American Empire (T7081)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

The global reach of the United States is often invisible to its own citizens, who regard their country as a nation state rather than an empire. But without an understanding of empire, it is impossible to analyse the global distribution of power and violence that American actions produce around the world.

This module maps the hidden infrastructures and technologies of American empire. You will explore the social and political realities of US imperial formations, including colonialism, military assets and interventions from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first century. You’ll also examine the forms of US influence through culture, technological innovation and economic power.

Drawing on history, theory, political analysis and narrative forms, this module responds to the challenges involved in understanding the nature of American power and a globally situated US in the twenty-first century.


100%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 278 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: