The course introduces the specifics of the United Kingdom related to its physical characteristics, climate, population, regional varieties, languages and national and regional identities: English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh dimension. Multicultural Britain. Construction and deconstruction of sterotypes. A short historical overview of the development of the British civilization from prehistoric to modern times, with a special emphasis on the most significant events and the prominent names in English history and culture. British institutions: The political system, the Monarchy, the Government, Parliament. The system of justice. The armed forces. International relations: the Commonwealth, the transatlantic relations, European relations, Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The economy, industry and financial institutions. Education. Religion. The media. The arts.
The course covers many aspects of the American culture and civilization, as reflected in the language and examines the culture-specific concepts. Physical geography. The American people. History of the USA from the colonial period to modern times (the first setllements and colonies, the War for Independence, the years of growth, setlling the west, the Civil War and the abolishing of slavery, the faith of the Amerindians, colonial wars, industrialization, the role of the USA in WWI and WWII, the Cold War period). American society and culture: political institutions, the justice system, economic structure and institutions, foreign policy, education, religion, the media, distinctly American arts (music, dance, architecture, visual arts, literature).