All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.
The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.
Core and compulsory modules are fundamental to achieving the learning outcomes for your course and must be studied.
Optional modules let you tailor the course to your interests. Please note, the availability of optional modules can vary each trimester. And some modules may require prior study (taking an earlier module, for example).
The Fire Next Time: From Slavery to Civil Rights
Explore African-American history and culture from the arrival of the first kidnapped Africans to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. You'll think about freedom, citizenship, justice, protest and resistance while studying the work of Frederick Douglass, Ida Wells, W E B Du Bois and Fannie Lou Hamer.
American Rebels: Reading 20th-Century US Counterculture
You'll study the literature of US counterculture, centred around the social upheavals of the late 20th century. You'll read authors who cast off expectations of class, race, gender and literary form. And you'll explore the ways that they rebelled against their society through writing.
American Alternative Cinema
Go beyond the Hollywood mainstream with case studies including independent, cult, exploitation, trash and underground cinema.
American Animation History
In this module, you'll develop a deeper understanding of the history of American animation by taking an in-depth look at the genre.
You will immerse yourself in the darker side of American literature, examining the presence of a Gothic sensibility from the fiery preaching of the early Puritans to contemporary horror novels. You'll study a wide range of popular and literary fiction, exploring the terrors of haunted houses, alien monstrosities and insane protagonists in the specific American contexts in which they were produced.
This module will provide you with a general introduction to the political culture and institutions of the United States, and the environment in which those institutions operate. You'll learn about the USA’s international role and behaviour and the complex relationship between the domestic and international aspects of American politics.
New York City in Culture
New York is the perhaps most visually recognisable of all American cities, but is also arguably the cultural capital of the nation, and has been home and inspiration to countless great artists, writers, musicians, and filmmakers. This module takes an interdisciplinary look at New York as the setting and subject of many works of different media and genres.
America's Wars in Asia
The USA fought four major wars in Eastern Asia during the twentieth century: the Philippine-American War 1899-1902, the Pacific War 1941-45, the Korean War 1950-53 and the Vietnam War 1965-72. More recently, it has become involved in military ventures in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.
This module looks back over the troubled relationship between Asia and the USA from the perspective of the key concepts that have influenced US foreign policy in the 20th century.
One of the most distinctively ‘American’ genres, the musical is often dismissed as pure escapism. Rehabilitating the genre by interrogating how ‘escapist entertainment’ actually works, this module explores how celebrated Hollywood and Broadway productions from The Jazz Singer to Hamilton have created performative spaces for representing and re-imagining America’s sexual, racial and political identities.
Reagan’s Polarised America; a Cultural Study of the USA in the 1980s.
This module takes a Cultural Studies theoretical approachto look at the tumultuous events of the 80s as a means to understanding America today. You will engage with popular cultural texts to develop an understanding of American identities, politics and representations, such as music by artists like Madonna, photographers such as Robert Mapplethorpe, movies such asDie Hard, comics such as Watchmen, and “Televangelical” shows.
“Mi Raza Primero!” Mexican-American History and Culture
This module explores the crucial role that Chicanas and Chicanos (the term for Mexican-Americans born in the US) have played in US history and culture in the 20th and 21st centuries. You'll analyse several topics and themes, using a different cultural text each week. For example, you might discuss novels by Sandra Cisneros, poetry and memoir by Luis J Rodriguez, the murals of San Diego's Chicano Park, photography and art by Harry Gamboa Jr, or films like Mi Vida Loca and American Me.