United States Studies Centre

United States Studies Centre

AMST1001 Global America

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Brendon O'Connor and Paul Giles Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2-hr lecture/week, 1x1-hr tutorial/week Assessment: 2x1000wd essays (2x30%), tutorial participation (10%) and 1x1.5 hr exam (30%)
Note: Students intending to do a major in American Studies must complete AMST1001 and either HSTY1023 or HSTY1076
This unit will investigate the global connectedness of the United States and how this relates to the core values and interests that define America. The primary focus will be on the United States in the 21st global century. The pedagogical aim of this unit is to provide students with analytical frames to understand the most important issues in contemporary American literature, culture, politics, society and the economy, and how they are affected by and affect the world outside the US.
AMST2601 American Foundations

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Rodney Taveria Session: Semester 1 Classes: 2x1-hr lectures/week, 1x1-hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: AMST1001 and (HSTY1076 or HSTY1023) Assessment: 3x1500wd essays (3x30%) and tutorial participation (10%)
This unit introduces students to the contradictory richness of 'Americanness' from an interdisciplinary standpoint and prepares them for the Major in American Studies. It is divided into different modules, each addressing a core national myth. We will approach each module from a variety of angles: historiographical, literary and visual, opening lines of interrelation between historical and imaginary forms in the construction and ongoing redefinition of the United States.
AMST3601 American Perspectives

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr. Rodney Taveria Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x1hr lecture/week and 1x2hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: 12 Senior Credit Points of AMST including AMST2601 Assessment: 2x 200wd Online reading response (20%) and Essay 900wd proposal with annotated bibliography (20%) 3000wd Research Essay (50%) and Tutorial Participation (10%)
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.
USSC2601 US in the World

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr. Adam Lockyer Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x 2-hr lecture/week, 1x1-hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: 18 junior credit points Assessment: 2x 1,000 wd opinion pieces (40%), 1x2,500 wd policy report (50%), participation (10%)
This unit of study introduces students to the key global transformations of the contemporary era, focusing on the role of the United States amid the challenges posed by: globalisation, the rise of Islamic extremism, nuclear proliferation, and the emergence of China and India as world powers. The unit is designed to give students the ability to look behind today's news headlines to understand the underlying forces driving them, particularly the behaviour and views of key policy makers and opinion leaders.
USSC2602 US Politics: Elections, Presidents, Laws

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Associate Professor Brendon O'Connor Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x2-hr lecture/week, 1x1-hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: 18 junior credit points Assessment: 1x2000-2500wd major paper (45%), 1x2hr exam (45%) and participation (10%)
This unit introduces students to US political institutions and political culture. The unit will examine the electoral system and recent presidential elections as well as presidencies from 1960 onwards. It will explore US public policies in the area of race, welfare, and criminal justice and analyse how policy ideas and proposals come into law. It will also introduce the dominant ideologies in US politics. By the end of the unit students will have a comprehensive understanding of American Domestic politics.
USSC2603 Americanism and Anti-Americanism

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr David Smith Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2hr lecture/week, 1x1-hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: 18 junior credit points Assessment: class participation (10%), 1x2000-2500wd essay (45%), 1x2hr exam (45%)
America has often been described as a culturally backward, unsophisticated and uncouth nation with American politics frequently viewed as populist and anti-intellectual. In contrast America has also been viewed as a haven from the Old World and as an exceptional nation. This unit will explore the origins and development of both these negative and positive opinions of America. It will also examine how these stereotypes impact on America's foreign relations with Europe, the Middle East and Australia.
USSC2604 Sex, Race and Rock in the USA

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr. Rebecca Sheehan Session: Semester 1 Classes: 2x1-hr lectures/week, 1x1-hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: 12 junior credit points from one of the following subject area; American Studies, Anthropology, Music, Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, English, European Studies, Government and International Relations, History, International and Global Studies, Media and Communications, Performance Studies, Philosophy, Political Economy or Sociology Prohibitions: HSTY2057 Assessment: Tutorial readings exercise(500wds)(10%) 500wd essay proposal and annotated bibliography(10%) 2000wd research essay (40%) Take home exam (1500wds)(30%) Class participation (10%)
This unit explores the cultural history of and intersections between sexuality, race and rock music in the United States from Elvis to Lady Gaga. Influenced by black and working-class cultures, and with sexuality embedded in its form and practice, rock music challenged and transformed existing norms of family, sex and gender. Through subjects including black women, glam rock, and disco, students will learn that rock music, far from frivolous, provided a realm for rebellion, freedom, community and profit.