American Immigrant Literature

syllabus detail

Dominant culture moment

This presentation is intended to focus and prepare for study of the USA's dominant culture, which becomes our focus at the end of the semester.  

Assigned student chooses 1 or 2 passages in the day’s readings featuring characters or values that may be associated with America’s dominant culture.

  • Since the dominant culture may be elusive, complex, or repellent, welcome to express uncertainty and recruit help in the presentation.

  • Sometimes the student will choose different manifestations than the instructor had in mind.

  • Not to worry—honesty and inquiry count more than correctness.

1. Direct class to one or more passages that depict characters, values, or institutions associated with America’s dominant culture. Read aloud.

2. Explain how or why you chose the passage. Explore the passage's significance or implications for the immigrant narrative, especially assimilation to the dominant culture.

3. Relate the passage to course objectives on the dominant culture or the term dominant culture.

4. Lead discussion and conclude:

  • Ask questions or invite students to respond  by reinforcing or differing with your reading.

  • Invite other appearances of dominant culture in readings.

  • Instructor may redirect to other passages.

Web posting: Email the instructor an outline of your presentation before or after class. If before, you may use the webpage projector to help lead, but not required.

Examples from 2007 Dominant Culture Moments