American Studies is an interdisciplinary program incorporating units of study taught by the departments of English, Film Studies, History, Gender and Cultural Studies, Government and International Relations and Music, and by the United States Studies Centre.
About the major
American Studies is a unique multi- and interdisciplinary field that examines the history, culture, society and politics of the United States (US).
Units in the major examine why the US is a dominant cultural and political force in the 21st century. From the study of America’s government to its popular culture, students will be challenged to think creatively about the construction and meaning of American identity and power.
An American Studies major will give you broad, multi-faceted knowledge of this complex, diverse and dynamic nation.
In the major you will analyse the US using a variety of different approaches. In addition to core American Studies units, you can take cross-listed units of study from the departments of English, Film Studies, History, Gender and Cultural Studies, Government, and Music, and from the United States Studies Centre.
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has the largest concentration of academics working on the US, and the widest range of units of study focused on the US, of any university in Australia.
Pathway through the major
A major in American Studies requires 36 senior credit points, including the two compulsory units: AMST2601 American Foundations and AMST3601 American Perspectives.
The units of study for the major can be found in the table for American Studies. It shows units of study on offer in the current handbook year. You may find information regarding a full list of units of study available to the major on the American Studies program website;
Junior units of study (1000 level)
In your first semester you will complete either HSTY1023 Emerging Giant: The Making of America OR HSTY1076 American History from Lincoln to Obama. In second semester you complete AMST1001: Global America.
Senior units of study (2000 and 3000 level)
As part of the American Studies major you need to complete the core senior-intermediate (2000 level) unit, AMST2601 American Foundations. You also need to complete the compulsory senior-advanced (3000 level) unit, AMST3601 American Perspectives. Entry into AMST3601 requires prior completion of at least 24 credit points of senior units of study.
The remaining 24 credit points required for the major will come from the selection of elective units of study listed in the American Studies unit of study table. A maximum of 18 credit points can be taken from any one elective subject area.
In 2015 a new American Studies unit will be offered: AMST2606 Stand Up USA: American Comedy and Humour.
|Sample pathway - American Studies major|
HSTY1023 or HSTY1076
|Junior unit||Junior unit||Junior unit|
|S2||AMST1001||Junior unit||Junior unit||Junior unit|
|Second Year||S1||AMST2601 (Compulsory)||Senior unit||Senior unit||Senior unit|
|S2||Senior American Studies elective unit||Senior American Studies elective unit||Senior unit||Senior unit|
|Third Year||S1||Senior American Studies elective unit||Senior unit||Senior unit||Senior unit|
|S2||AMST3601 (Compulsory)||Senior American Studies elective unit||Senior unit||Senior unit|
The fourth-year honours program consists of a compulsory American Studies seminar, one other seminar chosen in consultation with the American Studies coordinator and an 18,000-20,000 word interdisciplinary thesis.
To qualify for an honours year in American Studies, you need to complete AMST2601 and AMST3601 as well as a further 36 senior credit points and have an average of 70 percent or above. Only 24 of these credit points can come from any one department or centre.
The honours coordinator is Dr Rebecca Sheehan
United States Studies Centre website: ussc.edu.au
Dr David Smith
United States Studies Centre
+61 2 9114 2626