BA American Studies

"American Studies was a great way for me to experience an English Literature style course that focused on the American culture I was already interested in at school."

In their words

Henry Burrell, BA American Studies

Read It

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.

Watch It
"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 America in the 21st century is more essential now than ever. Studying the world’s most significant superpower at this fascinating moment of flux and change opens up a panorama of academic and career options.

The department of American Studies at UEA is one of the most well-established and highly-regarded departments of its kind in the UK, with a long heritage of researching and teaching all aspects of life and culture in the United States. You’ll be taught by scholars who are carrying out cutting-edge research in the fields of American literature, history, politics and cultural studies. And having chosen from a broad range of modules exploring the history, literature, politics and culture of the United States, you’ll enhance your understanding of them with a year spent studying abroad. 

Overview

On this degree you’ll study the United States from a literary and historical perspective. Through the exploration of great novels, landmark historical events, film, comic books, photographs and paintings, you will gain a detailed knowledge of the key moments and debates that have shaped the United States. You’ll get to grips with race, gender and civil liberties in America and examine how US power has been projected around the world. You’ll consider the nation’s relationship with the history of the American West. And you’ll delve into anything from popular culture to the counterculture and the avant-garde.

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. The interdisciplinary approach at the heart of American studies 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 and literary 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 the Cold War. Through lectures and seminars you’ll also cover the often fiercely contested development of a national literature in the United States. You’ll trace the ways in which a multitude of voices – including Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and William Faulkner – have interpreted the nation. 

Throughout the year you’ll cultivate and hone the key academic and practical skills needed to study 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, race and racism, the counterculture, youth and rebellion, and 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, you’ll be able to take an interdisciplinary approach to your chosen topic or specialise in an aspect of American history or literature.

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 Studies.

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 Studies 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 2018/9

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

AMERICA LITERATURE II: MAKING IT 'NEW'

You will learn the central currents of American Literature, from after the American Civil War, through the turn of the century and into modernism and the early twentieth century, finishing at the close of World War II. You will follow the - often fiercely contested - development of a national literature, tracing the way this multitude of voices differs from place to place, from decade to decade, and from writer to writer. Writers studied on this module in past years have included: Henry James, Mark Twain, Nella Larsen, Langston Hughes, Kate Chopin, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, T.S. Eliot and William Faulkner. You will be introduced to these vibrant voices through reading and discussing short stories, novels, poetry, non-fiction and critical work. You will attend lectures, and take part in follow-up discussion-based seminars. Each week you will consider the context of the texts you read, as well as working to analyse and explain how they work on the reader and in society at large. You will encounter debates about the meaning of freedom in life and in art, what it might mean to be modern (or to refuse that modernity), about the responsibilities of citizenship to other people and to the environment, and about what it might mean to write and be read in the modern United States of America. You will become familiar with a wide range of late 19th-century and early 20th-century American texts and writers. You will learn the major movements in American literature from the fin de siecle through to the Second World War, and will be able to talk about the issues surrounding the development of a national and literary culture. Through doing this, you will improve your ability to read and analyse literary texts, to describe how language works in history and on the reader, and to identify and present new and exciting patterns in what you read.

AMAL4031B

20

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. Over the course of the module 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 LITERATURE I: IMAGINING AMERICA

How did American literature become American? How did literature help to shape the idea of America? This module will provide you some answers to those questions with a thorough introduction to early American Literature. From the earliest moments of European colonization of the New World through to the bloody Civil War that Americans fought over slavery in the middle of the 19th century, you will explore the ways that a diverse group of writers helped shaped a literary culture that was distinctively American. You will encounter a rich variety of American writers and texts - travellers, novelists, poets, biographers, philosophers - and think about the role that literature played in the creation of a new nation. From puritans to politicians, from revolutionaries to romantics, from slavery to emancipation, you will explore the work of the men and women who shaped our ideas of what American Literature was, is, and might be. Each week, through lectures and seminar discussion, you will also consider the other forces that shaped these texts, and develop your ability to analyse a range of literary styles. As America was colonised, achieved independence, expanded westwards and fought a Civil War, how did American writers respond to the extraordinary tensions running through a newly born nation?

