BA American History

Video

American Studies at the University of East Anglia is recognised as one of the best departments in the UK. We offer our undergraduate students a broad range of courses and modules, allowing you to tailor your learning as you progress through your time with us. Most of our degrees also involve a year studying abroad. Throughout their course, our students develop skills that are highly attractive to employers.

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Key facts

(Guardian University Guide 2019)

Video

Understanding America in the 21st century is more essential than ever. At UEA we have one of the largest concentrations of American studies scholars in the country, covering the entirety of the field. Join us and discover new perspectives on some of the classic questions in this subject.

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"Many employers have expressed interest in my year abroad at interview, and I now feel more independent, experienced and ready for anything"

In their words

Kirsten Irving, American Studies Graduate who spent her year abroad at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Understanding the history of the world’s foremost superpower at this fascinating moment of flux and change is more essential than ever.

On this course, which includes a year abroad, you’ll explore America’s emergence as a world superpower and its influence on global culture. You’ll follow the American story from the Revolution through the years of slavery and Civil War, the conquest and settlement of the West, and the development of modern society. You’ll explore Native American history, the world of enslaved communities in the Old South, the struggles of black civil rights activists, and the crucial decisions of Presidents who, by the atomic age of the Cold War, held the fate of humanity in their hands. By the end of your degree, you’ll not only know the history of American in depth, you will also have a keen understanding of the way our world has been shaped by this young nation.

Overview

You’ll develop your skills as a historian through comprehensive study of one of the most intriguing and influential nations in the world.

You’ll have the chance to study with internationally renowned academics working in Native American, African American, gender, urban and diplomatic history. You’ll gain a detailed knowledge of the founding of the American nation, indigenous history and culture, the workings of the U.S. government and legal system, the black freedom struggle, as well as the Cold War and America’s role in the world. 

You’ll also gain first-hand experience of the US by spending your third year there before returning to UEA to complete your degree in your fourth year. Or you could add a comparative dimension to your understanding by studying in Canada or spending one semester of your year abroad in Australia, New Zealand, or Hong Kong and the other semester in the US.

Whichever path you choose through your studies, this degree will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of how America has shaped and been shaped by the world around us. You’ll learn about the relationship between culture and politics, while gaining an in-depth knowledge of the forces that transform societies and forge nations. An American History degree will not only provide you with the analytical tools to better comprehend the United States, but also to grapple with the key political issues that shape our society today.

Course Structure

Year 1

In your first year you’ll acquire a comprehensive historical overview of the United States. You’ll analyse a series of American icons - including the Stars and Stripes, the cowboy and the prison, using them as a way to think about important issues that have shaped the American national consciousness. You’ll explore key historical topics such as the American Revolution and the writing of the Constitution, the Civil War, the Jazz Age and Cold War. You’ll be encouraged to interrogate the meaning of history, how it has been written and interpreted, while cultivating the skills needed to study history at university level. 

Year 2

In your second year you’ll take one compulsory module in the Autumn semester – Exceptional States: U.S. Intellectual and Cultural History. This interdisciplinary module allows you to delve more deeply into the foundational ideas that have animated and shaped the construction of the American nation.

At this stage of your degree, you’ll also embark on academic specialisation, meaning that the remaining credits for the year will be drawn from modules you choose.

Modules currently on offer cover a broad range of topics such as gender and sexuality, US foreign policy, histories of power and protest as well as the cultural history of American music and film.

Year 3

You’ll spend your third year abroad; an invaluable academic and cultural experience, one that most students consider to be the highlight of their time at university.

For further details, visit our Study Abroad section of our website.

Year 4

In your fourth year you’ll be able to choose three optional modules relating to the research specialisms of academic staff within the department. You’ll also complete a dissertation on a topic of your choice guided by a supervisor.

Teaching and Learning

You’ll be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars. We pride ourselves on our small group seminar teaching, which allows a greater level of discussion between academic staff and students. In seminars, you’ll learn how to listen to and critique the ideas of others, as well as how to present and defend your own arguments effectively.

You’ll acquire vital skills needed for independent learning throughout your course and have access to dedicated sessions designed to help you make the most of UEA’s state of the art library facilities. Through these sessions and your academic modules, you’ll gain crucial research skills of uncovering resources and critically assessing sources. As you progress through your degree you’ll develop as a self-motivated researcher and independent, creative thinker.

In addition to timetabled lecture and seminar slots, each member of staff at UEA holds dedicated office hours where students can come and seek additional advice and guidance on a one-to-one basis. You’ll also be assigned an adviser who can support you through your studies by providing academic and career guidance.

During your time at UEA, you’ll be taught by academics working at the forefront of their fields. Our academics have been published widely on key issues that have shaped the development of American history.

Assessment

You’ll be assessed at the end of each semester through a mixture of coursework, portfolio work and examination. In your final year, you’ll write a dissertation on a topic of your choice with the support of your tutors. Your final degree result is determined by the marks you receive in your second and fourth years.

For every piece of assessment that you submit you’ll receive written and verbal feedback from tutors. These comments and reflections will help you identify the methods and strategies that will improve your work and help you get the most out of your studies.

Optional Study abroad or Placement Year

You’ll have the opportunity to spend your third year studying abroad. Our Year Abroad programme has been running for more than 30 years and is one of the largest in the UK for American Studies. We have a wide range of partner universities and colleges across the US and Canada - from New England to California, Alaska to Louisiana, Vancouver to Ottawa. We also have a great number of partner institutions in Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand where you can experience American Studies from a Pacific Rim point of view.

Your time abroad will be an invaluable academic and cultural experience, one that most students consider to be the highlight of their time at university. 

For further details, visit our Study Abroad section of our website.

After the course

As an American History graduate you’ll be well placed to enter a wide-range of professions and sectors. These include publishing, law, journalism, financial services, the civil service, marketing and advertising, the cultural industries, teaching or lecturing, public relations and research. Working across disciplines, studying abroad, and undertaking in-depth research will give you key skills that are highly regarded by employers. You’ll also graduate as an expert researcher and communicator, skilled in analysing data, and good at working in a team.

Career destinations

Examples of careers you could enter include:

  • Publishing
  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Financial services
  • Civil service
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Cultural industries
  • Teaching/lecturing
  • Public relations
  • Researcher

Course related costs

You are eligible for reduced fees during the year abroad. Further details are available on our Tuition Fee website.

There will be extra costs related to items such as your travel and accommodation during your year abroad, which will vary depending on location.

Please see Additional Course Fees for details of other course-related costs.

Course Modules 2019/0

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

AMERICAN HISTORY I: AGE OF REVOLUTIONS

The American Constitution opens with the phrase "We the People #". But who were "the people" being addressed by the Founders? Who was included and, equally importantly, who was excluded from this definition? And how does understanding these questions of inclusion and exclusion help us to better understand the formative years of American history? You'll explore the history of the United States from its founding to the end of the 19th Century, covering events from the American Revolution to the 'closing' of the frontier. Through a range of primary and secondary historical sources, you'll be introduced to key themes, ideas, events, and people in the early history of the US. And you'll develop a broad overview of the first century and a half of American history. Beginning with the revolutions which swept Europe as well as the United States in the late 18th Century, events which fundamentally altered the relationships between people and the political structures which governed them, you'll explore the ways in which these major national and international events spurred micro-level revolutions at all levels of society. Subjects you will discuss include the radical underpinnings of the American Constitution; the reconfiguration of gender identities and ideals in the post-revolutionary period; Native American resistance to white settlement; African American challenges to slavery and the construction of 'race' as a legal category; the Civil War as the second American Revolution and the subsequent abolition of slavery; Reconstruction as a lost opportunity to confirm the revolutionary intent of the Civil War; and the closing of the frontier and Native American response to continued assaults on their freedoms. By the end of the module you will have a better understanding of the history which shaped the modern United States. You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, and self-directed study. You will draw on and strengthen your skills in researching, reading, analysing, and discussing a wide range of primary and secondary source material. You will also develop your oral communication skills and your critical writing skills through class-based discussions and written assignments.

AMAF4008A

20

AMERICAN HISTORY II: THE AMERICAN CENTURY

In 1941, Henry Luce, publisher of Time Magazine, declared the 20th Century to be "the American Century." This module challenges you to consider whether Luce was right. In exploring the possible answers to this question, you'll consider the history of the United States from approximately 1900 through to the early 21st Century. Through a range of primary and secondary historical sources, you'll be introduced to key themes, ideas, events, and people in the history of the US since the early 20th Century. In doing so, you'll develop a deeper understanding of how American political and economic power developed and explore the challenges and opportunities Americans faced as the US became a superpower. Beginning with the massive social upheaval of industrialisation and mass immigration in the early 20th Century, you'll also explore, among other things, the impact of the 'Jazz Age' of the 1920s, the Great Depression and New Deal of the 1930s, the impact of World War Two and the coming of the Cold War, the 'Rights Revolution' of the 1960s, the Civil Rights Movement, and the re-emergence of political conservatism and its consequences in the late 20th Century. You'll discuss the legacy of racism in American society, changing gender roles and the consequences for society and politics, and the domestic political and cultural impact of the half-century long Cold War. You'll deepen your knowledge of modern American history and politics and explore the ways in which the legacy of the nation's earlier history runs through more recent events. You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, and self-directed study. You will draw on and strengthen your skills in researching, reading, analysing, and discussing a wide range of primary and secondary source material. You will also develop your oral communication skills and your critical writing skills through class-based discussions and written assignments.

AMAF4010B

20

AMERICAN STUDIES I: READING CULTURES I

How can we understand American culture? What role has America played in shaping our day-to-day lives? How can we study the United States? By analysing a series of American icons - including as flag, the cowboy and the prison - you will develop a broad understanding of U.S. culture, as well as the values that have underpinned the construction of the American national identity. On completion of this module, you will have the skills required to research, write and edit at university level. You will be able to think critically about the United States and understand the relationship between culture and politics.

AMAS4036A

20

AMERICAN STUDIES II: IDEAS AND IDEOLOGIES

How has American culture been shaped by categories of race, gender, class and sexuality? How can we unpick and understand the complex experiences that shape American identity? This module will enable you to develop and expand the research methods, writing skills, and oral skills you'll have acquired in 'Reading Cultures I: American Icons'. You'll continue your exploration of the contemporary United States, you'll be introduced to the work of critical theorists, and you'll be encouraged to think about America's changing position in the world. Classes will further facilitate skills in reading, writing, analysis and independent thinking, through which you will gain the confidence and the tools necessary to be a self-supporting learner, giving you a strong academic foundation for the rest of your degree programme.

AMAS4037B

20

THINKING THROUGH AMERICAN HISTORY I

This module will provide you with the basic practical and intellectual skills required for studying history at university. This will be done through a combination of close study of a key historical text, the literature and debates surrounding it, as well as a number of dedicated skills sessions. You will consider what it means to study history, while examining the ways in which historical scholarship has been shaped by contemporary political events. Seminars will provide an overview of major historiographical currents relating to US history, discuss different methodological approaches to the subject, and provide students with training in primary source research, analysis and interpretation.

