The MA in American Studies is an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary course, which enables you to focus on the study of the history, literature, politics, film and culture of the United States (arguably the most powerful and exciting country in the world), as well as the literature, culture and society of Canada. In line with the most recent research in this subject area, our research work and postgraduate courses are also informed – to varying extent – by a transnational and global perspective, the exchange of influence between North American cultures and those of Britain, the rest of Europe and the rest of the Americas.
This course provides training in research skills, an introduction to representative American Studies approaches, and an examination of contemporary American culture.
Optional modules in semester two and a dissertation module will allow you to develop a particular disciplinary focus (History, Literature or Visual Culture) or to demonstrate your enhanced, interdisciplinary development.
Towards the end of the course, you will be expected to complete a 15,000-20,000 word dissertation. You will be able to refine your dissertation proposal during semester one before you are assigned a supervisor who is in a position to support your research and is familiar with your chosen specialism.
Modules offered during 2006/07 and 2007/08 include:
American Studies in the 20th Century; Researching Contemporary America, Research Management and Personal Development Skills, The Making of American Foreign Policy, Radical and Reform Movements in Modern America, Fictions of America, Queer Agency in North American Writing; Slavery, Capitalism and the Origins of the Civil War, Eisenhower’s Presidency, US Soviet Relations 1917-1991, Gender and Sexuality in Recent Canadian Writing; American Sensations: Nineteenth Century Ante-Bellum Writing; Martin Luther King in Comparative Perspective; In the Midst of Wars: The US and S.E. Asia 1940 – 1968; African American Visual Cultures; First Nations Speak: Native Writing, Representing the South: Literature, Film and History; Living with the Bomb: Nuclear Weapons in American Cold War Strategy, Thought and Culture; Intellectuals and US Foreign Policy; Kennedy, Johnson and the Crisis of US Foreign Policy 1961-1968; Asian American Literature; American Crime Fiction; Irish America in Literature and Culture: A Special Relationship?; The Emergence of Mass Culture.
Please note that modules offered vary from year to year.
This course can be completed in 1 year of full-time study or over 2 to 4 years, part-time.
There is also the option to study this subject for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma, which means that you would be required to undertake the taught components of the course without completing the dissertation module.
The MA in American Studies shares a common first semester programme, consisting of three core modules, with other combinations of the MA course in American studies. Optional modules are taken in Semester 2, and the dissertation is completed over the summer and submitted in the last week of the summer term.
The principal means of assessment for each module is the long essay (3,500-4,000 words).
The dissertation is 15,000-20,000 words.