BA American Studies (Part time)

American Studies allows you to understand the United States from literary and historical perspectives, by exploring great novels, movies, photographs and paintings, or historical documents and the nation’s defining historical events. You will get to grips with race, gender and civil liberties in America, consider its urban cityscapes and the landscapes of the wilderness, and delve into anything from popular culture to the counterculture and the avant garde.

Overview

The BA American Studies degree programme is an interdisciplinary course, enabling you to study American history and literature, as well as giving you the opportunity to study politics and film. The programme invites you to engage with diverse forms of cultural expression, including novels, poetry, photographs, paintings, historical and political documents, classic texts, bestsellers, and movies.

This degree programme is particularly suited to those who do not wish to spend a year abroad as part of their study but still engage in the BA American Studies course.

Course Structure

The course begins at UEA with core modules that introduce to many aspects of American life and culture. You will then have the opportunity to tailor learning, selecting optional modules from a wide range in your second and final years.

Years  1 & 2

In the first and second year you will engage with a number of compulsory modules, introducing you many aspects of American life and culture. You will begin with modules that provide an introduction to the core texts of American literature and the defining events in American history: Imagining America, parts I and II, and We The People, parts I and II. In addition you will take Reading Cultures, which focuses on American Icons, and Ideas and Ideologies, to deepen your understanding of the United States. At the same time the module is designed to develop the critical and writing skills essential for success at university

Years 3 & 4

In your third and forth year you are invited to choose from a wide range of seminars on topics, including American Southwest, American Music, Looking at Pictures: Photography and Visual Culture in the USA, American Material Culture, which might approach subjects such as the US environment, adolescence in American culture, the Harlem Renaissance, the punk movement or 1980s cinema.

We also offer literature options covering, for example, nineteenth century, twentieth century, and contemporary American or Cuban American writing, comparative American and Australian writing, or poetry, the Beat movement, American writers in Paris between the wars, and more.

Our history options span the breadth of the American past, taking in the aftermath of the Civil War, the dawn of the American century, the history of New York City, the Civil Rights Movement, US foreign policy, and much else besides.

Years 5 & 6

All students will have the option of taking advanced modules which could include American Violence, The American Body, The New American Century: Culture and Crisis – and many other possibilities from the literature and culture of the 1960s, of the Pacific, or of the nineteenth century, for example, multi-ethnic writing or Native American writing and film, or poetry and the environment, and more.

Should you wish to emphasise history, you may choose from options covering, the history of the CIA or of immigration and migration, or choose to take a two-semester documents-based “special subject” which could include options such as American slavery or the politics and culture of the 1960s, Native American history or, the Cold War.

Assessment

Assessment takes place at the end of each semester through coursework, and at the end of each year by examination.

Want to know more?

Come along to an Open Day and experience our unique campus for yourself.

Course Modules 2017/8

Students must study the following modules for credits:

Name Code Credits

Students will select 60 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

AMERICA LITERATURE II: MAKING IT 'NEW'

This module will provide you with a thorough introduction to American Literature from the after the American Civil War, through the turn of the century and into modernism and the early twentieth century, up to the close of World War II.

AMAL4031B

20

AMERICAN HISTORY I: AGE OF REVOLUTIONS

The compulsory module will offer a fundamental challenge to the opening lines of the American Constitution, "We the People", and consider the question of inclusion: who did "the people" refer to and who was excluded from this term of reference?

AMAF4008A

20

AMERICAN HISTORY II: THE AMERICAN CENTURY

This is an introductory survey module that provides students with knowledge of the broad outlines of American history from the end of the nineteenth century to the present day. It follows a chronological sequence with weekly topics on the major themes and events in U.S. history in this period. Students will attend a weekly lecture during which they will take personal notes, before participating in a seminar in which they will debate the key issues. They will complete the required readings from the course textbooks before the seminar meeting, including primary documents and articles. Students will interrogate the readings and the key issues in the group, among peers and via structured activities.

AMAF4010B

20

AMERICAN LITERATURE I: IMAGINING AMERICA

American Literature I: Imagining America is a level one module designed to introduce the major writers and themes of literature in the United States. For this module there will be a weekly lecture and a two-hour seminar. Lecture Slot: Monday, 1200-12.50. Further information on the timing of the seminar can be found in the published timetable.