AMAL4033A

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

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 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

AMERICAN RADICALS

How do you speak truth to power? How do you transform society for the better? These universal questions have been at the heart of movements for social justice in the United States. Throughout this module, you will develop a broad understanding of the history of the radical political activism the twentieth century United States. You'll learn how radicals, while often marginalised or ostracised, assumed pivotal roles as effective organizers in mass movements dedicated to achieving class, race, gender and sexual equality in America. Ultimately, you'll gain insight into how political change happens, while considering the ways in which marginalised groups have made their voices heard. You'll study the history of the trade union movement, feminist politics, the black freedom struggle and the gay liberation struggle. You'll be introduced to primary and secondary source material that illuminate key moments in the history of American radicalism. In addition to this you'll be asked to grapple with important questions relating to how radicalism should be defined, while also considering how protest movements have been disrupted by individuals and groups with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Throughout this module, you'll establish a broad understanding of American political history and the development of social movements in the United States, and you'll be able to clearly articulate how radicalism has shaped the American nation. Through the close study of a range of cultural and political texts including autobiographies, speeches, newspapers and film, you'll also develop key analytical skills that are vital to the study of history and politics.

AMAS5046A

20

THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

The legacy of the American Revolution reverberates throughout American history and culture. In addition to representing the nation's beginnings, the events and ideas of the revolutionary era have fundamentally shaped the way Americans think about themselves, their nation, and their history. Politics, law, popular culture, and literature have all drawn on the legacy of the American Revolution. But what exactly is that legacy and how has it been used? In this module you'll explore the answers to these questions. In addition to looking at the history of the Revolution itself, you'll consider the ways in which the legacy of those events has been shaped and reshaped over time. You'll use a range of primary and secondary sources, historical and cultural, to develop a deeper understanding of the events which led to the creation of the United States. And you'll discuss and debate the ways in which that history has been retold. You will be introduced to the history of the revolutionary era, from the end of the Seven Years' War in 1763, through the war against the British, writing the Constitution, to the election of Thomas Jefferson in the "revolution of 1800." The Revolution affected nearly all aspects of American life, including the political economy of slavery, gender relations, economic development, and the pace and pattern of white settlement, all of which you will explore in this module. You will also consider the extent to which the history of the Revolution is accurately (or otherwise) represented in contemporary discussions and ask what such representations might tell us about contemporary American politics and society. By the end of the module you will have a deeper understanding of the ideas, events, and people which shaped the founding of the United States and its subsequent history. You will also develop a critical understanding of some of the ways in which that history has been used to define core American values. You will 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.

AMAS5048A

20

Students will select 40 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

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 throughout 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

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

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

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

With a main focus on the 20th century, we 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. We 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.

AMAS5020B

20

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

AMA UG INTERNSHIP

You will have the opportunity to work within a creative/cultural/media organisation for a semester. The module emphasises industry experience, sector awareness and personal development through a structured reflective learning experience. You will have the opportunity to work within your host organisations and undertake tasks that will help you to gain a better understanding of professional practices within your chosen 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.

AMA-5029A

20

AMERICAN CRIME FICTION

This module explores both America's fascination with crime fiction, and crime fiction itself as an American genre. From its emergence in the mid-nineteenth century writings of Edgar Allen Poe, this module will investigate the ways in which American crime fiction has traced and exposed a wide range of social and cultural anxieties in America. Moving through the early twentieth century hard-boiled detective narratives of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Chester Himes, and into the postmodern concerns of late twentieth and early twenty-first century writers such as James Ellroy, Patricia Highsmith, Sara Paretsky, Carl Hiaasen and Patricia Cornwell, we will examine the ways in which American crime fiction asks a series of searching and troubling questions about contemporary American society. Central to our analysis will be the ways in which crime fiction represents a range of American concerns including individualism, the 'hero', race, gender, class, regionalism, the city, and the environment.

AMAL5038A

20

AMERICAN JUSTICE: THE SUPREME COURT

Consider any major social issue in American life since the turn of the 20th Century and the Supreme Court has almost always been involved in some way. Free speech, freedom of the press, the death penalty, abortion: the Court has been at the centre of the debate. Why? And how? What gives the Court the power and the authority to overturn laws passed by democratically-elected governments? And should it have such power? In this module you'll explore the answers to these questions and many others. You'll learn how the Court operates, how it gained and developed its power, and how it has become such a central part of American political life. You'll read Court opinions and learn to understand how they are created and what influences them. You'll explore the relationship between the cases heard by the Court and the politics of the time, using a range of primary and secondary source material. And you'll develop a deeper understanding of the role played by law and the Court in shaping American history. From holding that the state had no responsibility for the protection of individuals in the first two decades of the 20th Century to expanding the scope of "equal protection of laws" in the second half of the century, you will be challenged to think about the interconnection between law and politics in American history through the example of the Supreme Court. Through discussions of issues including freedom of speech, labour rights, race, civil rights, and criminal justice practices, you'll explore key issues in 20th and 21st Century US history and the role of the law and the Constitution in shaping them. In looking at the connections between law and policy you'll also consider how key legal "rights" have changed over time and what this tells us about the Court, the Constitution, and American society more broadly. You'll learn through self-directed study and seminars. By the end of the module you will have a better understanding of key issues in American history and politics. You will have developed your skills in using primary and secondary sources as historical resources. You will have strengthened your reasoning, analytical, and debating skills and further developed your writing and oral communication skills.

