American Studies and History 

(2018 Entry)

BA (Hons)

Keele’s American Studies and History degree is a perfect combination if you want the chance to study history in depth but with a focus on US culture. On this course you will have the chance to study a broad range of historical subjects from the medieval to the modern period in Britain, Europe, and the wider world.

Combined Honours

Combined Honours degrees allow you to study two different subjects in one degree. Find out more about Combined Honours degrees.


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International year
3 years/ 4 years with international year

UCAS code: TV71

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Course Overview

American Studies and History

School link:
School of Humanities

Drawing on Keele’s unique strengths in American history and culture, you will focus on one national culture as it has developed

from independence to the abolition of slavery and its rise to superpower status. Opportunities to study American politics, literature, criminology, and film will complement your study of historical texts from different eras and around the world.

This course places an emphasis on understanding American society in a wider, global context – your investigations of the American Civil War, slavery, and the civil rights movement, for example, will be informed by a deeper understanding of how power has shaped societies at different historical moments. As well as developing an understanding of different slavery, and the civil rights movement, for example, will be informed by a deeper understanding of how power has shaped societies at different historical moments. As well as developing an understanding of different. approaches to history, you will develop a range of skills and methods used to understand the development of US culture and America’s place in the wider world.

What will this mean for my future?

Developing your skills in analysis and research will prepare you for a range of careers. History and American Studies enable you to identify problems and propose solutions, seeing matters from multiple perspectives and accounting for complex factors, which are crucial skills for many lines of work. Moreover, you will develop advanced communications skills, both written and oral, and you will be aware of how ideas are produced in societies and how they have developed through time. These attributes will prepare you for a wide range of careers, including: teacher, librarian, archivist, museum conservator, heritage manager, barrister, solicitor, civil service administrator, journalist, or a politician’s assistant or researcher.

Indicative modules

First year

  • Historical Research and Writing
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Contemporary America
  • Princes and Peoples: European History, c.1490-C.1700
  • The American Past: Explorations in US History
  • Debates in American Politics

Second year

  • Imperialism and Empire
  • Discovering America: From Empires to Revolutions
  • Sources and Debates
  • The New World in Chains: Slavery and the Bonds of Race in America, 1619-1877

Third year

  • Dissertation in American Studies and/or History
  • ‘Eyes on the Prize’: The Struggle for Civil Rights in America
  • Violence and Power in Civil War America
  • The Art of Dying
  • Urban Lives in Modern Europe 1890-1914
  • Constructing Nations

 

 

 

Course structure

Our degree courses are organised into modules. Each module is usually a self-contained unit of study and each is usually assessed separately with the award of credits on the basis of 1 credit = 10 hours of student effort.  An outline of the structure of the programme is provided in the tables below.

There are three types of module delivered as part of this programme. They are:

  • Compulsory modules – a module that you are required to study on this course;
  • Optional modules – these allow you some limited choice of what to study from a list of modules;
  • Elective modules – a free choice of modules that count towards the overall credit requirement but not the number of subject-related credits.

Modules Summary

History - A summary of the total credit requirements per year is as follows, with a minimum of 90 subject credits (compulsory plus optional) required for each year across both of your Principal Subjects. This document has information about History modules only; please also see the document for your other subject.

Modules - Year One

Year 1 (Level 4)

 

American Studies Year 1 (Level 4)

In Year 1 all Combined Honours students must take one compulsory core module in each semester. In addition they must choose an optional module from the list below. They then select further modules which can but need not include American Studies optional modules.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

A Beginner’s Guide to Contemporary America

15

Starting Out: An Introduction to American Literature

15

New York, New York: An Introduction to American Culture

15

Transatlantic Gothic: Studies in 19C English & American Literatures

15

   

The American Past: Explorations in US History

15

   

Debates in American Politics

15

 

History Year 1 (Level 4)

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Defining Moments in History, c.1000-2000

30

Modern History

15

 

 

History, Media and Memory

15

   

Medieval Europe

15

   

Princes and Peoples: European History

c. 1490-1700

15

   

Anglo-Saxon England

15

   

American Past (AMS-coded)

15

Modules - Year Two

Year 2 (Level 5)

American Studies Year 2 (Level 5)

In Year 2 Combined Honours students choose three optional modules from the range of American Studies offerings. They must choose two optional modules from group A and at least a further one module from anywhere within groups A or B. Students can choose further modules, which can but need not include American Studies optional modules.

Optional modules group A

Credits

Optional modules group B

Credits

The Romance of Fiction: History & Society in 19thC American Literature

15

Teenage Dreams; Youth Subcultures in Fiction, Film and Theory

15

History of the US in the Twentieth Century

15

Globalisation and its Discontents

15

Discovering America: From Empires to Revolutions

15

US Government and Politics

15

From Modernity to Counterculture: American Literature & Social Criticism in 20th Century

15

Environmental Politics and Policy

15

The New World in Chains: Slavery and the Bonds of Race in America

15

Why Policy Changes

15

Alfred Hitchcock’s America

15

   

The Detective and the American City

15

   

 

History Year 2 (Level 5)

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Sources and Debates

15

State & Empire in Britain, c.1530- c.1720

15

   

Castle and Cloister in Medieval Europe, c. 900-1250

15

   

Right-Wing Movements in Interwar-Europe 1918-1938

15

   

Imperialism & Empire

15

   

Power in the Modern World

15

   

Natural Cultures: Humans and their Environments since 1700

15

   

The History of the Camp: From the GULAG to The Jungle

15

   

New World in Chains1

15

   

History of the US in C201

15

1 These modules have a module code starting ‘AMS-‘

 

Modules - Year Three

Year 3 (Level 6)

American Studies Year 3 (Level 6)

In Year 3, Combined Honours American Studies students may take a two-semester double-weighted ISP (worth 30 credits) and one optional module or they may take three optional modules (if taking an ISP in their other Principal subject). Students can choose further modules, which can but need not include American Studies optional modules.

