AMS-30038 - High Culture: Drink, Drugs, and the American Dream
Coordinator: Oliver Cg Harris Room: CBB1.053 Tel: +44 1782 7 33016
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2019/20

American Studies Combined Honours (Level 6)
American Studies Major (Level 6)
American Studies Minor (Level 6)
American Studies Single Honours (Level 6)
English Combined Honours (Level 6)
English Major (Level 6)
English Minor (Level 6)
English Single Honours (Level 6)
English and American Literatures Single Honours (Level 6)
English with Creative Writing Single Honours (Level 6)
Liberal Arts Single Honours (Level 6)
Liberal Arts Single Honours (Masters) (Level 6)


Available as a Free Standing Elective

No

Co-requisites

None

Prerequisites

None

Barred Combinations

None

Description for 2019/20

The module aims to study the social, cultural, psychological, medical, philosophical, and aesthetic dimensions of works dealing with three decades of American history that are concerned with a range of intoxicants - alcohol, heroin, LSD, and peyote.
Rather than taking a biographical approach (which might, for example, focus on the role of drink in the writing of the Lost Generation), the module focuses on representations of individuals or groups involved in sub- and counter-cultural use of mind-altering and/or addictive substances. The first half of the module focuses on addiction, the second half on socio-cultural history, and the written assessments can be either theory or text based but will require some element of both.
The emphasis on studying formal features of texts also includes comparative analysis of Hollywood adaptations and films. The module is suitable for those who have already studied literature in Y1 or Y2, although experience of studying film would be an advantage.
Students will be expected to buy their own copies of all the set books and to read widely for the research-based long essay.

Aims
To study the social, cultural, psychological, medical, philosophical, and aesthetic dimensions of works dealing with three decades of American history that are concerned with a range of intoxicants - alcohol, heroin, LSD, and peyote.
To develop advanced level analysis of literary texts in relation to American wartime and postwar culture, including film.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.
http://lists.lib.keele.ac.uk/modules/ams-30038/lists

Intended Learning Outcomes

situate sub- and counter-cultural groups to broader social, psychological, medical, philosophical, and cultural issues in wartime and postwar American culture will be achieved by assessments: 1, 2, 3
relate literary and filmic representations to wartime and postwar American culture to an advanced level will be achieved by assessments: 1, 2, 3
critically analyse the aesthetic dimensions of a range of textual representations to an advanced level will be achieved by assessments: 1, 2, 3

Study hours

26 hours, comprising 11 x 2-hour seminars + 2 x 2-hour workshops (one per section of the module); 40 hour seminar preparation; 20 hours Short Paper preparation; 64 hours long essay preparation.

School Rules

None

Description of Module Assessment

1: Short Paper weighted 30%
1,200-word analysis of the representation of a sub- or counter-cultural use of an intoxicant in one text
Following a preparatory workshop, students focus on one text (novel or film) in order to analyse the social, cultural, and political significance of the representation of a particular sub-or counter-cultural group's use of an intoxicant in relation to addiction, in 1,200 words, including references and bibliography

2: Essay weighted 60%
2,500 word ssay based on second half of the module
2,500 word essay, including references, based on broader research into texts studied in the second half of the module

3: Class Participation weighted 10%
Seminar participation including contribution to small-group work
Participation is assessed according to effort as well as academic ability; i.e., evidence of preparation in response to set seminar topics, readiness to apply the preparation positively in class discussion, and quality to contributions. Tutor will keep a weekly record to support marks awarded. Encourages development of both individual oral presentation and team-working skills in seminars and workshops.