People of plenty: The politics of consumption in the United States since 1890 HIST4214
- Academic Session: 2021-22
- School: School of Humanities
- Credits: 20
- Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
- Typically Offered: Semester 2
- Available to Visiting Students: Yes
This course examines the place of consumption in American political and cultural life since 1890. This course will focus on major themes such as imperial expansion, immigration, Prohibition, the Civil Rights Movement, and globalisation in order to investigate the rapid, jarring, and contested process by the American people adjusted to the new world of mass consumption that emerged in the twentieth century.
This course runs with 12 lectures and 8 seminars, as timetabled on MyCampus
Coursework - class essay (2,000 words) (20%)
Coursework - seminar presentation (6%) seminar contribution (4%)
Examination - 120 minutes duration (70%)
Main Assessment In: April/May
Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No
Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below.
The aims common to all History Honours 20 credit courses are as follows:
1. To prepare students for independent and original analysis of a complex range of evidence, including source materials, thereby developing intellectual skills that will be of benefit in a wide range of careers.
Students' research capacity will be enriched by their introduction to diverse source materials and their oral and written communication skills enhanced in ways designed to address employers' expectations for highly literate and highly articulate graduates who are fully cognisant of a range of research tools.
2. To show students how a professional historian works.
By supporting students in the production of their essay and seminar presentation, students will gain first hand experience of the scoping and shaping of research projects and the challenges faced by historians in the pursuit of advances in knowledge.
3. To familiarise students, through source-criticism, with a wide-range of problems of interpretation arising from different usages of language, underlying meanings and intentions, differing standards of objectivity, and the variety of purpose and intent associated with historical evidence (written, visual or other).
The critical interpretation of key historiographical and theoretical debates relating to this subject will inform the close reading of sources. Provenance, perspective, context, intent and audience will be core considerations in students' interpretation of sources.
4. To ensure, through student-led discussion, that the relative validity of alternative historical interpretations is fully recognised. The seminars aim to encourage student-led learning and the facilitation of rigorous and informed debate.
5. To encourage students to develop imagination, skills and self-discipline required to master a similarly demanding brief in the future, whether in historical research or in any sphere or employment where these qualities are valuable.
Students will be encouraged to reflect on the range of generic research and communication skills they are developing over the course of this course in order to align their academic and professional aspirations and competencies and encourage reflective practice.
Intended Learning Outcomes of Course
By the end of this course students will be able to:
■ demonstrate an awareness of the relationship between citizenship and consumption in modern US history
■ show an understanding of how the history of consumption is connected to other major themes in US history including war, imperialism, urban development, globalisation, and conflict over race and gender.
■ demonstrate an ability to work with a variety of source materials (primary & secondary)
■ demonstrate an ability to engage critically with the historiography on this subject in seminar papers and presentations and in essays and examination.
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.