AMAL4033A

20

AMERICAN STUDIES I: READING CULTURES I

This course aims to introduce you to some of the basic tools you will need for a degree in the School of American Studies. It is designed to provide you with the skills required for the assessed work you will be doing in your other core modules; you are also encouraged to bring in questions, thoughts and examples from those other modules.

AMAS4036A

20

AMERICAN STUDIES II: IDEAS AND IDEOLOGIES

The module develops and expands the research methods, writing skills, and oral skills acquired in Reading Cultures I: American Icons. By continuing the exploration of contemporary American culture and introducing cultural and critical theory as a means to engage with current ideas and ideologies circulating around American cultural icons, the module will encourage exploration of America's changing position in the world. The module is intended to further facilitate skills in reading, writing, analysis, synthesis, independent thinking, and confidence as self-supporting learners in order to provide a strong foundation for work at levels 2 and 3.

AMAS4037B

20

Students will select 60 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

AMERICA LITERATURE II: MAKING IT 'NEW'

This module will provide you with a thorough introduction to American Literature from the after the American Civil War, through the turn of the century and into modernism and the early twentieth century, up to the close of World War II.

AMAL4031B

20

AMERICAN HISTORY I: AGE OF REVOLUTIONS

The compulsory module will offer a fundamental challenge to the opening lines of the American Constitution, "We the People", and consider the question of inclusion: who did "the people" refer to and who was excluded from this term of reference?

AMAF4008A

20

AMERICAN HISTORY II: THE AMERICAN CENTURY

This is an introductory survey module that provides students with knowledge of the broad outlines of American history from the end of the nineteenth century to the present day. It follows a chronological sequence with weekly topics on the major themes and events in U.S. history in this period. Students will attend a weekly lecture during which they will take personal notes, before participating in a seminar in which they will debate the key issues. They will complete the required readings from the course textbooks before the seminar meeting, including primary documents and articles. Students will interrogate the readings and the key issues in the group, among peers and via structured activities.

AMAF4010B

20

AMERICAN LITERATURE I: IMAGINING AMERICA

American Literature I: Imagining America is a level one module designed to introduce the major writers and themes of literature in the United States. For this module there will be a weekly lecture and a two-hour seminar. Lecture Slot: Monday, 1200-12.50. Further information on the timing of the seminar can be found in the published timetable.

AMAL4033A

20

AMERICAN STUDIES I: READING CULTURES I

This course aims to introduce you to some of the basic tools you will need for a degree in the School of American Studies. It is designed to provide you with the skills required for the assessed work you will be doing in your other core modules; you are also encouraged to bring in questions, thoughts and examples from those other modules.

AMAS4036A

20

AMERICAN STUDIES II: IDEAS AND IDEOLOGIES

The module develops and expands the research methods, writing skills, and oral skills acquired in Reading Cultures I: American Icons. By continuing the exploration of contemporary American culture and introducing cultural and critical theory as a means to engage with current ideas and ideologies circulating around American cultural icons, the module will encourage exploration of America's changing position in the world. The module is intended to further facilitate skills in reading, writing, analysis, synthesis, independent thinking, and confidence as self-supporting learners in order to provide a strong foundation for work at levels 2 and 3.

AMAS4037B

20

Students must study the following modules for 40 credits:

Name Code Credits

EXCEPTIONAL STATES: US Intellectual and Cultural History

This is a compulsory module for all students on an American Studies related degree programme. The module offers 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 the module maps-out the US from its origins in the European imagination to its current position in a globalised world. It 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?

AMAS5028Y

40

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

20TH CENTURY AMERICAN POETRY

This module provides a broadly chronological view of American poetry from the start of the twentieth 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.

AMAL5011B

20

ADOLESCENCE IN AMERICAN CULTURE POST-1950

This module will suggest that there is a preoccupation with adolescence in postwar and contemporary American culture, and will explore why this is the case. It will do so by introducing students to representations of adolescence in various disciplines, focusing particularly on literature, film, psychoanalysis and cultural studies. Questions to be explored will include: What is 'American' about adolescence? How do representations of adolescence vary according to factors such as gender, race and region? Is there a particular discipline or artistic form which is especially suited to depictions of adolescence?

AMAS5025A

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.

AMAL5038B

20

AMERICAN FRONTIERS

This module explores the ever expanding concept of 'American Frontiers'. Since Frederick Jackson Turner's influential 'Frontier thesis' of 1893, American identity has been increasingly linked to the concept of the 'frontier' which has, in more recent years, become subject to an ever-widening geography. Often referred to as the 'transnational turn,' this critical and theoretical trajectory has constantly reinvented - and multiplied - what constitutes the 'American Frontier'. From violent clashes between colonisers and Native peoples to the Space Race, from literary cosmopolitanisms to Hollywood in the South Seas, from America's own national borders to its internal racial and ethnic boundaries, to name just a few of the possible ways of thinking about the Frontier, this module considers American geographies in tandem with the critical movements that have shaped American Studies.

AMAS5045B

20

AMERICAN JUSTICE: THE SUPREME COURT

The 20th Century saw a major expansion in the role of the Supreme Court in American politics and society. Changing understandings of individual rights and liberties spurred a constitutional revolution in areas of civil rights and individual freedoms. Legal and social changes occurred alongside changing interpretations of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to fundamentally alter the way many Americans related to each other and to the government. Following World War Two the Court became increasingly active in areas of public policy, deciding cases involving freedom of speech, religion and the press, campaign finance, gun control and the right to bear arms, the rights of criminal suspects and defendants, same-sex marriage, abortion, and the death penalty, among many others. This module introduces students to the role and operation of the Court as well as to the historic events it has been involved with since the early 20th Century. From repeatedly striking down New Deal legislation in the 1930s to halting the recount of votes in Florida in the 2000 election, from holding the state had no responsibility for the protection of individuals in the first two decades of the 20th Century to expanding understandings of "equal protection of the laws" in the second half of the century, the module will encourage students to consider the role of law in shaping and influencing American history and politics, as well as asking how and why the Court ruled in particular ways. Through a combination of Court opinions and academic studies, students will be asked to consider key issues in 20th and 21st Century US history and the role of the law and Constitution in shaping them. Students are challenged to consider how understandings of key legal "rights" have changed over time and what this tells us about the Court, the Constitution, and about American society more broadly.

AMAH5034A

20

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. Accordingly, this module will explore the history of American music - but it will also examine the way that its development tells a larger story. Focusing largely on the vernacular musical traditions we will encounter a wide range of musical styles and musicians, each of which has something vital to tell us about the shaping of America. After all, as Plato knew, "When the mode of the music changes, the walls of the city shake."

AMAS5023A

20

AMERICAN RADICALS

The module traces the history of the radical political activism in the U.S. from the late nineteenth century to the 1980s. It shows how radicals, while often marginal or ostracised in the United States, assumed pivotal roles as effective organizers in mass movements dedicated to class, race, gender and sexual equality. Classes cover the trade union movement, feminist politics, the black freedom struggle as well as the gay liberation struggle.

AMAS5046A

20

AMERICAN WOMEN WRITERS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

The purpose of this unit is to expose students to a range of works by American women writers in the 20th century. We will looks at some of the best known women writers in the American tradition, as well as works or writers you are not likely to encounter in other units, because either the author or the work is sidelined.

AMAL5009B

20

BLACK FREEDOM STRUGGLES: THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

This is the second of two modules examining the black freedom struggle in the United States. This module examines the struggle from 1865 to Black Lives Matter. Students will study the political activism of African American figures such as Sojourner Truth, Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, Mary McLeod Bethune and Angela Davis. Students will gain a detailed understanding of the race, gender and class dimensions of the 'long' civil rights movement, paying specific attention to the activism of black women organisers. Finally, the module will encourage students to think through the diverse and changing nature of the civil rights movement as black activists responded to specific political situations both within the United States and abroad.

AMAH5050B

20

Black Freedom Struggles: Slavery, 1619-1865

This is the first of two modules examining the black freedom struggle in the United States. The module will follow a chronological sequence, allowing us to trace the course of racial slavery in North America, reflecting on the roots of racism that flourished during the antebellum years and beyond. Through engaging with the developing historiography of slavery in the United States students will gain a deeper understanding of contemporary (then and now) debates concerning race and racial identity as well as American slavery per se. We will be interrogating various sources found in the Morgan Reader alongside representations of slavery in novels, cinema, and oral histories.

