- Department: History
- Module co-ordinator: Dr. Edd Mair
- Credit value: 20 credits
- Credit level: I
- Academic year of delivery: 2023-24
Over the past eighty years the United States has become both an unparalleled hegemon in economic and military terms, and a global popular culture powerhouse. In this module we will take a cultural approach to study power relations defining the post-1945 United States. We will study cutting edge historiography on topics ranging from how did suburbanization manifest white supremacy, though the policing of the family unit under patriarchy, the struggle for racial equality and the backlashes against it, the reasons for the U.S.’s many violent interventions abroad, and the long historical roots leading to the 2021 attack on the Capitol. Our approach will allow us not only to consider complex historical processes (‘what happened’), but also to examine primary sources in a range of media (films, songs, reportage, cartoons and prose), in order to interrogate how representations and perceptions shaped, reflected, and challenged power relations. From advertisements targeting suburban housewives, through military cartoons targeting the reluctant conscript, from the subversive impulses of New Hollywood films, to the televised efforts to make Americans embrace neoliberalism, with many other stops on the way to the Presidential Twitter account - we will develop new methodologies to assess the relationship between culture and power.
|A||Semester 2 2023-24|
The aims of this module are:
Students who complete this module successfully will:
Students will attend a 1-hour briefing in week 1. Students will then attend a 1-hour plenary/lecture and a 2-hour seminar in weeks 2-4, 6-8 and 10-11 of semester 1. Weeks 5 & 9 are Reading and Writing Weeks (RAW) during which there are no seminars. Students prepare for and participate in eight 1-hour plenaries/lectures and eight 2-hour seminars in all.
Seminar topics are subject to variation, but are likely to include the following:
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For formative assessment, students will complete a referenced 1200 to 1500-word essay relating to the themes and issues of the module. This will be submitted in either the Week 5 or Week 9 RAW week (on the day of the weekly seminar).
For summative assessment, students will complete an Assessed Essay (2000 words, footnoted). This will comprise 100% of the overall module mark.
Summative assessments will be due in the assessment period.
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Following their formative assessment task, students will typically receive written feedback that will include comments and a mark within 10 working days of submission.
Work will be returned to students in their seminars and may be supplemented by the tutor giving some oral feedback to the whole group. All students are encouraged, if they wish, to discuss the feedback on their formative work during their tutor’s student hours. For more information, see the Statement on Feedback.
For the summative assessment task, students will receive their provisional mark and written feedback within 25 working days of the submission deadline. The tutor will then be available during student hours for follow-up guidance if required. For more information, see the Statement of Assessment.
For term time reading, please refer to the module VLE site. Before the course starts, we encourage you to look at the following items of preliminary reading: