American Perspectives (AMST3601)


This capstone unit will discuss key texts from Politics, History, English, Film Studies, and Music to critically examine the ways the United States has been idealised as exceptional - as democracy, utopia, and empire. Students will study works ranging from de Tocqueville's Democracy in America to the film Birth of a Nation with the aim of developing a critical appreciation of both classic and contemporary debates about American society. The unit will conclude with a discussion of the ways American Studies as a field deals with these long standing debates in innovative and challenging ways.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


1x1hr lecture/week and 1x2hr tutorial/week


2x 200wd Online reading response (20%) and Essay 900wd proposal with annotated bibliography (20%) 3000wd Research Essay (50%) and Tutorial Participation (10%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


12 Senior Credit Points of AMST including AMST2601

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.