AMAF4009A

20

THINKING THROUGH AMERICAN HISTORY II

This module asks you to consider the different ways that historians have approached the writing of American History. Covering different historiographical approaches (progressive history, labour history, gender history, transnational history, to name just a few) you will learn how the work of historians has been shaped by the context of their time and how history as a discipline has changed over time. On successful completion of the module, you will have greatly enhanced your understanding of how the discipline of history has developed over time. You'll also have the opportunity to refine your research, writing and presentation skills, so that you can communicate your ideas more effectively. Finally, this module will provide you with key analytical skills that will be essential for the second and final years of your degree.

AMAF4011B

20

Students must study the following modules for 20 credits:

Name Code Credits

EXCEPTIONAL STATES: US Intellectual and Cultural History

Exceptional States is designed to allow you to grapple with some of the distinctive, some have said exceptional, ways in which Americans have viewed the world, interpreted their own society, their own past, their own literary and artistic traditions#that is, their own culture. We aim to give you a key to understanding 'the American mind', or to put it another way, American ways of thinking. It is in a sense our intention to enable you to approach your subject#whether that be your own particular topic, your own discipline, or the field as a whole#with an ability to interpret it, understand its 'Americanness', and so understand the subtle nuances often lost on outsiders. We will, in short, give you a deeper insight into America, and also into the study of America. To that extent, your intellectual journey will be taken onward another stage. You will begin to see new meanings in past events, literary texts, images, films, and so on. You will be able to reach a deeper understanding of the complexities of the United States of America.

AMAS5028A

20

Students will select 20 - 40 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

Black Freedom Struggles: Slavery, 1619-1865

Race is central to the history of the United States. The conversations about race in 21st century America have their origins in a system of slavery that developed from the early colonial period. This module excavates these roots and thereby enables you to look to current conversations and understand where these began. You will follow a chronological sequence on the module, allowing us to trace the course of racial slavery in North America from its inception in 1619 through to its abolition in 1865. You will consider the roots of racism in the colonial era that strengthened during the antebellum years and beyond and consider their relationship with racial slavery. You will engage with the developing historical scholarship of slavery in the United States, gaining a deeper understanding of contemporary (then and now) debates concerning race and racial identity. Employing a range of resources including written and visual primary sources, oral histories, cinematic depictions, and nineteenth century novels, will allow you to see the networks of power articulated though race and ideas of "otherness". You'll learn through a mixture of seminars and self-directed study, often working with artifacts or source materials in seminars to enable you to think collectively about their meanings. Assessment will be entirely through coursework. The study of slavery in the United States will make you a better historian, whatever your area of interest. Concepts of race and ideas of "otherness" are so central to the study of history in the 21st century that the techniques and strategies of analysis employed on this module will enable you to think about the arguments of others more effectively and also position yourself within those debates.

AMAH5043A

20

THE COLD WAR

What was the Cold War? When did it start? Where was it fought, how was it waged, and why did it last so long? Such seemingly straightforward questions belie that the conflict was neither "cold" nor a "war," and lacks a clearly defined start and end. Indeed, the subject has produced a vast range of arguments but continues to defy easy answers. We will examine these questions in an international context to uncover how and why the United States and Soviet Union waged a "cold war" in every corner of the globe during the twentieth century. You will consider nations and peoples who aligned with the superpowers or, as was increasingly the case, with neither. You will look at the multiple ways in which this unique "war short of total war" influenced all aspects of life, from diplomacy and politics, to economics, to culture and values, to bombs and warfare, to societal norms, to questions of race and sexuality. Examining the role of a range of state, private, and transnational actors, we will present a global and international history of the Cold War. You will work with original primary sources, the latest secondary literature, and consider fictional sources like films and novels to gain a full and rich understanding of the topic. You will engage a rich historiography on the changing ways that historians have written about the cold war. As a result, you will be able to debate how one of the most powerful historical narratives of the twentieth century continues to shape America and the world today.

AMAS5044A

20

Students will select 40 - 60 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

AMERICA IN THE WORLD: THE HISTORY OF U.S. FOREIGN RELATIONS

Has the United States helped or harmed the rest of the world during its rise to world power? Why has it been, and continues to be, involved in every corner of the globe? You will be offered a critical introduction to understanding the history of U.S. foreign relations. You will explore the key themes and traditions that have informed America's approach to international affairs, from foundational ideas in the 18th and 19th centuries to increasing influence in the 20th and 21st centuries. In addition to analysing traditional political and diplomatic issues, you will consider the link between foreign and domestic policies, and the role of various state and non-state actors that have shaped America's actions abroad. You will work with original primary sources, the latest secondary literature, and a range of cultural and political texts including speeches, newspapers, and editorial cartoons. This broader consideration of foreign relations history engages important contemporary trends in the historiography of U.S. foreign policy - regarding race, gender, and the "international" and "cultural" turns - and connects them to emerging trends in the fields of American history and international relations. As a result, you will gain a detailed understanding of the history of U.S. foreign relations and the legacies that continue to shape debates about America's role in the world today.

AMAH5051B

20

AMERICAN CULTURE, 1919-1946

The period between World War I and the Cold War was a period of dramatic change in the United States: from the seemingly endless prosperity of the twenties to the depression of the thirties; from isolationism to World War II; and from a population that lived in predominantly rural or small-town communities to one increasingly located in large urban centres or their suburban satellites. You will explore the changing economic, political and cultural history of this period, particularly through an examination of the cultural debates over the modernity of the twenties, the New Deal of the thirties and America's changing place in the world during this time. In order to explore these issues, you will engage with a wide range of sources that include political documents, literary texts and films.

AMAS5051B

20

BLACK FREEDOM STRUGGLES: THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

The African American freedom struggle did not begin or end with the civil rights protests of the 1950s -1960s. Since the demise of slavery, black activists have been forcefully demanding racial equality. From 1865 to the present day, African Americans have not only asserted their rights as citizens, but have demanded an end to economic injustice, while questioning the actions of the U.S. government both at home and abroad. This module examines black political and cultural protest in the United States over the course of the 'long' civil rights movement. Covering the period from the first years of black freedom following the Civil War to the emergence of Black Lives Matter, you will learn about the breadth and diversity of African American activism. You will challenge popular narratives of the civil rights movement and uncover the radical impulses that have animated the freedom dreams of black America. You will cover how African Americans responded to disenfranchisement, racial violence and economic inequality. You will also learn about the lives of key figures in the black freedom struggle such as Booker T. Washington, Nannie Helen Burroughs, Marcus Garvey, Mary McLeod Bethune, Stokely Carmichael and Angela Davis. Ultimately, through the study of primary sources and secondary texts, you will grapple with the complexity of black political thought and develop a detailed understanding of how African Americans counteracted white supremacy. On successful completion of this module you will have a broad understanding of the major trends in African American political and cultural history from the nineteenth century to the present day. You will able be able to clearly articulate how African Americans have shaped our understanding of the American nation, democracy and the meaning of human rights. Finally, through the close study of a range of cultural and political texts including autobiographies, speeches, newspapers and film, you will develop key analytical skills that are vital to the interdisciplinary study of history and politics.

AMAH5050B

20

WE'RE HERE, WE'RE QUEER: QUEER AMERICAN LIFE AND LITERATURE, 1900-PRESENT

This interdisciplinary module would introduce students to themes in the queer experience in the 20th century US, using literary texts as sources. An emphasis would be placed on the importance of intersecting embodied experiences that map on to the queerness of the writers, including race, region, religion, class, disability, and gender. Each week's reading and discussion would focus on one key fiction or life-writing text, one alternate primary source, and one key text from the historiography of LGBTQ history in the United States, moving chronologically from 1900-2000. Students would also be asked to engage with critical and theoretical approaches to the work that further historicize and contextualize the writers' individual experiences and ideas with the wider queer history of the time. Central readings would include the work of James Baldwin, Flannery O'Connor, Jane Bowles, Rita Mae Brown, and Brontez Purnell.

AMAS5021B

20

Students will select 0 - 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

AMERICAN MUSIC

The first book published in the New World was a hymn book. Music, sacred and profane, has been at the centre of American lives ever since. Distinctive American musical styles still dominate the globe, as they have done for decades. But how did American music develop into the genres that we recognise today? How did uniquely American sounds catch the ear of listeners all over the world? You will gain a thorough understanding of the development of American music. You will focus on a number of distinctive musical traditions - from minstrelsy to blues, jazz, and country; from rock and roll to hip hop - and consider the way that they have shaped popular music today. Throughout the course, you will encounter a rich variety of music and an extraordinary range of characters, from the most famous entertainers in modern culture, to the obscure, the forgotten and the neglected. Whilst exploring the development of American music, you will also examine the ways in which its growth tells a larger story about the history of America and its people. In particular, it will give you a different perspective on the issue of race in American life. Through seminar discussion, written coursework, and group presentations, you will develop your analytical and critical abilities - whether that means your ability to think about the significance of a song and its meaning for a particular historical moment, or the way that the shifting meaning of a genre of music can tell us many things about its wider social and cultural context.

AMAS5023A

20

HUMAN RIGHTS: THE HISTORY OF AN IDEA

Reading key historical, philosophical, political, legal and literary texts, you will track the emergence of human rights as a cultural idea from their conception in the eighteenth century, through the development of political rights and humanitarianism in the nineteenth century, through to the Nuremberg trials and the United Nations of Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), into the post World War Two period and up to the present day. You will trace how the idea of human rights developed at key junctures, and untangle their relationship to political and historical change.

HIS-5043A

20

POLITICS IN THE USA

The election of Donald Trump as President in 2016 has radically changed US politics. Yet to fully understand the current times, contemporary American politics needs to be put into context. This module covers the historical themes that exist in US politics from the eighteenth century to the present day. The emphasis will be on modern political history and contemporary politics, but this will be underpinned by a knowledge of the political philosophy at the time of the formation of the United States, the governmental structures, and political developments over historical time.

PPLX5164A

20

THEY CAME FROM OUTER-THE-CLOSET: GENDER, SEXUALITY AND PANIC IN AMERICAN FILM

With its main focus on the 20th century, this module will explore key moments of change or crisis in the century and consider the ways the panic caused by such changes is distinctly gendered and/or sexualised. It will concurrently examine gender and sexual resistance to dominant ideas of American identity and the subsequent creation and/or promotion of liberationist discourses and alternative communities. Film will provide the focus for this cultural study, and the module will range widely over a number of different genres including the western, sci-fi, detective and LGBT themed works.

AMAS5020A

20

Students will select 0 - 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

ARTS AND HUMANITIES PLACEMENT MODULE

This module will provide you with the opportunity to work within a creative/cultural/charity/ heritage/media or other appropriate organisation in order to apply the skills you are developing through your degree to the working world and to develop your knowledge of employment sectors within which you may wish to work in the future. The module emphasises industry experience, sector awareness and personal development through a structured reflective learning experience. Having sourced and secured your own placement (with support from Careers Central), you work within your host organisation undertaking tasks that will help you to gain a better understanding of professional practices within your chosen sector. Taught sessions enable you to acquire knowledge of both the industries in which you are placed as well as focusing on personal and professional development germane to the sector. Your assessment tasks will provide you with an opportunity to critically reflect on the creative and cultural sector in which you have worked as well as providing opportunities to undertake presentations, gather evidence, and articulate your newly acquired skills and experiences. If you would like to choose this module you need to attend a preparatory workshop on March 13th from 2pm - 4pm in ARTS 01.02 or March 14th from 12-2pm in SCI 3.05. A register will be taken and only students who have attended the workshop will be considered during Module Enrolment. If there are extenuating circumstances that prevent attendance at either workshop, students must email placements@uea.ac.uk in order to arrange a one-to-one preparation session. In addition to the preparatory workshop, students who enrol on this module will be required to undertake further preparatory activities prior to the module starting in the spring semester of 2020 and have secured a placement by December 11th 2019. Support will be provided throughout the duration of this process. International students interested in this module must ensure that they have appropriate CAS allocation to allow for a placement.