AMAH5043A

20

CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN FICTION

The purpose of this module is to expose students to a range of prose works by important contemporary American writers. In particular, we will be concerned with some of the key concepts associated with contemporary American fiction, including the definition of the contemporary: postmodernism; metafiction; historiography; postcolonialism; and memory.

AMAL5011A

20

DOING IT YOURSELF: PUNK AND AMERICA

This module encourages students to consider how Punk#as a musical genre, an aesthetic, and as a subculture#may be perceived as a vital part of a longstanding American tradition of self-reliance and innovation. This interdisciplinary module attempts to define Punk and considers what it means to be Punk by examining its influence on music, poetry, and fiction. The module also explores the socio-political implications of Punk in terms of gender, sexuality, and community, and questions Punk's role in an increasingly globalised world.

AMAS5042B

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'. This module traces the literary responses of distinct 'American' cultures: including Native American; African American; Asian American; and Latin American. Each group of texts 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 nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Topics will include 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.

AMAL5077A

20

LOOKING AT PICTURES: PHOTOGRAPHY AND VISUAL CULTURE IN THE USA

This module aims to introduce students to strategies and techniques for analysing photographs and, more specifically, uses the visual record to study and illuminate the history of the USA. Viewed here as sites of historical evidence, photographic portraits, family albums, anthropological illustrations, lynching postcards, advertisements, food packaging, fashion photos are just some of the pictures that will be "read" and evaluated. Students will explore how visual texts can contribute to an understanding of nationhood, class, race, sexuality and identity in the USA, with an emphasis on the nineteenth century. Opening sessions will focus on ways of "reading" visual texts. [No previous experience of working with images is necessary]. Most of the semester will be devoted to analysing how photographic images both reflect and contribute to constructions of American identities and culture.

AMAS5024B

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? This module introduces students to the history of the American revolutionary era, from the end of the Seven Years' War in 1763, through 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 the expansion of white settlement, all of which will be discussed in the module. The module 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.

AMAS5048B

20

THE COLD WAR

What was the Cold War? How did it start, where and how was it fought, and why did it last so long? This module analyses these issues by exploring the contest waged by the U.S. and Soviet Union in every corner of the globe during the twentieth century. It considers nations and peoples who aligned with the superpowers or, as was increasingly the case, with neither. It looks 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. With attention to a range of state, private, and transnational actors, it analyses the global and international nature of the Cold War. It explores the place of the conflict amid other transformative historical narratives during the century and, finally, considers the changing ways that historians have written about the Cold War.

AMAS5044A

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 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

ADOLESCENCE IN AMERICAN CULTURE POST-1950

This module will suggest that there is a preoccupation with adolescence in postwar and contemporary American culture, and will explore why this is the case. It will do so by introducing students to representations of adolescence in various disciplines, focusing particularly on literature, film, psychoanalysis and cultural studies. Questions to be explored will include: What is 'American' about adolescence? How do representations of adolescence vary according to factors such as gender, race and region? Is there a particular discipline or artistic form which is especially suited to depictions of adolescence?

AMAS5025A

20

AMERICAN FRONTIERS

This module explores the ever expanding concept of 'American Frontiers'. Since Frederick Jackson Turner's influential 'Frontier thesis' of 1893, American identity has been increasingly linked to the concept of the 'frontier' which has, in more recent years, become subject to an ever-widening geography. Often referred to as the 'transnational turn,' this critical and theoretical trajectory has constantly reinvented - and multiplied - what constitutes the 'American Frontier'. From violent clashes between colonisers and Native peoples to the Space Race, from literary cosmopolitanisms to Hollywood in the South Seas, from America's own national borders to its internal racial and ethnic boundaries, to name just a few of the possible ways of thinking about the Frontier, this module considers American geographies in tandem with the critical movements that have shaped American Studies.

AMAS5045B

20

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. Accordingly, this module will explore the history of American music - but it will also examine the way that its development tells a larger story. Focusing largely on the vernacular musical traditions we will encounter a wide range of musical styles and musicians, each of which has something vital to tell us about the shaping of America. After all, as Plato knew, "When the mode of the music changes, the walls of the city shake."

AMAS5023A

20

LOOKING AT PICTURES: PHOTOGRAPHY AND VISUAL CULTURE IN THE USA

This module aims to introduce students to strategies and techniques for analysing photographs and, more specifically, uses the visual record to study and illuminate the history of the USA. Viewed here as sites of historical evidence, photographic portraits, family albums, anthropological illustrations, lynching postcards, advertisements, food packaging, fashion photos are just some of the pictures that will be "read" and evaluated. Students will explore how visual texts can contribute to an understanding of nationhood, class, race, sexuality and identity in the USA, with an emphasis on the nineteenth century. Opening sessions will focus on ways of "reading" visual texts. [No previous experience of working with images is necessary]. Most of the semester will be devoted to analysing how photographic images both reflect and contribute to constructions of American identities and culture.

AMAS5024B

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? This module introduces students to the history of the American revolutionary era, from the end of the Seven Years' War in 1763, through 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 the expansion of white settlement, all of which will be discussed in the module. The module 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.

AMAS5048B

20

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

AMERICAN RADICALS

The module traces the history of the radical political activism in the U.S. from the late nineteenth century to the 1980s. It shows how radicals, while often marginal or ostracised in the United States, assumed pivotal roles as effective organizers in mass movements dedicated to class, race, gender and sexual equality. Classes cover the trade union movement, feminist politics, the black freedom struggle as well as the gay liberation struggle.

AMAS5046A

20

DOING IT YOURSELF: PUNK AND AMERICA

This module encourages students to consider how Punk#as a musical genre, an aesthetic, and as a subculture#may be perceived as a vital part of a longstanding American tradition of self-reliance and innovation. This interdisciplinary module attempts to define Punk and considers what it means to be Punk by examining its influence on music, poetry, and fiction. The module also explores the socio-political implications of Punk in terms of gender, sexuality, and community, and questions Punk's role in an increasingly globalised world.

AMAS5042B

20

THE COLD WAR

What was the Cold War? How did it start, where and how was it fought, and why did it last so long? This module analyses these issues by exploring the contest waged by the U.S. and Soviet Union in every corner of the globe during the twentieth century. It considers nations and peoples who aligned with the superpowers or, as was increasingly the case, with neither. It looks 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. With attention to a range of state, private, and transnational actors, it analyses the global and international nature of the Cold War. It explores the place of the conflict amid other transformative historical narratives during the century and, finally, considers the changing ways that historians have written about the Cold War.

AMAS5044A

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 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

20TH CENTURY AMERICAN POETRY

This module provides a broadly chronological view of American poetry from the start of the twentieth 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.

AMAL5011B

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.

AMAL5038B

20

AMERICAN JUSTICE: THE SUPREME COURT

The 20th Century saw a major expansion in the role of the Supreme Court in American politics and society. Changing understandings of individual rights and liberties spurred a constitutional revolution in areas of civil rights and individual freedoms. Legal and social changes occurred alongside changing interpretations of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to fundamentally alter the way many Americans related to each other and to the government. Following World War Two the Court became increasingly active in areas of public policy, deciding cases involving freedom of speech, religion and the press, campaign finance, gun control and the right to bear arms, the rights of criminal suspects and defendants, same-sex marriage, abortion, and the death penalty, among many others. This module introduces students to the role and operation of the Court as well as to the historic events it has been involved with since the early 20th Century. From repeatedly striking down New Deal legislation in the 1930s to halting the recount of votes in Florida in the 2000 election, from holding the state had no responsibility for the protection of individuals in the first two decades of the 20th Century to expanding understandings of "equal protection of the laws" in the second half of the century, the module will encourage students to consider the role of law in shaping and influencing American history and politics, as well as asking how and why the Court ruled in particular ways. Through a combination of Court opinions and academic studies, students will be asked to consider key issues in 20th and 21st Century US history and the role of the law and Constitution in shaping them. Students are challenged to consider how understandings of key legal "rights" have changed over time and what this tells us about the Court, the Constitution, and about American society more broadly.