Optional modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Dissertation in American Studies

30

The US Presidency

15

Wild Woods and Wide Worlds: British

and American Children’s Literature

15

Violence and Power in Antebellum America

15

Film Noir: The Dark Side of America

15

Silence, Strength and Sentiment: Gender and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century American Writing

15

Words and Pictures: The Contemporary

American Graphic Novel

15

The whole United States is southern! The Modern South and America

15

“Eyes on the Prize”: The Struggle for Civil Rights in America

15

   

High Culture: Drink, Drugs and the

American Dream

15

   

Violence and Power in Civil War America

15

   

 

History Year 3 (Level 6)

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

None

 

Dissertation

30

   

The English Civil War, c.1640-46

15

   

Health, illness and Medicine 1628-1808

15

   

Urban Lives in Modern Europe 1890-1914

15

   

Religion, Rebellion and the Raj

15

   

Gender and Sexuality in Georgian Britain

15

   

The Making of Middle Britain: A Northumbrian Nativity

15

   

Doctors and medicine 1808-1886

15

   

The Making of Contemporary Africa, I

15

   

Negotiating Nationalisms

15

   

Crisis, Conflict and Commerce 1

15

   

Spirituality and Social Change in the Eleventh Century, I

15

   

Urban Lives in Modern Europe, 1914-1939

15

   

Crisis, Rupture and Opportunity: German ‘Modernity’, 1900-1933 I

15

   

Eyes on the Prize: The Struggle for Civil Rights in America (AMS-coded)

15

   

Violence and Power in Civil War America

(AMS-coded)

15

   

The whole United States is southern! The Modern South and America (AMS-coded)

15

   

Violence and Power in Antebellum America

(AMS-coded)

15

 

Modules - Year Four

 

 

If you choose to specialise in American Studies in your final year you will study the following modules:

Compulsory module

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Dissertation in American Studies

30

The US Presidency

15

Optional modules

 

Violence and Power in Antebellum America

15

Wild Woods and Wide Worlds: British

and American Children’s Literature

15

Silence, Strength and Sentiment: Gender and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century American Writing

15

Film Noir: The Dark Side of America

15

The whole United States is southern! The Modern South and America

15

Words and Pictures: The Contemporary

American Graphic Novel

15

Violence and Power in Civil War America

15

“Eyes on the Prize” The Struggle for

Civil Rights in America

15

   

High Culture: Drink, Drugs and the

American Dream

15

   

 

Students may choose to study elective modules which are offered as part of other programmes in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and across the University. These include:

  • Modules in other subjects closely related to American Studies such as English Literature, Film Studies, History or Politics.
  • Modules in other subjects in which they may have a particular interest such as Criminology or International Relations.
  • Modules designed to help students for whom it is not their first language to improve their use of English for Academic Purposes.
  • Modern foreign languages modules at different levels in French, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Chinese (Mandarin).
  • Free standing modules related to the development of graduate attributes, student volunteering, and studying abroad as part of the University’s exchange programme.

 

If you choose to specialise in History in your final year you may study the following modules:

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Dissertation

30

The English Civil War, c.1640-46

15

   

Health, illness and Medicine 1628-1808

15

   

Urban Lives in Modern Europe 1890-1914

15

   

Religion, Rebellion and the Raj

15

   

Gender and Sexuality in Georgian Britain

15

   

The Making of Middle Britain: A Northumbrian Nativity

15

   

Doctors and medicine 1808-1886

15

   

The Making of Contemporary Africa, I

15

   

Negotiating Nationalisms

15

   

Crisis, Conflict and Commerce 1

15

   

Spirituality and Social Change in the Eleventh Century, I

15

   

Urban Lives in Modern Europe, 1914-1939

15

   

Crisis, Rupture and Opportunity: German ‘Modernity’, 1900-1933 I

15

   

Eyes on the Prize: The Struggle for Civil Rights in America (AMS)

15

   

Violence and Power in Civil War America

(AMS)

15

   

The whole United States is southern! The Modern South and America (AMS)

15

   

Violence and Power in Antebellum America

(AMS)

15

 

Students may choose to study elective modules which are offered as part of other programmes in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and across the University. These include:

  • Modules in other subjects closely related to History such as English Literature or Politics.
  • Modules in other subjects in which they may have a particular interest such as Criminology or Film Studies.
  • Modules designed to help students for whom it is not their first language to improve their use of English for Academic Purposes.
  • Modern foreign languages modules at different levels in French, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Chinese (Mandarin).
  • Free standing modules related to the development of graduate attributes, student volunteering, and studying abroad as part of the University’s exchange programme.

 

For further information on the content of modules currently offered, including the list of elective modules, please visit: www.keele.ac.uk/recordsandexams/az