AMAH5034A

20

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

GENDER AND SEXUALITY IN THE NEW REPUBLIC

Figures such as the self-made man, the domestic goddess, and the painted woman, are all familiar characters in the fictions we read about the United States. But these are not just works of the imagination to be found on the movie screen and in the work of novelists. These notable character types formed part of an emerging cultural landscape in the newly formed United States grounded in intersectional discourses of gender, race, class, and sexuality. You will examine the social construction of gender and sexuality in the newly formed United States, 1789-1861. Throughout your module you'll gain a detailed knowledge of post-revolutionary and antebellum America, and an awareness of the different characteristics of the northern and southern states during this period. You will also develop an in-depth historical and conceptual understanding of the extent to which gender interacted with other markers of difference, such as sexuality, race, class and ethnicity in the United States. You will also develop your ability to utilise, interpret and critically evaluate a wide range of source materials to explain and explore the historical context of particular gender stereotypes. You'll begin with an overview of the historical scholarship concerning gender more broadly. You will then explore various case studies each week tracing the models of gender that emerged in various contexts including consideration of region (North, South, and West), race (Native American, White and Black), and class (an emerging middle-class, the labouring poor, and elite southerners). You'll learn through weekly seminars and self-directed study. You'll be using a variety of resources including written and visual sources from the era, historical novels, and academic scholarship. You'll be assessed entirely through coursework on this module, with essay workshops and tutorials to guide you.

AMAH5002A

20

LIVING ON THE HYPHEN: Multi-ethnic American Literatures

America has long been interpreted as the location of social possibility founded upon a desire to assimilate and negate ethnic 'others'. In this module, you'll trace and explore the literary responses of distinct 'American' cultures: including Native American; African American; Asian American; and Latin American. Through studying each distinct group of texts, you'll engage with the specific historical, cultural and political relationships between the US and each author's country of origin or national/cultural history, across the 20th and 21st centuries. You'll also make connections between these distinct groups of writers, to consider topics such as race and racism, exile, return, family, belonging, identity, language and memory, colonisation, imperialism, slavery, segregation, immigration, and illegality/invisibility, with an emphasis upon contemporary experiences. Via important multi-ethnic writers and texts, you'll explore what constitutes American literature aesthetically, temporally, geographically, and culturally, evaluate the value of the term 'multi-ethnic' and its place within American literary studies, and engage critically with questions of American literature as 'World literature'. Through seminar based discussions, you'll develop your ability to evaluate literary texts as contributions to historical revisions and debates, and also as representations of identity, belonging, the nation state, politics, and culture. You will be assessed through coursework, while gaining experience of communicating your ideas via seminar discussion and group presentation, and you'll have the opportunity to engage in peer to peer assessment practices. On successful completion of the module, you'll have the knowledge and skills to consider the diversity of American literature and the complexities of American cultural and national identity.

AMAL5077A

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

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

20TH CENTURY AMERICAN POETRY

Your module provides a broadly chronological view of American poetry from the start of the 20th century to the present day. It wonders about what the consequences might be if we consider seriously Emerson's claim (made in 1844), that America might be seen as a poem. Through detailed examination each week of groups of related poets, your module aims to both to question what constitutes an American poetics, and to examine how this conception has changed over the course of the 20th century. As well as tracing a trajectory in American poetry from modernist to postmodernist modes, one of its primary concerns is also to start exploring how ideas of what an American poetry might be are inflected differently in 'mainstream' and in more avant-garde (or 'experimental') poetries. Indeed, by thinking about these differences you will pay particular attention to the ways in which ideas of nationhood, of political dissent and protest, of poetic 'groupings' and canon-formation, are instrumental in determining what we choose to see as America's representative poetry. By the end of the module you will have a wide knowledge of a range of different 20th-century American poetries, as well as a strong sense of how the political, cultural and literary 'tastes' of America across the century have delivered it the sorts of poetry it deserves.

AMAL5011B

20

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? Your module offers 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 eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to increasing influence in the twentieth and twenty-first 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 ART AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHY 1900-1950

You will explore the relations between art and photography in the United States in the first half of the 20th century. The central debate in American modernism has concerned the role of the medium, and considering photography in relation to the other visual arts permits a reassessment of this debate. Artists and photographers examined include Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keeffe, Marcel Duchamp, Diego Rivera and Walker Evans.

AMAA5002B

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. You will examine 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 study 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 your 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

CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN FICTION

Writers who want to address the contemporary scene confront a dilemma: as soon as you try to capture it on the page, you've already fallen behind the present moment. You'll explore how contemporary American writers nonetheless respond to this challenge. You'll consider the issues they identify as pressing in American culture, as well as the literary strategies used to explore those issues. As you progress in the module, you'll acquire understanding of a number of important concepts associated with contemporary American fiction, such as postmodernism, metafiction, identity, globalisation, and memory. When you've completed the module, you'll be familiar with a number of literary and cultural debates relating to contemporary American culture, and have detailed knowledge of some of the most exciting writers working today. You'll be able to explain why it is difficult to define, and write about, the 'contemporary.' And in the course of your assessed work and seminar discussions, you will develop your communication, writing, and research skills.

AMAL5079B

20

EXCEPTIONAL STATES: US INTELLECTUAL AND CULTURAL HISTORY.1865-Present

This is the follow-up module for Exceptional States I, for those interested in continuing their exploration of intellectual history as it develops through the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Together with Exceptional States I, we aim to offer foundational understanding in US intellectual thought and culture from the roots of democracy coming out of the Enlightenment through to the contemporary moment of globalisation and biopolitics. In short we will map-out the US from its origins in the European imagination to its current position in a globalised world. We will address such important questions as: Does the US have a distinctive culture? What of the melting-pot? How has the diversity of ethnic, racial, gender, class, and religious identities shaped US intellectual and cultural history? How have the concepts and practices of related disciplines such as history, sociology, economics and literary criticism influenced US intellectual and cultural life? Should we speak of cultural imperialism? How has capitalism and its various political-economic and cultural critiques shaped the US? And how can the study of intellectual and cultural history help us understand the dynamics of power?

AMAS5027B

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

AFRICAN AMERICANS AND EMPIRE

Racism knows no borders. African Americans have long been attuned to the international character of white supremacy. As the black intellectual and activist W.E.B. Du Bois noted at the dawn of the twentieth century, racism in the United States "is but a local phase of a world problem." You will examine the global character of the black freedom struggle in the United States. Historically denied full citizenship rights in the United States, African Americans often looked abroad in their fight against racial prejudice - connecting the struggle against Jim Crow to calls for colonial independence around the world. Over the course of the semester, you will explore how and why black Americans forged transnational alliances that challenged racism on a local and a global level. Covering connections between African Americans and movements for racial justice in Europe, Africa, South Asia, the Caribbean and beyond, you will critically engage with the global political outlook of prominent black figures, including Marcus Garvey, Claudia Jones, Huey Newton and Barack Obama. On successful completion you will have a broad knowledge of the global forces that have shaped African American history. In addition to this, you will be able to identify and engage with theories relating to transnational, diaspora and black Atlantic history. Finally, you will be able to critically reflect on how people and cultures are connected throughout the world.

AMAH6041A

30

AGEING IN AMERICA

What does it mean to grow old in American culture, which glorifies youth? This is the central concern of this module. You'll examine ways in which America's ageing population is framed as a problem, and encounter attempts to 'manage' it. You will think about why ageing is seen as something to be avoided or disguised, and engage with narratives about how it is gendered, raced, and classed. You will survey the history of ageing in America, focusing on middle and old age, and then conduct detailed analyses of contemporary literature, film, and television, addressing the literary question of 'late style' and figures like the grandparent and the cougar. You'll learn through assessed work and seminar discussions, enabling you to develop an informed understanding of the issues relating to ageing in America. As you develop your communication, writing, and research skills, you'll also be able to account for, and analyse, the contradictory stories told about ageing in American culture.

AMAS6037A

30

ALIENS, OUTSIDERS, AND EXPATS:WRITING AMERICA OUTSIDE IN

What is "American Literature"? Who do we consider to be "American" authors? You will explore these questions by examining the ways in which writers from every continent of the globe (barring Antarctica!) have imagined American places, events, eras, and cultural practices. You will consider a series of contemporary novels, each of which engages a range of issues to do with being part of a national community. From the ways in which migrant writers negotiate new ways of belonging in American sub-cultures, to the city of New York as a cosmopolitan utopia, to the "outsider" status of fantasy fiction in canons of American "literature," you will investigate how seeing through the eyes of a stranger might be one of the sharpest ways to bring America into focus as an object of study. Your reading of fiction will be complemented by a thorough grounding in a variety of relevant critical and theoretical frameworks, each designed to help you understand the primary texts more deeply and richly. Close and careful attention to narrative form#literary language, structure and characterisation#is central to the way you will approach all the texts on your module. You will learn through seminar discussion (including the chance to lead the seminar yourself), independent study, and structured formative assessment, all of which culminate in a research essay of your own design. Authors studied in the past on this module include Junot Diaz, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Neil Gaiman, and Zadie Smith, but the set texts will change from year to year to reflect the United States' ever-changing relationship with the rest of the world.