AMAH5034A

20

AMERICAN WOMEN WRITERS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

The purpose of this unit is to expose students to a range of works by American women writers in the 20th century. We will looks at some of the best known women writers in the American tradition, as well as works or writers you are not likely to encounter in other units, because either the author or the work is sidelined.

AMAL5009B

20

BLACK FREEDOM STRUGGLES: THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

This is the second of two modules examining the black freedom struggle in the United States. This module examines the struggle from 1865 to Black Lives Matter. Students will study the political activism of African American figures such as Sojourner Truth, Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, Mary McLeod Bethune and Angela Davis. Students will gain a detailed understanding of the race, gender and class dimensions of the 'long' civil rights movement, paying specific attention to the activism of black women organisers. Finally, the module will encourage students to think through the diverse and changing nature of the civil rights movement as black activists responded to specific political situations both within the United States and abroad.

AMAH5050B

20

Black Freedom Struggles: Slavery, 1619-1865

This is the first of two modules examining the black freedom struggle in the United States. The module will follow a chronological sequence, allowing us to trace the course of racial slavery in North America, reflecting on the roots of racism that flourished during the antebellum years and beyond. Through engaging with the developing historiography of slavery in the United States students will gain a deeper understanding of contemporary (then and now) debates concerning race and racial identity as well as American slavery per se. We will be interrogating various sources found in the Morgan Reader alongside representations of slavery in novels, cinema, and oral histories.

AMAH5043A

20

CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN FICTION

The purpose of this module is to expose students to a range of prose works by important contemporary American writers. In particular, we will be concerned with some of the key concepts associated with contemporary American fiction, including the definition of the contemporary: postmodernism; metafiction; historiography; postcolonialism; and memory.

AMAL5011A

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'. This module traces the literary responses of distinct 'American' cultures: including Native American; African American; Asian American; and Latin American. Each group of texts 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 nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Topics will include 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.

AMAL5077A

20

Students will select 30 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

AFRICAN AMERICANS AND EMPIRE

This module will examine the transnational nature of U.S. history through black thought and protest. African American writers, politicians and performers have been at the forefront of seeing U.S. history in global terms. Historically denied full citizenship rights in the United States, African Americans have often looked abroad in order to forge political alliances. Challenging ideas of 'American exceptionalism', this module will explore how African American activists developed international alliances designed to promote civil rights on a local and a global level. Covering the connections between African American activists and movements for racial justice in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and beyond, this module will explore the pioneering work of prominent black figures such as Carter G. Woodson, W.E.B. Du Bois and Barack Obama, with seminars analysing a range of diverse themes relating to black international activism throughout the twentieth and into the twenty- first centuries.

AMAH6041A

30

ALIENS, OUTSIDERS, AND EXPATS:WRITING AMERICA OUTSIDE IN

The Module engages contemporary writing by expatriates and outsiders in the United States. Considering novels by expatriate writers from Australia, Britain, India, and Nigeria alongside writing by authors from states and protectorates beyond the bounds of the continental United States (Guam, Hawaii, Samoa), this module considers how such writing has imagined key American events, eras, and cultural practices from "the outside in." Authors may include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Peter Carey, Sia Figiel, Brandy Nalani McDougal, Craig Santos Perez, Salman Rushdie, Zadie Smith, and Kirsten Tranter among others.

AMAL6049A

30

AMERICAN AUTOBIOGRAPHY

This module aims to introduce students to the fascinatingly wide and diverse area of American autobiography. It takes a broadly chronological structure in order to introduce key narratives and writers in the history of American autobiography, and will also enable students to engage with important theoretical debates influencing how we might understand autobiography - debates which can perhaps best be described as attempting to determine what is at stake in writing, reading and defining the autobiographical 'I'. Questions to be explored will include: What do we mean by autobiography? Why is it so difficult to define autobiography? What is 'American' about autobiography?

AMAL6007A

30

COMICS: AN AMERICAN ART

This module introduces students to the American art of comics, comic strips, and graphic novels. Tracing the form's development from its inception in the popular newspapers of the end of the 19th century through the birth of the comic book, the underground comix revolution of the counterculture years, the birth of the graphic novel, and the current boom in autobiographical comics by women, the course will give students a broad understanding of the many cultural and formal issues surrounding the form.

