Honours in American Studies
The fourth year Honours program consists of an American Studies seminar, one other seminar chosen from the American-focused fourth year units taught in English, Film Studies, Government and International Relations, and History, and an 18-20,000 word thesis.
|Requirements for Entry into Honours
|AMST2601 American Foundations||
Seven Cross-listed Senior Units
|The Honours Year|
|An 18-20,000 word thesis||
one other seminar chosen from the American-focused fourth year units taught in English, Film Studies, Government & International Relations, and History
To Apply for Honours
- To apply for Honours, you must pre-enroll with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences through Courses Online by 31 October 2012.
- Students must also apply directly to the American Studies Program. Each student’s program of seminars and thesis topic must be approved by the Honours Coordinator. The completed Registration Form should be emailed to the coordinator by 16 November 2012.
You are required to do the American Studies Honours Seminar, Approaches to American Studies, and one additional seminar chosen from those focused on the United States offered by the English, Film Studies, Government and History departments.
In 2013, there are three options for the second seminar:
- Approaches to American Studies (USSC- Dr. Rebecca Sheehan) American Studies is an interdisciplinary field that has evolved significantly over the decades since World War II. This unit traces the development and evolution of American Studies to demonstrate how and why the field has changed over time. We will examine key themes and concepts, as well as the variety of methodologies that different practitioners have used.
- Americas (History – Dr. Michael McDonnell) | Mondays, 2-4pm
Who created ‘America’? Traditional histories of the United States usually focus on the European settler societies planted along the eastern seaboard in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to explain the origin and rise of the new nation. More recently, historians have drawn on the insights of the new ‘Atlantic history’ to put these developments into a richer trans-national context, while others have utilised innovative methodologies to access the histories of non-Europeans during this period. This seminar will explore these new approaches and give students the opportunity to examine the multi-faceted ways in which indigenous and “subaltern” peoples around the Atlantic basin confronted, challenged, and ultimately shaped the contours of empires in the early modern period, and the rise of the United States itself.
- The Idea of the South (English – Dr. Sarah Gleeson-White)
The U.S. South is frequently conceived as the Problem South, a regional aberration, defined by its "exceptional" experiences of military defeat and occupation, and economic backwardness and a brutal slave legacy. Although once charged with being the "Sahara of the Bozarts," the South has in fact produced some of the most significant cultural texts of the last hundred years. In this unit, we will investigate the idea of the South in a range of literary (and visual) texts from the 1920s onwards, by examining its most compelling tropes – such as the southern belle, poor whites, the plantation – in order to contemplate, among other things, the region’s fundamental importance to conceptions of the nation itself, and the value – or otherwise – of thinking "regionally." In 2013 this unit will focus on the work of William Faulkner.
- Democracy in America (Government - Dr David Smith)
This course explores the political culture and institutions of American democracy through topics including the making of the American party system, the changing role of religion in American political culture, the democratization of the American South and the importance of race in electoral coalitions. It will illuminate the changing relationship between Americans and government over time.
You are required to complete an 18-20,000-word thesis on a topic of your choice, supervised by a member of the American Studies Program.
Staff can only supervise a limited number of Honours students each year, so you should make contact with potential supervisors as soon as possible