AMAL6049A

30

AMERICAN AUTOBIOGRAPHY

This module asks what is at stake in reading, writing and defining the American autobiographical 'I'. You'll soon see that defining autobiography (and even 'American') is no easy task, as tricky concepts like truth, and the politics of personhood, have influenced perceptions about who can write autobiography in America. You'll be introduced to a broadly chronological survey of some of the most important American autobiographical practitioners, and along the way we'll consider how American autobiographies are vehicles for political and ethical projects, and how they record changing understandings of, and attitudes to, the person who writes autobiography. You will ask what is at stake in reading, writing and defining the American autobiographical 'I'. You'll soon see that defining autobiography (and even 'American') is no easy task, as tricky concepts like truth, and the politics of personhood, have influenced perceptions about who can write autobiography in America. You'll be introduced to a broadly chronological survey of some of the most important American autobiographical practitioners, and along the way we'll consider how American autobiographies are vehicles for political and ethical projects, and how they record changing understandings of, and attitudes to, the person who writes autobiography. You'll have detailed knowledge of the most important theoretical issues relating to autobiography, and be able to explain what might be especially 'American' about autobiography (as well as the limits of thinking this way). Your assessed work and seminar discussions will enable you to develop your communication, writing and research skills.

AMAL6007A

30

COMICS GET REAL: GRAPHIC NARRATIVES OF AUTOBIOGRAPHY, TRAUMA, AND WAR

Why do people draw their life stories in comics form? How can trauma be represented in words and pictures? What does it mean to bear witness to horrific events graphically? Throughout this module, you'll study the recent phenomenon of reality-based American comics, which stand in sharp contrast to the form's common association with superheroes and the fantastic. In addition to discovering comics' powerful potential for representing real-life events in engaging and disturbing ways, you'll learn to analyse both form and content, and will develop a critical vocabulary for reading, thinking, and writing about comics. You'll read comics that tell a wide variety of stories anchored in real life, and from many different genres, such as autobiography, memoir, investigative journalism, and war reportage. Throughout, you'll learn to pay special attention to issues of representation, spectatorship, and the position of the artist in relation to the events depicted. You'll also study a variety of critical and theoretical material that puts these comics-specific issues in conversation with more general concerns about the ethics of representing the real world in diverse written or visual forms. You'll learn through seminars and independent study, and will be assessed through coursework including a final essay. At the end of the module, you'll be able to read reality-based as well as other comics in a transformative way, and will have gained a deep understanding of how this vibrant and upcoming cultural form creates new opportunities for representing the increasingly complex personal and geopolitical realities of the world in the twenty-first century.

AMAS6059A

30

Go West! American Culture and the Contested Legacies of Conquest

An understanding of the place of the West in American mythology and memory is essential to understanding the creation of the idea of the United States. Always contested, it has been cast as the place in which American civilization defined its avowed characteristics of self-reliance, individualism and democracy - but also as a place of conquest, of the dispossession of native peoples. It has been celebrated as a land of opportunity and personal liberation - but it has also been a region of often ruthless class exploitation, gender and racial oppression, and violence. Its natural wonders have been memorialised - but its natural environment has been despoiled and polluted for profit and in the advancement of military power. Yet the West still powerfully evokes freedom, and so its contested legacies should cause us to question the meanings of American freedom itself. This module will help you come to terms with the history and enduring cultural legacies of the American West. Focusing on the ways in which the West has been written about and represented in different media - books and magazines, comics and visual culture, films and television and radio for example - you will learn about its histories, its peoples, and its place in American life, and will be supported in expanding your methodological repertoire as a scholar. Through seminar discussions, opportunities to give presentations, and written work based on your own research, you will hone your communication skills and powers of analysis and expression.

AMAS6055A

30

IF YOU KNEW CHICAGO YOU'D TALK ABOUT IT TOO: CHICAGO AND THE AMERICAN CITY

Chicago is the emblematic American city. Founded as a trading post in 1833, the city had grown to over one million inhabitants by 1890, thanks to its strategic location by Lake Michigan and as a center for the railroads. As the ultimate embodiment of the end of the agrarian era and the beginning of a new century dominated by market capitalism, no city came so far this quickly or went to the same extremes of rapid urbanization as Chicago. In this module, you'll examine Chicago as a case study for this major change in American society, looking at its history, literature, music, comics, and other cultural forms, in order to understand what happened when America left the countryside and moved to the city. You'll encounter representations of city life in novels showcasing the businessman as a new type of cultural hero, mass-media newspaper columns that helped establish a place for the urban middle class, and political slum-set novels from the Great Depression, among many other forms. Because Chicago inspires strong feelings, you will engage with texts that are impassioned, strong-willed, despondent, or celebratory, but never dull or indifferent. You'll also study a selection of historical and critical material that will contextualize the primary texts and give you a thorough understanding of the cultural and economic mechanisms that produced the Windy City. You'll learn through seminars and independent study, and will be assessed through coursework. At the end of the module, you will have gained an in-depth knowledge of the forces behind what is perhaps the definitive change in American society, as well as an understanding of its transformative impact on the American cultural imagination.

AMAS6042A

30

NATIVE AMERICAN WRITING AND FILM

Contemporary Native America is often visible only as a cultural stereotype, making the complexities of contemporary tribal experiences invisible within the American national narrative. In this module you will consider contemporary Native American self-representation, exploring recent Native writing and film as sites of cultural and political resistance, and analysing the ways in which a diverse range of Native authors, screenwriters and directors respond to contemporary tribal socio-economic and political conditions within the US. Taking popular ideas of 'the Indian', you'll consider the ways in which stereotypes and audience expectations are subverted and challenged. You'll make connections between these distinct groups of writers, to consider topics such as race and racism, indigeneity, identity, culture, gender, genre, land and 'home', community, and political issues such as human rights and environmental racism. You'll assess how complex Federal-Indian histories are related to diverse contemporary political events such as the indigenous Idle No More movement, and the NDAPL oil pipeline controversies. You will also explore how Native writers engage with the political paradox of remaining colonised within the 'Land of the Free'. Through seminar based discussion, you will develop a broad understanding of the contemporary issues faced by Native peoples, a familiarity with the ways in which stereotypes and audience expectations are subverted and challenged by Native authors, screenwriters, and directors, and insights into the ways in which Native peoples are shaping the debates around contemporary tribal socio-economic and political conditions. You will be assessed through coursework, reflective reports, and student-led workshops, and gain expertise in communicating your ideas via student-led groupwork and seminar discussion. On successful completion of the module, you will have the knowledge and skills to assess the complexities and diversities of Native American cultural and national identity, and the literary and cinematic strategies of Native writers and filmmakers.

AMAS6027A

30

THE AMERICAN NOVEL IN THE EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY

On this module you will study a vibrant selection of early twentieth century American novels and the surrounding literary, historical and critical debates. Many of the books you will review are by writers we have come to think of as a central part of 'American Literature', of the 'American Tradition', of the 'Jazz Age' and of 'American Modernism'. You will look past these labels to place these books back in a more nuanced contemporary context, and you will work on your own context as twenty-first century readers in order to re-examine the ways in which they come down through history framed to us by our own historical and cultural concerns. You will use these rich, well-researched, texts to practise the deep pattern-making and problem-solving skills that are acquired by what literary theorists call 'close reading'. Through close reading in discussion-based seminars and literary essays, we will look at the stylistic diversity of the period to unravel how these novels work on their readers, and how they look to re-imagine the form of the novel. We will consider modernity and modernism as entangled, and will use the notion of 'the modern' to investigate areas such as the representation of everyday life in early 20th century America, the Great Depression, urban and pastoral narratives, the place of the expatriate and immigrant in American life, fantasies of the American Dream, and ideas and negotiations of gender and race in the period. By studying on this module you will gain a working knowledge of canonical American writing in the early twentieth century. You'll develop close reading, writing, and discussion skills that will allow you to ground your analysis of historical, cultural, and thematic concerns in the language of the novels. You'll begin to understand the social and aesthetic concerns of American writers of the period and you'll begin to participate in the ongoing literary and critical conversation that surrounds some of the best-known authors and moments in the American writerly tradition.

AMAL6010A

30

THE BEATS

This module covers the writers known as 'The Beats' in terms of their antecedents, the literary and cultural traditions in which they worked, and the social and critical debates that raged during their heyday. The module aims to foster an understanding of the Beats in literary, political and social contexts. It will also examine the debts Beat writers owed to wider ideas of the 'avant-garde' in the Twentieth Century generally, while also investigating how a Beat poetics developed as a response to Cold War 'consensus culture' and sought to establish a countercultural, though still distinctly American, 'tradition'.

