American studies

American Cities

Module code: T7066E
Level 5
15 credits in spring semester
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar, Film
Assessment modes: Essay

American Cities explores the history, culture and significance of a particular US city, examined in detail throughout the term. From foundation to its current manifestation, the module will contextualise the city in terms of the development of the United States and its colonial and expansionist histories, the urban economy, and its relationship to changing American populations. The myths of the city will be compared to the realities, and a truly interdisciplinary approach will be taken throughout. History, film, literature, and music will be studied alongside one another to firmly locate the city in its relationship to the national story. Possible cities include New York, New Orleans, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, depending on which of these is taught in any given academic year.

Module learning outcomes

  • Critically understand and apply multi-disciplinary approaches to the study of urban and regional culture.
  • Evaluate regional distinctiveness and its cultural signifiers.
  • Conduct independent research in preparation for problem-solving in written exercise.
  • Provide critical commentary on relevant debates in an informed way, and articulate such commentary in a focus group or presentation setting and in written work.