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SSST Subjects

History and Culture of the UK and USA

 

 
 

Programme(s) where module is offered

  • BA English and Applied Studies
 

Status (core, option, free choice)

Core

 

FHEQ Level

1

 

Unit Value

6 ECTS

 

Semester taught

Spring

 

Pre-Requisite Modules or Qualifications

None

 

Module Code

ELIT 120

 

Module coordinator

Predrag Rogan

 

Applicable From

2012

 

Educational Aims of the Module

  • This course aims to give insights into the historical and cultural background of the British Isles and the United States of America, through relevant cultural, political, socio-political, and economic developments, which will be discussed either individually or concurrently for the two nations, and will include historical fact, commentary and interpretation.
  • The key feature of this course is its interdisciplinarity – it aims to connect historical developments in and between the two countries (e.g. the colonial period in the Isles and America) with key developments in literature, culture and society (imperialist and Puritan culture in New England), as well as tell the (hi)stories of the two nations in a broader European and global context – at the same time, giving enough time to understanding particular national icons ( monarchy, Merchant Navy, imperialism, American Dream, the concept of progress during Victorian times and in post-revolutionary America).
  • Lectures will be combined with tutorials, where students, through analysing historical and cultural “examples”, will work their way into larger themes.
  • The course lays a brief but solid foundation for all literary courses in the programme.
 

Module Outline/Syllabus

  • Introduction. The brief (hi)stories of the USA and the UK. UK-US historical and cultural ties today.
  • Roman and Anglo-Saxon Britain. Government: the establishment of provinces, introduction of money. Anglo-Saxon statewarriors. Art in the “heroic age“.
  • The Middle Ages. The Norman Conquest and the medieval English state. The Hundred Years' War. Culture under the Plantagenets. The expansion of England.
  • Tudors, Stuarts and the Church. Tudor succession, changes in relations between the Crown and Church. Elizabeth I and maritime exploration. Imperialism. Cromwell and the idea of a (Puritan) ‘Commonwealth’. Britain as an international power.   
  • “New Founde Land.” Reasons for migration to the New World. New England Colonies. “A New Nation” in the New World.    
  • America- from settlement to independence. Puritanism. The rise of slavery. Salem. Oppressive taxation - Boston Tea Act. Political revolt. Independence: the Republic, the structure of the Declaration. Establishment of government.
  • Revolution and the Victorian Age. The Glorious Revolution, ‘Constitutional Monarchy’. Hanovers. The Jacobite revolutions. Rise of polite society. America and India. Industrialization in the UK. Age of Reform. The ‘Condition of England’ question. Literary progress and popular fiction. Victoria. ‘Scramble for Africa’.      
  • The Federalist Era in the USA. George Washington; Federalists and Republicans: Rise of political parties. Jefferson. Lewis and Clark. The Old South.
  • Industrialism and expansion. Factories in the North. Cotton and slavery in the South. The American Renaissance: Poe etc. Civil War. Abraham Lincoln. The Frontier West. Native Americans. Overcrowded cities. Working women. Immigrants in America. ‘White’ and ‘black’ America. 
  • The Early Twentieth Century. The Labour movement in the UK. Developments in the Empire – from imperialism to partnership with Europe. The Welfare State and new Commonwealth. Britain in the Great War. America in the Great War. Ireland. The Roaring Twenties in the U.S. The Great Depression. The New Deal.   
  • WWII and Cold War. Pearl Harbor. War and African-Americans, Hispanics. The Red Scare. Eisenhower, Khrushchev. McCarthyism. 
  • Post-war times. The British Government. Women’s Rights. Indian independence. Decolonization. The turbulent sixties. Popular culture. The Civil Rights Movement. 
  • The Late Twentieth Century.  Reaganism. Thatcherism. Collapse of Communism. Changing American society: sexual revolution, AIDS. Britain in Europe? The City of London, the ‘New Labour’ experiment. Bush, Clinton and Bush: Domestic and international policies. UK and USA at the turn of the millennium –political and social significance.  
     
 

Student Engagement Hours

Type Number per Term Duration Total Time
Lectures 15 2 hours 30 hours
Tutorials 15 2 hours 30 hours
Total Guided/Independent Learning Hours 90
Total Contact Hours 30
Total Engagement Hours 150
 

Assessment Method Summary

Type Number Required Duration / Length Weighting Timing / Submission Deadline
Exam 1 3 hrs 50% End of semester
Long essay 2(1500- 2000 words each) Take home 50% Mid-semester
 

Module Outcomes

Teaching and Learning Strategy:

  • Presentations by the module convenor (lectures). (ILO: 1-4)
  • Practical classes that review course presentations and readings, and include group discussions. (ILO: 1-4)
  • Practical exercises, readings and assignments as a follow-up to course presentations, or as part of seminars. (ILO: 1-4) 
  • Individual assignments, essays and presentations. (ILO: 1-4)
  • Individual consultations with students (ILO: 1-4)
  • Presentations by the module convenor (lectures). (PS: 1-3)
  • Practical classes that review course presentations and readings, and include group discussions. (PS: 1-3)
  • Practical exercises, readings and assignments as a follow-up to course presentations, or as part of seminars. (PS: 1-3)
  • Individual assignments, essays and presentations. (PS: 1-3)
  • Individual consultations with students  (PS: 1-3)
  • Presentations by the module convenor (lectures). (TS: 1-4)
  • Practical classes that review course presentations and readings, and include group discussions. (TS: 1-4)
  • Practical exercises, readings and assignments as a follow-up to course presentations, or as part of seminars. (TS: 1-4) 
  • Individual assignments, essays and presentations. (TS: 1-4)
  • Individual consultations with students (TS: 1-4)

Assessment Strategy

  • 2 Long essays - 50%(ILO: 1-5)
  • Final Exam – 50%(ILO: 1-5)
  • Long essays  - 50%(PS: 1-3) 
  • Final Exam – 50% (PS: 1-2) 
  • Long essays - 50%(TS: 1-4)
  • Final Exam  – 50%  (TS: 1-4)
 

Key Texts and/or other learning materials

Set text

  • Black, Jeremy. (1996). A History of the British Isles. Basingstoke: Macmillan. Reynolds, D. (2009). America: Empire of Liberty: A New History. London: Allen Lan Temperley, Howard, & Bigsby, C. (2005). New Introduction to American Studies. London and New York: 2005

Supplementary Materials

  • Morgan, Kenneth O. (1984).The Oxford Illustrated History of Britain. Oxford: OUP
  • Bradbury, Malcolm, & Temperley, H. (1998, 3rd edn.). Introduction to American Studies. London and New York: Longman.
  • Brands, H. W. et al (2008). American Stories: A History of the United States (combined volume). New Jersey: Prentice Hall. 
  • Nash, Gary. B. et al. (2008). American People. The: Creating a Nation and a Society. (concise edition, combined volume), 6/E. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. 

Please note

This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the module and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if he/she takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided.  More detailed information on the learning outcomes, content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each module and programme can be found in the departmental or programme handbook.  The accuracy of the information contained in this document is reviewed annually by the University of Buckingham and may be checked by the Quality Assurance Agency.

Date of Production : 2014

Date approved by School Learning and Teaching Committee:

Date approved by School Board of Study :

Date approved by University Learning and Teaching Committee:

Date of Annual Review:

       
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