AMAS6044A

30

Students will select 30 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

AMERICAN APOCALYPSE: TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY CLIMATE CHANGE FICTION

In the 21st century, the threat of global warming and climate change is quite literally 'game-changing'. Engaging with Naomi Klein's contention that "this changes everything", this module considers how the apocalyptic dangers of climate change are being addressed by 21st-century American fiction. Climate change fiction, or 'cli-fi', has recently emerged as a distinct genre, directly responding to the dangers that global warming poses to human and non-human societies. You will consider how fiction offers us ways to assess, understand, and address the phenomenon of global warming, and the impact of humans on their environments. You will evaluate ongoing debates about the 'facts' of climate change and global warming, including the evidence being produced by scientists, and the emergence of 'climate change denial' as a feature both of popular culture and at the highest levels of government in the United States. Exploring American novels published since 2010, you will develop a broad understanding of how American climate change fiction represents the profound dangers of climate change, through its depiction of drought, flood, deforestation, species extinction, intelligent biotech, and the impact of global capitalism. Through seminar based discussion, you will gain insights into the ways that writers are engaging with the fact of climate change to shape both popular awareness and popular debates, and consider how cli-fi is imagining possible futures for human and all other life on Earth. You will be assessed through coursework, reflective reports, and student-led workshops, and gain expertise in communicating your ideas via student-led groupwork and seminar discussion. On successful completion of your module, you will have the knowledge and skills to assess the complexities of climate change fiction as a new literary genre, discuss the emotive reach and influence of fiction in this context, and evaluate the strategies of contemporary cli-fi writers.

AMAL6012B

30

AMERICAN GOTHIC

Ghosts, witches, zombies, doppelgangers, vampires, haunted houses, deathly symbols and portents... Why is it that, in a world where culture changes quickly and irrevocably, the elements of the gothic seem to stay the same? Who are the monsters of the American imaginary? What does the American Gothic do to and with these monsters? On this module you will begin to answer these rich and complex questions. American fiction began in the period of the European Gothic novel, and its presence has marked American literature ever since. As Leslie Fiedler puts it in Love and Death in the American Novel, 'our fiction is', 'bewilderingly and embarrassingly, a gothic fiction, nonrealistic and negative, sadist and melodramatic -- a literature of darkness and the grotesque in a land of light and affirmation.' Through detailed textual and critical investigations you will look closer at the meaning of gothic conventions and consider their persisting effects in American fiction. As this module progresses you will read novels and short stories from across the nineteenth and twentieth century, in conjunction with gothic, literary critical and psychoanalytic theory. This will give you a toolkit for assessing and expanding on the patterns you will see in the gothic fiction, and for interrogating how these patterns might say something to us about American cultures, and American fears, of the time. You will study in discussion-based seminars, giving verbal presentations and writing, researching, and analysing with independence and creativity. By the end of the module you will be able to spot complex literary patterns, account for their strange and uncanny effects on the reader, and describe how American literature came to be so very haunted.

AMAL6024B

30

EXPLODED FORMS: POST WORLD WAR II AMERICAN FICTION

America post World War II is marked by great optimism and conversely an extreme sense of foreboding over the absurd conditions of life. Picking up the threads of the transatlantic discussions between continental philosophy and American fiction making, we will explore the connection between American society, literature and experimentation in the decades immediately following World War II. Authors studied may include, Joseph Heller, Saul Bellow, James Baldwin, Kurt Vonnegut, Ishmael Reed, Norman Mailer, Joyce Carol Oates, Hunter S Thompson, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Robert Coover and more.

AMAL6050B

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

NEW AMERICAN CENTURY: CULTURE AND CRISIS

On the eve of the twenty-first century it appeared that the United States of America was indeed entering into a new American Century with its role as global leader as strongly defined as it was a century earlier. However, the last decade and a half has been witness to a nation in turmoil and crisis, from the conflict between a universalising (Americanising) globalisation and an introspective nationalism; the war on terror and the conflicts in Afghanistan Iraq and Syria; environmental crisis and disaster; the conflict surrounding immigration and national identity, to the present financial crisis. The renewed and vigorous return to rhetoric of national 'unity' that characterised the campaign and election of Barack Obama as President of the United States in 2008, and the election of Donald J Trump in 2016, serves to highlight the historical divisions and crises of American society and underscores that contemporary America is in crisis geopolitically, economically, democratically, environmentally, and culturally. This module seeks to engage you with these areas of crisis and examine a variety of cultural responses to the America of the millennium. Through a variety of cultural texts, from literature, film and documentary, political speeches and letters, to historical texts and pop culture, we examine the ways in which these crises have been culturally and politically constructed and given particular sets of meaning.

