BA American and Canadian Modules Second Year

Listed on this page are the modules offered in American and Canadian Studies as part of its Second Year degree programme.

Compulsory modules

20th Century American Literature and Culture: Modernity to Postmodernity (20 credits)

This module introduces you to key elements of Twentieth-Century literature and culture such as the rise of modern city culture, concerns with post war conformity, alternative ways of life and forms of expression, and the ways in which America uses literature to address its troubled past.

20th Century American Literature and Culture: Mainstream and Margin (20 credits)

This course will deepen students’ understanding of America’s changing social, political, and literary culture during the Twentieth Century. It will explore the complexity of attempting to acquire self-knowledge in an oppressive environment, and examine the ways in which this can be portrayed in literature, non-fiction, art, music and film, in both mainstream and marginalized contexts.

USA: Political and Social History 1890-1980 (20 credits)

This module introduces you to some of the main themes in United States history from the 1890s to the present, developing an understanding of the significance of major events of the American past. 

America in the World, 1890-1980 (20 credits)

This course explores the ways in which the history and politics of the United States can be understood in a global historical context.

Optional modules

Example optional modules may include: 

America and the Middle East Through Film

This course offers insight into the history and interpretations of US involvement in the Middle East from the 19th century to the present through a complementary approach to official documents and films.Official cases will include the US approach to Israel, the Eisenhower Doctrine against Communism, and the "War on Terror" since 9/11, while films will include Casablanca, Exodus, Three Kings, and Team America.

Value: 10 credits

The Foundations of African-American Experience

The module will provide students with an introduction of the African-American experience from c.1850-1945. The module covers topics such as the slave narrative, resistance to slavery, the experience of the freedmen and the rise of Jim Crow, African-American leaders and campaigners such as Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. Du Bois and Ida B. Wells, the Harlem Renaissance and the experience of war.

Value: 10 credits

The African-American experience from 1945

This module offers students the opportunity to study the political, social and cultural experience of African-Americans since 1945. It includes the study of important events in the civil rights movement, such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Mississippi Freedom Summer, and the rise of Black power. The course allows students to critically assess the role of leaders such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, and the work of civil rights organizations such as the Student Nonviolence Co-ordinating committee. The course examines the impact of the civil rights movement, studying post-civil rights themes such as Black Poverty and access to justice. The course is delivered through two hour workshops, which include lecture and group work.

Value: 10 credits

Terrorism in America: A History

Terrorism in the form of politically motivated violence has a long history in the United States. Since the aftermath of the Civil War in the 19th century, various groups on the left and the right have used violence as a tactic in pursuit of political aims. This module examines in depth the nature of terrorism in America through a thematic, theoretical and chronological approach from the 19th century to the 21st century.

Value: 10 credits