AMAL6048A

30

NATIVE AMERICAN WRITING AND FILM

This module considers Native American writing and film as sites of cultural and political resistance, analysing the ways in which a diverse range of Native authors, screenwriters and directors within the United States respond to contemporary tribal socio-economic and political conditions. Taking popular ideas of 'the Indian', this module considers the ways in which stereotypes and audience expectations are subverted and challenged. Topics include race and racism, indigeneity, identity, culture, gender, genre, land and notions of 'home', community, dialogue, postcolonial theory in its application to those who remain colonised, and political issues such as human rights and environmental racism.

AMAS6027A

30

THE AMERICAN BODY

This module reads the changing values, presentations and representations of the body that move through and construct American culture. This module will involve pairing theoretical perspectives with current and historical ideas of the body to allow us to interrogate intellectual and popular meanings assigned to and played out through the body, reading particular moments in American writing, art, photography and popular forms for the things they might tell us about corporality and self presentation, but also about the wider structures of the social and cultural environment. We will engage with canonical debates about race, gender, sexuality and ideas of 'representation', but also with categories that cut across and through these modes of reading - with the normal and the ideal, ideas of illness and wellness, ability and disability, of the organic and the machine, of the body under servitude, or under punishment, and with the whole idea of embodiment in itself. This module - like all other modules at this level - requires a substantial, regular, reading commitment.

AMAS6040A

30

Students will select 30 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

AMERICAN GOTHIC

American fiction began in the period of the European Gothic novel, which thus marked the American tradition from the first. In this seminar module we will establish the meaning of gothic conventions and consider their persisting effects in American fiction.

AMAL6024B

30

AMERICAN STUDIES DISSERTATION

This is 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

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, this module explores 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 for example.

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. This module will consider how traditional discourses of gender have shaped the identity of Americans and the American nation. Focusing on a wide variety of case studies including debates around the body, citizenship, 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, the module 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.

AMAS6032B

30

GO WEST! HISTORIES AND CULTURES OF THE AMERICAN WEST

The American West occupies both a geographical and social place within US history along with a place in the mythic ideals of America. From the of the law of gunfighter to the promise of the Californian gold-rush to the gay pastoral of Brokeback Mountain, the West has proved to be a site of often violent transformation and liberation. This module will explore the West as both history and myth. As an interdisciplinary module on the West, study may include historical narratives, popular literature, song, comic-books and film.

AMAS6055B

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 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 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, this module examines the ways in which these crises have been culturally and politically constructed and given particular sets of meaning.

AMAS6052B

30

Students will select 30 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

AFRICAN AMERICANS AND EMPIRE

This module will examine the transnational nature of U.S. history through black thought and protest. African American writers, politicians and performers have been at the forefront of seeing U.S. history in global terms. Historically denied full citizenship rights in the United States, African Americans have often looked abroad in order to forge political alliances. Challenging ideas of 'American exceptionalism', this module will explore how African American activists developed international alliances designed to promote civil rights on a local and a global level. Covering the connections between African American activists and movements for racial justice in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and beyond, this module will explore the pioneering work of prominent black figures such as Carter G. Woodson, W.E.B. Du Bois and Barack Obama, with seminars analysing a range of diverse themes relating to black international activism throughout the twentieth and into the twenty- first centuries.

AMAH6041A

30

ALIENS, OUTSIDERS, AND EXPATS:WRITING AMERICA OUTSIDE IN

The Module engages contemporary writing by expatriates and outsiders in the United States. Considering novels by expatriate writers from Australia, Britain, India, and Nigeria alongside writing by authors from states and protectorates beyond the bounds of the continental United States (Guam, Hawaii, Samoa), this module considers how such writing has imagined key American events, eras, and cultural practices from "the outside in." Authors may include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Peter Carey, Sia Figiel, Brandy Nalani McDougal, Craig Santos Perez, Salman Rushdie, Zadie Smith, and Kirsten Tranter among others.

