American Studies: Reputations - EN665

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 2)
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5 30 (15) DR E Mathisen




This is only available to second year American Studies Students



This module will focus upon the historical and cultural reputations of a number of important figures and concepts in American Studies, from Columbian encounter to the twenty-first century. As well as locating these figures (or alternative subjects such as places or ideas) in the context of their own times, the module will also assess the subsequent significance and meaning attached to their lives through the differing interpretations of scholars, writers, artists, filmmakers and the public. The module's focus is on the construction of reputations, using individual subjects as a prism for isolating distinctive moments in the evolution of American identities and discourses. It will deploy a variety of documentary sources, visual representations (including artwork and film), and electronic resources to convey a sense of past individual, national and cultural identities. It will expose tensions between regional, national, and transnational understandings of reputation, and the subjects match up with themes explored in EN303.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

10 x 2 hour weekly seminars and 10 x 1 hour weekly lectures with optional film screenings.

Method of assessment

75% coursework - 2 1000 word essays, 1 x 4000 word essay and seminar performance
25% Exam

Indicative reading

Cubbit, G and Warren, A. eds., 2000. Heroic Reputations and Exemplary Lives. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Fine, G.A., 2001. Difficult Reputations: Collective Memories of the Evil, Inept and controversial. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

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