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MA American Studies (Visual Culture)

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  • Objectives
    The MA in American Studies (Visual Culture) is an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary course, which enables you to focus on the study of the history of the United States, as well as wider approaches to research and American Studies. The course shares a common first semester programme with the MA in American Studies but you are able to develop your disciplinary focus during the second semester by studying modules specific to American visual culture. In line with the most recent research in this subject area, our research work and postgraduate courses are 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.
  • Academic Title
    MA American Studies (Visual Culture)
  • Course description
    Key facts

    -The School of American and Canadian Studies – which includes the Institute of Film and Television Studies – is the only Grade 5 Research School in its subject area in the country. 
    -It has a thriving postgraduate programme, and a teaching and research culture of the highest quality.
    -The MA draws on a network of expert and experienced academics from disciplines across the University.
    Course Content

    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 disciplinary focus in American visual culture or to demonstrate your enhanced, interdisciplinary development.

    Towards the end of the course, you will be expected to complete a dissertation of 15,000 to 20,000 words 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; Film Histories; Researching Film and Television; Film Noir, Horror, The Blockbuster, Media Memories, Filmmakers and Filmmaking, Media Archiving, Researching Screen Audiences, Film & TV Genres.

    Please note that modules offered vary from year to year.

    Please note that all module details are subject to change.

    Course Structure
    The MA in American Studies (Visual Culture) can be completed during 1 year of full-time study or over 2 to 4 years, part-time. 

    The course shares a common first semester with other combinations of the MA course in American Studies.

    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.

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