HUM-5004B

20

FAKE NEWS! AMERICAN JOURNALISM, HISTORY AND PRACTICE.

How do we know what is real and what is fake? Previous generations, we are told, could reliably turn to "the news"#but is that really true? From the very beginning, American news was always synonymous with low scandal, scurrilous rumour, and fakery. And yet, there is no doubt that there have been crucial moments when journalists and journalism have gone beyond merely reporting events, to shape the public imagination. "The news" has always manipulated as much as informed its audiences, and in this module you will learn about how this in turn has shaped American life. In learning about the history of journalism and its cultural impact in America in the wider global context, you will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of the art of journalism, both critically and in practice. You will engage with questions surrounding print, broadcast and digital media#looking back to the past, reflecting on the present, and looking forward into the future of journalism. You will consider the ways in which marginalised peoples have sought to assert their voices through news media, by seizing the means by which our public understanding of reality is produced. The work will involve critical readings, engagement with primary source materials, seminar discussions, presentations, and critical writing with creative practice. You will have the opportunity to refine your communication skills, and especially the art of writing in different modes for different audiences.

AMAS5049B

20

FREEDOM - THE HISTORY OF A DREAM

The idea of freedom is one of the cornerstones of modern European political thought. And yet, few ideas, in the history of early-modern and modern Europe, have been more misused, misunderstood, and manipulated. The aim of this module is to offer a survey of the different meanings that the idea has acquired between the seventeenth and the nineteenth century. The history of the Age of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and the Restoration will be central to this module. You will consider the ideas and works of several authors, including Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Tocqueville, Mill, etc# and their readings of the events they witnessed. You will also consider the relationship between ideas of freedom and other crucial notions - justice, community, nation, etc# But, above all, you will pay attention to the ambiguity underlying its various meanings. With reference to the latter point, two main issues will be particularly significant. First, if freedom can only exist if there are limits to it (G.W.F. Hegel), then how have those limits been established? Second, since freedom can never be given by others but must always be taken from them (Hannah Arendt), then the question is to what an extent the use of violence has been deemed legitimate in the pursuit of freedom in European history? Concerns as these will be central to our seminars and lectures. This module does not require a knowledge of political philosophy or political theory.

HIS-5072B

20

LATIN AMERICA AND THE WORLD (LEVEL 5)

You'll study Latin America from a perspective that challenges the legacy of colonial rule, its political aftermath, and its cultural and economic consequences. You'll focus on topics such as indigenous politics, racism, environmentalism, gay rights, gender, religion, migration, urbanisation, the Chicano movement, narco-corridos, and various social and cultural movements. You'll examine these as examples of local responses to the colonial legacy and to dominant Western constructions of Latin America.

PPLH5156B

20

OF MICE AND KRAZY KATS: HISTORY AND ART OF AMERICAN COMICS

Are comics art? The answer is yes, and this module will show you why through an in-depth examination of American comics from early newspaper strips to contemporary graphic novels. You'll read a wide range of different comics, including the birth of superheroes, World War II propaganda comics, controversial horror comics, underground comix from the San Francisco counterculture, recent alternative comics, and the current boom in reality-based graphic novels. You'll learn about the complex history of American comics, including the specific contexts for the form's development as a mass medium and its frequent marginalisation in the cultural sphere, such as the great comic-book scare of the 1950s. In the process, you'll learn to pay special attention to form as well as content when reading comics, and will develop a critical vocabulary for evaluating the aesthetics of the form. In addition to a broad selection from the history of American comics, you'll also examine comics through different thematic perspectives, such as race, gender, and sexuality, and you'll read critical material that'll further inform your understanding of the form. You'll learn through seminars as well as through independent library study of the periods and themes that resonate the most with you, and you'll be assessed through coursework. At the end of the module, you'll have gained a deep understanding of the many historical and cultural issues that inform any appreciation of comics, and you'll have learned to consider the form as a unique and mature form of American art.

AMAS5050B

20

PROPAGANDA

This module introduces you to the history and theory of propaganda, and its role in society. You'll consider what constitutes and defines propaganda. Focusing on the 20th century, we examine propaganda in a range of political settings, both totalitarian and democratic, in the local context of the relationships of power and communications. The module is structured chronologically, starting with the development of propaganda during World War I and finishing with a consideration of propaganda in the 21st century.

HIS-5050B

20

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

AMERICAN STUDIES SEMESTER ABROAD: AMERICA

A semester spent at a North American (United States or Canada) university taking an approved course of study.

AMAY5027A

60

AMERICAN STUDIES SEMESTER ABROAD: AUSTRALIA

A semester spent at a university in Australia or New Zealand taking an approved course of study.

AMAY5026B

60

AMERICAN STUDIES YEAR ABROAD

A year spent at an American university taking an approved course of study.

AMAY5028Y

120

Students must study the following modules for 30 credits:

Name Code Credits

AMERICAN STUDIES DISSERTATION

You will complete an independent research project leading to a dissertation of 8,000 words to be submitted at the end of the semester. A member of American Studies faculty will supervise the dissertation.

