English and drama

American Identities

Module code: Q3176
Level 4
15 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar, Workshop
Assessment modes: Coursework, Seen examination

In this module you study how Americans in different periods and different regions have thought, written, debated and talked about themselves in relation to their country in autobiography, poetry, fiction, and film.

You examine how race, gender, and sexuality impact on notions of American citizenship, and you discover how to become an American.

You explore American identity and stereotypes and look at:

  • optimism
  • individualism
  • the right to bear arms.

Module learning outcomes

  • Analyse and critically evaluate narratives of American identity and Americanisation in a variety of cultural forms (film, autobiography, fiction, and poetry).
  • Interpret and critically assess national ideologies, as voiced in political speeches and foundational texts.
  • Develop an argument in writing, supported by some basic research, regarding the underlying concepts and beliefs that generate national and/or individual American identities.