This Masters provides an opportunity for students to deconstruct the American experience at an advanced level and work with scholars from a range of different disciplines. Building on the longstanding and successful undergraduate programme in American Studies at the University of Kent as well as a vibrant research community of Americanists working in History, English, Politics, Film, and Hispanic Studies, this Masters brings a fresh and dynamic approach to postgraduate study. One of the few of its kind in the UK to offer a transnational perspective, the programme interrogates, challenges and moves beyond the Exceptionalist rhetoric and nation-state ideology of traditional American Studies to consider the USA (and its neighbours) in an insightful, challenging and relevant way.
Students will develop specialist knowledge and research skills in a range of disciplines as they navigate complex historical, cultural, geo-political, and environmental issues. A Masters in American Studies offers the chance to study the United States in a fresh way, as well as consider the Americas more broadly. This sophisticated awareness of the reach (and the limitations) of US hegemony, as well as issues of cultural collision, media penetration, region and identity give our graduates an intellectual grounding well-suited to many careers as well as a solid foundation for graduate work at MPhil or PhD level.
Our interdisciplinary Masters can be studied on a full or a part-time basis. Students take 180 credits (over one or two years). Applicants should possess an upper second class honours degrees (2.1) in a relevant humanities or social science subject.
All students take the core course ‘Transnational American Studies: Methods and Approaches’ (30 credits), a year-long module designed to introduce key modes of analysis in transnational and interdisciplinary study as well as consider different methodologies, themes and intellectual debates. Assessment for this course includes an extended essay, seminar presentation and a critical review of an academic research paper.
Students select 90 credits from a range of optional modules, spread across at least two disciplines. Optional modules vary year to year. Below is a selection of recent modules on offer:
- American Cold War Propaganda
- Geiger Counter at Ground Zero: Explorations of Nuclear America
- From Wounded Knee to the Little Bighorn Casino
- The Vietnam War in American History
- American Literary Nationalism
- American Modernism
- Boundary Busting and Border Crossing
- Myth, Image, Fashion and Propaganda in the Cuban Revolutionary Era
- History and Memory
- American Foreign Policy
The remaining 60 credits are made up with a Dissertation. Written over the summer term, this 12,000 word extended study allows students to work on their own research project based on primary research. Students will have the opportunity to present their ideas as part of workshop sessions on ‘researching’ American Studies’ in the core course, and will receive supervision from an academic specialist.
This school offers programs in: