Society And Culture In Interwar America (1919-1939) HIST5053

  • Academic Session: 2017-18
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course explores American society and culture in the period between 1919 and 1941. Americans tend to break this period up into two decades, the 1920s and the 1930s, each of which are seen to have been dramatically different, from the consumer society of the 'Roaring Twenties' to the New Deal radicalism of the Great Depression in the 1930s. We examine a range of source material and cultural productions, including literature, film, visual culture, legal transcripts, and music. We explore cultural productions of these years (from the fiction of F. Scott Fitzgerald to gangster movies), but we are also concerned with how Americans have constructed images of these decades in the years since.


10 seminars of 2 hours each

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

Standard entry to masters at College level.


Recommended Entry Requirements

Excluded Courses





1 x 3,500 word essay (70%)

Oral presentation and 1,000 word seminar paper (20%)

Seminar contribution (10%)

Course Aims

This course aims:

· to introduce students to the culture and society of the interwar United States
· to introduce students to the interdisciplinary approaches of American Studies
· to facilitate the application of these interdisciplinary methodologies to the study of the transformation of the United States during the 'Jazz Age,' the Wall Street Crash, the Great Depression, and the New Deal.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able:

- To be able to demonstrate an advanced knowledge and understanding of the culture and society of the United States during the interwar era;
- To be able to demonstrate advanced skills in the interdisciplinary evaluation and presentations of materials from different sources related to the 'Jazz Age', the Wall Street Crash, the Great Depression and the New Deal.
¨ To be able to demonstrate a high degree of proficiency in the use of sources from different disciplines in seminar discussions and written work, employing an interdisciplinary approach.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.