AMAS6056B

30

Students will select 60 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

CAMPS IN HISTORY AND MEMORY: THE 20TH CENTURY IN DETENTIONS, MIGRATIONS, AND EXPLOITATION

The late philosopher Zygmunt Bauman called the 20th century 'a century of camps'; for him, camps were testing grounds for totalitarian regimes. In this module, you will study the history of the violent last century through the unique lens of camps: concentration camps, forced labour camps, POW camps, refugee camps, and others. Through diverse material selected for the course, you will analyse the well-known events of the 20th century by looking at camps as places of detention, indoctrination, re-education, labour exploitation, and extermination. This unique angle provides insights into the politics of great totalitarian powers, as well as their models for organising and governing society and interacting with other nations of the world. Camps did not appear out of nowhere; each place of detention was part of an institutional network driven by divergent aims: to contain, correct, re-educate, punish. You will study these networks within their historical contexts, using diverse materials specific to each case. Also, a study of camps cannot be limited to camp walls and barbed wire; while static themselves and built to limit people's movements, camps were ironically dependent on the movements of people from place to place. Thus a study of camps inevitably involves the study of forced migrations. To acquaint you with the less studied side of global, regional and transnational interactions, this module will use a variety of sources, analyses, and methods in order to make sense of international regimes of detention, control, and punishment.

HIS-6086A

30

IMPERIALISTS, PASHAS and REVOLUTIONARIES: IRAQ, 1914-2003

You will explore the eventful and troubled history of modern Iraq. Taking its starting point in the nineteenth century, when Iraq was part of the Ottoman Empire, you will explore how the country came under British tutelage following the Great War and how it subsequently experienced a turbulent history as various political actors sought to wrest control of the newly established state. You will pay special attention to key moments when the course of Iraq's history changed, such as wars, military coups, and revolutions, but also periods in between when society returned to some sort of normality. You will particularly focus on the rise of political ideologies, especially Arab nationalism, and its local counterpart, Iraqi nationalism - but also other ideologies such as socialism, communism and Ba#thism. Saddam Hussein's domination of the country (1979-2003) is also an important element of the module.

HIS-6020A

30

Nationalism in Europe since 1789: Shaping Identities in the Age of Modernity

You will examine in depth the history of nationalism in Europe from the late eighteenth to the twentieth century. The central theme is the relationship between the rise and development of nationalism and the shaping of images and discourses about Europe. You will consider and compare the strength of nationalism to the weakness of Europeanism in order to improve your historical understanding of identity formation processes in the modern age. In this sense, it does not consider the nation and Europe as being one the denial of the other, but as forces interacting in complex ways and, in given instances, feeding upon one another. Centred on this theoretical concern, you will be offered a broad survey of the history of nationalism from the Age of Enlightenment to the European integration process, explaining how it has developed into a mass movement and an ideology affecting so deeply the life of millions of individuals across Europe. The perspective used will be that of the cultural historian and the historian of ideas and ideologies. A variety of different primary sources - including pictures, novels, private correspondence, newspaper articles, political tracts and pamphlet, history books, films, songs, etc# - will be used to highlight, on the one hand, the ambiguities of modern nationalism, to explain its quasi-religious nature and explore its strength and resilience. On the other hand, they will help us investigate how and to what extent discourses about Europe affected, after the Second World War, one of the greatest projects of political engineering ever attempted, highlighting the economic success of EU integration and considering its incapacity to create a strong attachment to EU institutions. The course is interdisciplinary in nature. While it is essentially addressed to historians, especially if you are interested in cultural history and in the history of ideologies, it also considers sociological issues and topics that would appeal if you are interested in politics.

HIS-6019A

30

POLITICS AND FOREIGN POLICY OF THE ASIA-PACIFIC

This module will introduce you to important themes in international relations within the Asia Pacific, at a time when the region has assumed great importance. There will be a particular focus on the important historical periods in the relations between the USA, China and Japan. An understanding of elements of the trajectory of these relationships will be provided by taking a selection of historical subjects for analysis. While you will address the knowledge of history, and of long-term themes, in the latter part of the module you will consider contemporary political issues. This will require you to develop an understanding of the interaction of the United States with Asia, and China and Japan in particular.

PPLI6069A

30

SEX AND THE CULTURE WARS

This final year module would guide students through the political debates over sexuality at the heart of the US culture wars, from 1960 to present. Students would be encouraged to reflect on the way in which the intimate lives of Americans became embroiled in the moral-political battles which escalated from the 1960s onwards. This list might include: abortion, birth control, the age of consent, sex education, welfare, pornography and obscenity, gay marriage, and gay military service, among others. It would introduce students to primary source materials from both sides of the 'battle for the soul of America', from abstinence only sex education materials to DIY feminist sexual health zines. It would also introduce students to the broad historiography of the culture wars, including writing by Eileen Tyler May, Linda Gordon, Margot Canaday, and Andrew Hartman.

AMAS6066A

30

SLAVERY IN THE EARLY MODERN ATLANTIC WORLD

This module begins by surveying African, Native American and European labour regimes in the fifteenth century in order to establish a foundation for studying the transformations that followed European imperial expansion and the inauguration of the transatlantic slave trade. We will examine the process of enslavement in Africa, North America, and the Mediterranean; the ransom, exchange and sale of captives; and the development of slave markets in the European colonies in the Americas. We will study childhood and family life in various enslaved communities; the material lives of slaves; and the rise of distinct cultures within the African diaspora. We will compare the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, French and British Empires with regard to the practice of slavery. We will also trace patterns of slave resistance, escapes, rebellions, and the creation of maroon communities. The semester will end with an examination of the tangled international politics surrounding the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade and the end of plantation slavery across the Atlantic World.