AMAS6052B

30

STRANGE SENSATIONS: POPULAR AMERICAN WRITING IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

What did Americans read in the nineteenth century? Which American poems, novels, and plays struck a chord with readers across the globe? The answers might surprise you. This module offers you the opportunity to become familiar with a diverse variety of texts that would once have been known and loved by millions - texts, often long forgotten, that helped to define the popular culture landscape that we know today. Packed with sin, sentiment and sensation, and spanning the length of the nineteenth century, the texts on this module enthralled their audiences - and still grab the attention. You will explore their contemporary reception, consider their multimedia adaptations and the place of publishing technology in their success, examine their role in moral panics and popular crazes, and think about why so many of these extraordinarily successful texts are now forgotten, popularly and critically. You will also explore the rise of popular genres (like detective fiction and science fiction) and think about the implications of these texts for the modern entertainment world. In your coursework, you will conduct original research into this vibrant lost culture of popular literature, and help to bring some of these forgotten popular texts back into the light.

AMAL6022B

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

  • Discrim-inations

    How did the South African anti-apartheid movement inspire African Americans in their fight for freedom from racial inequality? Dr Nicholas Grant explores the history of international opposition to racism to find out the answer.

    Read it Discrim-inations
  • 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
  • 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
  • #ASKUEA

    Your University questions, answered

    Read it #ASKUEA
  • 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
  • ENHANCE YOUR CAREER CHOICES

    Whether you want to diversify or specialise – explore your options.

    Read it ENHANCE YOUR CAREER CHOICES

Entry Requirements

  • A Level ABB to include English Literature or a History-related subject
  • International Baccalaureate 32 points preferably including 5 in HL English and/or History
  • Scottish Advanced Highers BCC to include English and/or a History related subject
  • Irish Leaving Certificate 3 subjects at H2, 3 subjects at H3 to include English Literature or a History-related subject
  • Access Course Access to Humanities & Social Sciences pathway preferred. Pass the Access to HE Diploma with Distinction in 30 credits at Level 3 including an English Literature or History module, and Merit in 15 credits at Level 3
  • BTEC DDM, preferably alongside grade B English or History-related A-level. Excludes BTEC Public Services and Business Administration
  • European Baccalaureate 75% including 70% in English and/or History

Entry Requirement

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

A GCE A-level in English and/or History is required. 

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.

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

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 ABB (preferably including English Literature or a History-based subject)
  • International Baccalaureate 32 points including 5 in Higher Level English or History. If no GCSE equivalent is held, offer will include Mathematics and English requirements.
  • Scottish Highers Only accepted in combination with Scottish Advanced Highers.  
  • Scottish Advanced Highers BCC. A combination of Advanced Highers and Highers may be acceptable.
  • Irish Leaving Certificate 3 subjects at H2, 3 subjects at H3 including English Literature
  • Access Course Distinction in 30 credits at Level 3 including English Literature or History modules, and Merit in 15 credits at Level 3. Humanities or Social Sciences pathway preferred. Other pathways are acceptable, please contact the University directly for further information.
  • BTEC DDM, preferably alongside A-level English or History at grade B or above. BTEC Public Services is not accepted.

Entry Requirement

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 (SELT): 6.5 overall (minimum 6.0 in Reading and Writing with no less than 5.5 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 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. However, for some students an interview will be requested. These are normally quite informal and generally cover topics such as your current studies, reasons for choosing the course and your personal interests and extra-curricular activities.

Students will have the opportunity to meet with an academic on an Applicant Day in order to gain a deeper insight into the course(s) you have applied for.

Gap Year

We welcome applications from students who have already taken or intend to take a gap year.

Deferred Entry 

We also welcome applications for deferred entry, believing 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 may wish to contact the appropriate Admissions Office directly to discuss this further.

Intakes

This course's annual intake is in September of each year.

Alternative Qualifications

We welcome a wide range of qualifications - for further information please email admissions@uea.ac.uk

GCSE Offer

GCSE Requirements:  GCSE English Language grade 4 and GCSE Mathematics grade 4 or GCSE English Language grade C and GCSE Mathematics grade C.

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

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances with the Admissions Office prior to applying please do contact us:

Undergraduate Admissions Office

Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

Sign up for myUEA to...

  • request a copy of our latest prospectus and subject brochures
  • get access to exclusive information personalised to your interests
  • keep up to date with news and events at UEA.

International candidates are also actively encouraged to access the University's International webpages.

    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