AMAL6049A

30

AMERICAN AUTOBIOGRAPHY

This module aims to introduce students to the fascinatingly wide and diverse area of American autobiography. It takes a broadly chronological structure in order to introduce key narratives and writers in the history of American autobiography, and will also enable students to engage with important theoretical debates influencing how we might understand autobiography - debates which can perhaps best be described as attempting to determine what is at stake in writing, reading and defining the autobiographical 'I'. Questions to be explored will include: What do we mean by autobiography? Why is it so difficult to define autobiography? What is 'American' about autobiography?

AMAL6007A

30

COMICS: AN AMERICAN ART

This module introduces students to the American art of comics, comic strips, and graphic novels. Tracing the form's development from its inception in the popular newspapers of the end of the 19th century through the birth of the comic book, the underground comix revolution of the counterculture years, the birth of the graphic novel, and the current boom in autobiographical comics by women, the course will give students a broad understanding of the many cultural and formal issues surrounding the form.

AMAL6048A

30

NATIVE AMERICAN WRITING AND FILM

This module considers Native American writing and film as sites of cultural and political resistance, analysing the ways in which a diverse range of Native authors, screenwriters and directors within the United States respond to contemporary tribal socio-economic and political conditions. Taking popular ideas of 'the Indian', this module considers the ways in which stereotypes and audience expectations are subverted and challenged. Topics include race and racism, indigeneity, identity, culture, gender, genre, land and notions of 'home', community, dialogue, postcolonial theory in its application to those who remain colonised, and political issues such as human rights and environmental racism.

AMAS6027A

30

THE AMERICAN BODY

This module reads the changing values, presentations and representations of the body that move through and construct American culture. This module will involve pairing theoretical perspectives with current and historical ideas of the body to allow us to interrogate intellectual and popular meanings assigned to and played out through the body, reading particular moments in American writing, art, photography and popular forms for the things they might tell us about corporality and self presentation, but also about the wider structures of the social and cultural environment. We will engage with canonical debates about race, gender, sexuality and ideas of 'representation', but also with categories that cut across and through these modes of reading - with the normal and the ideal, ideas of illness and wellness, ability and disability, of the organic and the machine, of the body under servitude, or under punishment, and with the whole idea of embodiment in itself. This module - like all other modules at this level - requires a substantial, regular, reading commitment.

AMAS6040A

30

Students will select 30 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

AMERICAN GOTHIC

American fiction began in the period of the European Gothic novel, which thus marked the American tradition from the first. In this seminar module we will establish the meaning of gothic conventions and consider their persisting effects in American fiction.

AMAL6024B

30

AMERICAN STUDIES DISSERTATION

This is 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

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, this module explores 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 for example.

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. This module will consider how traditional discourses of gender have shaped the identity of Americans and the American nation. Focusing on a wide variety of case studies including debates around the body, citizenship, 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, the module 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.

AMAS6032B

30

GO WEST! HISTORIES AND CULTURES OF THE AMERICAN WEST

The American West occupies both a geographical and social place within US history along with a place in the mythic ideals of America. From the of the law of gunfighter to the promise of the Californian gold-rush to the gay pastoral of Brokeback Mountain, the West has proved to be a site of often violent transformation and liberation. This module will explore the West as both history and myth. As an interdisciplinary module on the West, study may include historical narratives, popular literature, song, comic-books and film.

AMAS6055B

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 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 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, this module examines the ways in which these crises have been culturally and politically constructed and given particular sets of meaning.

AMAS6052B

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. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Entry Requirements

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

Applying for Part-Time Degrees

The University of East Anglia offers some of its undergraduate degrees on a part-time basis. Applications are made directly to the University: More information and an application form can be found at our Part-Time Study pages. For further information on the part-time application process, please contact our Admissions Office at admissions@uea.ac.uk.

Each year we hold a series of Open Days, where potential applicants to our Undergraduate courses can come and visit the university to learn more about the courses they are interested in, meet current students and staff and tour our campus. If you decide to apply for a course and are made an offer, you will be invited to a School specific Visit Day. Applicants may be invited for interview or audition for some courses.

For enquiries about the content of the degree or your qualifications please contact Admissions at 01603 591515 or email admissions@uea.ac.uk We can then direct your enquiry to the relevant department to assist you.

    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