HIS-6081A

30

US INTERVENTIONISM, THE CIA AND COVERT ACTION

Covert intervention represents the most controversial aspect of U.S. foreign relations. No agency is more closely associated with it than the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Supposedly hidden from view, the CIA is nonetheless known around the world and is regularly in the news and a fixture on our cultural landscape. We will reveal the hidden history of how and why the United States has manipulated abroad from the twentieth century to the present. We discover how we come to understand the "secret" world of covert action. After an introduction to the key conceptual and historical debates regarding covert action as a tool of U.S. foreign policy, you will examine key moments and cases of U.S. interventionism, from Europe, to Asia, to Africa, to Latin America, to the Middle-East, and in America itself. Have clandestine activities been consistent with official policies or do they represent a form of covert imperialism? How have they been resisted? You will gain a sound understanding of the institutions and processes behind covert action, especially the role of the CIA, and analyse how American interventionism is debated at home. You will work with previously classified sources, the latest secondary literature, and draw on fictional sources like films and novels to gain a fuller and richer understanding of the topic. As a result, you will be able to debate ongoing questions regarding covert American power and the nation's role in the world.

AMAH6009A

30

Students will select 30 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

CONTESTING THE PAST: REPRESENTATION AND MEMORY

In this module, you will explore how the past is constantly constructed and reconstructed in the present. In the first part of the module we will consider how mnemonic processes are created, by who, and for what purpose. Commemoration, memorialisation, and visual representations form a key part of this process. In the second part of the module, we will study the ways in which individuals and groups remember and how this often differs from official or mediated discourses. In the third and final part, we will explore various 'memory conflicts' and their present day consequences. Throughout, film, photography, visual and audio media, and oral history will form key components of your studies.

HIS-6077B

30

GENDER IN AMERICAN CULTURE

The Statue of Liberty is emblematic of the democratic ideals espoused since the American Revolution. Yet, the feminine figure that stands aloft in the New York skyline is also symbolic of discourses of gender: the ideals and expectations shaping men and women's lives as gendered beings. You will consider how traditional discourses of gender have shaped the identity of Americans and the American nation. You'll start with an overview of traditional conceptual models of masculinity and femininity in 21st century America. You'll then use a variety of case studies for the remainder of your module to enable you to think carefully and critically about how particular models of gender operated within certain contexts. These case studies will include debates around the body and representations of gender in iconographical form and visual culture, in addition to reflecting on gendered rhetoric in the political arena, the workplace, and institutions such as the military. You will consider how particular ideals of gender have been articulated in various contexts and how this has informed wider discourses central to the American nation. You'll learn through a mixture of seminars and self-directed learning, with a particular focus on class discussion in the sessions. You'll be asked to prepare and deliver a class presentation, either in a group or alone, for a particular session of your choosing. This can then form the basis of your ideas for later work if you'd like. You'll be assessed entirely through coursework. Throughout the module you will develop knowledge and skills to enable you to take forward either to postgraduate study or in your chosen career. You'll develop your communication skills, growing intellectually through the weekly discussions, which will enable you to effectively position an argument. You'll also expand your research, writing, and presentation skills.

AMAS6032B

30

GLOBAL COMMUNITY: INTERNATIONALISM IN THE NINETEENTH AND TWENTIETH CENTURIES

Historians often concentrate on wars and conflicts between nations; this module seeks to examine ideas and institutions which have aimed at the common good of humanity. In the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars, a whole range of ideas for uniting mankind developed, as did the infrastructure of trade and communications which held the potential to make this possible. Ideas of internationalism developed among liberals, socialists and conservatives as well as significant cultural figures such has H G Wells and Jules Verne. Such ideas also developed in the United States, shaping the thinking of President Woodrow Wilson and the peace settlement at the end of the First World War. The League of Nation after 1918 also represented the first attempt to realize a form of global governance, and such ideas were renewed in the form of the United Nations after 1945, a period which, despite the rivalries of the Cold War, saw the revival of a whole range of ideas for re-uniting men and women across national boundaries. The legacy of this international tradition remained a potent force in shaping globalisation in the later twentieth century. You will study topics including: Uniting nations before and after 1815: the Concert of Europe and the Brotherhood of Man; Peace, free trade and the origins of liberal internationalism in 19th Britain; Communications and global governance; the emergence of Liberal internationalism in the United States; Socialist internationalism before 1914; Cultural internationalism in fin de siecle Europe; Wilsonian internationalism and the peace settlement of 1919; The League of Nations between the Wars; Conservative internationalism between the Wars; Socialist internationalism, 1919-1939; Thinking about peace, 1919-1939; the emergence of the United Nations; Global economic order after 1945; Globalising human rights.

HIS-6064B

30

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

  • The Lost Ones

    In the late nineteenth century, as the federal government entered the final stages of US nation building with its accompanying conquest and dispossession of Native nations, a glaring question remained unanswered: what should be done with the surviving indigenous peoples who had withstood this onslaught.

    Read it The Lost Ones
  • Trump's challenge

    Trump’s challenge to the US legal system must be taken seriously.

    Read it Trump's challenge
  • UEA Award

    Develop your skills, build a strong CV and focus your extra-curricular activities while studying with our employer-valued UEA award.

    Read it UEA Award
  • Ask A Student

    This is your chance to ask UEA's students about UEA, university life, Norwich and anything else you would like an answer to.

