Dr. Ian Gordon ASC NUS

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AS3219 American Business and Technology:
From the Armory System to E-Commerce
Semester 1 2000-2001
Dr. Ian Gordon
Ph. 874 4694

Tuesday 6.00pm - 8.00pm LT12 
Monday 9.00am-12.00 noon (1 hour time slots) 
Tuesday 12.00 noon -5.00pm (1 hour time slots) 

Course Description Teaching Format Assessment Tutorials Reading
Class Schedule
Lecture 1 Lecture 2 Lecture 3 Lecture 4 Lecture 5
Lecture 6 Lecture 7 Lecture 8 Lecture 9 Lecture 10
Lecture 11 Lecture 12 Lecture 13 Lecture Outlines Study Guides

Course Description
This module examines the place of business and technology in American culture. Beginning with the transformation of the American economy during the Civil War (1861-1865) students will examine changes in manufacturing systems, the development of corporations and big businesses, the growth of the national and international markets, the invention and marketing of new products, brand names, and advertising. The module asks students to consider whether companies such as Coca-Cola and Microsoft encapsulate American values, or whether they are transnational, and untypical of U.S. values.

Teaching Format
A weekly two hour lecture and one hour tutorial.

Students are expected to attend lectures and tutorial in accordance with university policy and to actively participate in tutorials. Assessment is (40%) continuous assessment -- based on class participation, a mid-term test, tutorial presentation, and a 2,500 word essay -- and (60%) a final exam (open book).  The essay is due at 5pm on Friday September 15. Students may use the subject of their tutorial presentation as the basis for their essay. Students must consult my essay guide page.

A reading packet will be available from the photcopy room in the Co-op in the Forum.
No text as such for this course, but a useful work to consult is: Mansel G. Blackford and K. Austin Kerr, Business Enterprise in American History. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1994. NUS Library Holdings

Lecture 1 (July 18)
Introduction to Course
The Civil War, The Armory System, and The Standardization of Production

Lecture 2 (July 25)
The Corporation and Management, Trusts and Anti-Trust Laws, Taylorism and Beyond

Lecture 3 (August 1)
Invention and New Products, Edison, Bell, and George Eastman, Industrial Design

Lecture 4 (August 8)
Advertising, Celebrities, and Brand Names

Lecture 5 (August 15)
Marketing Products (a): The National Market, Creating Markets,  Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola

Lecture 6 (August 22)
Marketing Products (b): The Automobile, Ford vs GM,

Lecture 7(August 29)
Mid Term Exam

Lecture 8 (September 12)
From Science Fiction to Science: Imagination and Technological Development

Lecture 9 (September 19)
Shopping Malls: From Department Stores to Shopping Malls

Lecture  10 (September 26)
Franchises and Merchandising: McDonalds, Starbucks, Borders

Lecture  11 (October 3)
Critical Visions

Lecture  12 (October 10
The PC Revolution: Apple, IBM and Clones, Microsoft

Lecture 13 (October 17)
The Future? The Web and E-commerce

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Last update August 7, 2000.                                           © National University of Singapore - American Studies Centre
                                                                                                            Contact: Ian Gordon