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.
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%)
12 Senior Credit Points of AMST including AMST2601 or 12 credit points at 2000 level in American Studies