    Read it Ask A Student

Entry Requirements

  • A Level BBB or ABC including a History related subject or BBC with an A in the Extended Project
  • International Baccalaureate 31 points including HL 5 History
  • Scottish Highers AABBB including a History related subject
  • Scottish Advanced Highers CCC including a History related subject
  • Irish Leaving Certificate 2 subjects at H2, 4 subjects at H3 including a History related subject
  • Access Course A Humanities & Social Sciences pathway is preferred. Pass the Access to HE Diploma with Merit in 45 credits at Level 3 including a History module.
  • BTEC DDM, alongside grade C in a History-related A-level (or equivalent qualification). Excludes BTEC Public Services and Business Administration
  • European Baccalaureate 70% including at least 70% in a History related subject

Entry Requirement

You are required to have Mathematics and English Language at a minimum of Grade C or Grade 4 or above at GCSE.

If you do not meet the academic requirements for direct entry, you may be interested in one of our Foundation Year programmes.

UEA recognises that some students take a mixture of International Baccalaureate IB or International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme IBCP study rather than the full diploma, taking Higher levels in addition to A levels and/or BTEC qualifications. At UEA we do consider a combination of qualifications for entry, provided a minimum of three qualifications are taken at a higher Level. In addition some degree programmes require specific subjects at a higher level.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students from all academic backgrounds. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including writing, speaking, listening and reading):

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall (with no less than 6.0 in any component)

We also accept a number of other English language tests. Please click here to see our full list.

If you do not meet the academic and or English requirements for direct entry our partner, INTO University of East Anglia offers guaranteed progression on to this undergraduate degree upon successful completion of a preparation programme. Depending on your interests, and your qualifications you can take a variety of routes to this degree:

Interviews

The majority of candidates will not be called for an interview and a decision will be made via UCAS Track. However, for some students an interview will be requested. You may be called for an interview to help the School of Study, and you, understand if the course is the right choice for you.  The interview will cover topics such as your current studies, reasons for choosing the course and your personal interests and extra-curricular activities.  Where an interview is required the Admissions Service will contact you directly to arrange a convenient time.

Gap Year

We welcome applications from students who have already taken or intend to take a gap year.  We believe that a year between school and university can be of substantial benefit. You are advised to indicate your reason for wishing to defer entry and to contact admissions@uea.ac.uk directly to discuss this further.

Intakes

The School's annual intake is in September of each year.

  • A Level BBB or ABC including a History related subject or BBC to include a History related subject with an A in the Extended Project
  • International Baccalaureate 31 points overall including 5 in HL History.
  • Scottish Highers AABBB including a History related subject
  • Scottish Advanced Highers CCC including a History related subject
  • Irish Leaving Certificate 2 subjects at H2, 4 subjects at H3 including a History related subject
  • Access Course Humanities & Social Sciences pathway is preferred. Pass the Access to HE Diploma with Merit in 45 credits at Level 3 including a History module.
  • BTEC DDM, alongside grade B in a History-related A-level (or equivalent qualification). Excludes BTEC Public Services and Business Administration
  • European Baccalaureate 70% including at least 70% in a History related subject

Entry Requirement

If you do not meet the academic requirements for direct entry, you may be interested in one of our Foundation Year programmes.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

Applications from students whose first language is not English are welcome. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including writing, speaking, listening and reading):

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall (minimum 6.0 in any component)

We also accept a number of other English language tests. Please click here to see our full list.

INTO University of East Anglia  

If you do not yet meet the English language requirements for this course, INTO UEA offer a variety of English language programmes which are designed to help you develop the English skills necessary for successful undergraduate study: 

INTO University of East Anglia

If you do not meet the academic and or English requirements for direct entry our partner, INTO University of East Anglia offers guaranteed progression on to this undergraduate degree upon successful completion of a preparation programme. Depending on your interests, and your qualifications you can take a variety of routes to this degree:

Interviews

Most applicants will not be called for an interview and a decision will be made via UCAS Track. However, for some applicants an interview will be requested. Where an interview is required the Admissions Service will contact you directly to arrange a time.

Gap Year

We welcome applications from students who have already taken or intend to take a gap year.  We believe that a year between school and university can be of substantial benefit. You are advised to indicate your reason for wishing to defer entry on your UCAS application.

Intakes

The annual intake is in September each year.

Alternative Qualifications

UEA recognises that some students take a mixture of International Baccalaureate IB or International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme IBCP study rather than the full diploma, taking Higher levels in addition to A levels and/or BTEC qualifications. At UEA we do consider a combination of qualifications for entry, provided a minimum of three qualifications are taken at a higher Level. In addition some degree programmes require specific subjects at a higher level.

GCSE Offer

You are required to have Mathematics and English Language at a minimum of Grade C or Grade 4 or above at GCSE.

Course Open To

UK and overseas applicants.

Fees and Funding

Undergraduate University Fees and Financial Support

Tuition Fees

Information on tuition fees can be found here:

UK students

EU Students

Overseas Students

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to ensuring that costs do not act as a barrier to those aspiring to come to a world leading university and have developed a funding package to reward those with excellent qualifications and assist those from lower income backgrounds. 

The University of East Anglia offers a range of Scholarships; please click the link for eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.

How to Apply

Applications need to be made via the Universities Colleges and Admissions Services (UCAS), using the UCAS Apply option.

UCAS Apply is a secure online application system that allows you to apply for full-time Undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in the United Kingdom. It is made up of different sections that you need to complete. Your application does not have to be completed all at once. The system allows you to leave a section partially completed so you can return to it later and add to or edit any information you have entered. Once your application is complete, it must be sent to UCAS so that they can process it and send it to your chosen universities and colleges.

The UCAS code name and number for the University of East Anglia is EANGL E14.

Further Information

Please complete our Online Enquiry Form to request a prospectus and to be kept up to date with news and events at the University. 

Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515