas
Published Oct. 29, 2018 12:53 PM - Last modified Oct. 3, 2019 9:56 AM