Topics And Methods In American Studies (Core Course B) HIST5066

  • Academic Session: 2015-16
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course is based around the Hook Centre's series of visiting speakers - who are all leading national (and sometimes international) figures in American Studies. Students keep a notebook detailing their developing understanding of, and reflections upon, American Studies as an academic discipline throughout this series. They produce an essay at the end of the module, as well as participating fully in occasional seminars to discuss themes and issues raised by the series and to reflect upon these in light of readings of some 'classic' texts in American Studies.


- one individual tutorial with the instructor to discuss the journals
- two seminar meetings for oral presentation and discussion of the review essays.

- students are asked to attend a minimum of 6 lectures out of 13 available as part of the Visiting Speaker Series:

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level


The essay assignment consists of a reflective journal, kept during the first and second semesters, featuring a critical evaluation of the presentations and lectures in the American Studies lecture series. The series will normally feature approximately 10 such lectures and presentations, and students will be required to submit journal entries of approximately 750 words each for at least 6 of these. Guidelines will be provided, and students will receive formative feedback on their first two entries in preparation for summative feedback on the assignment as a whole. This assignment is intended to train students in the evaluation of different disciplinary approaches, as well as hone their appreciation and understanding of presentation skills.

The first two draft reflective journal entries will be due in the final week of Semester One. The completed reflective journal will be due in the final week of Semester Two

Course Aims

This course aims:

· to introduce students to different disciplinary and interdisciplinary contributions to American Studies
· to prepare students for critical evaluation of scholarly lectures and seminars

· to aid st
udents in the initial stages of their MLitt dissertation research.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students will be able:

- To demonstrate an enhanced understanding of the multi-disciplinarity and inter-disciplinarity of American Studies

-To be able to demonstrate a high degree of proficiency in the evaluation and analysis of lectures and seminars by professional scholars

- To be able to identify an MLitt dissertation topic, and complete a short preliminary bibliographic review essay