Transnational American Studies:Methods and Approaches - US800

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 2)
Autumn and Spring
View Timetable
7 30 (15) DR S Grattan







The aim of this module is to explore the culture and society of the Americas, notably incorporating a transnational perspective. This will involve giving you a thorough grounding in the techniques and approaches needed for advanced study and research in advanced American Studies. This module will engage with interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches in order to train you to 'operate across disciplines, learning how to integrate a variety of approaches in formulating and solving problems, and using diverse materials and information sources.' You will be encouraged to engage with critical debates surrounding American society and also to interrogate, challenge, and move outside the exceptionalist rhetoric and nation- state ideology of conventional American Studies. Attention will be focused on (but by no means confined to) Anglophone literature and culture, although Chicano/Hispanic motifs will be forwarded in the context of English language-based study.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Contact hours: 2 hours per week

Method of assessment

100% coursework. Students will be required to produce one essay of 4,000 words.

Indicative reading

Temperley, H and Bigsby, C., eds., A New Introduction to American Studies (2006)
Jean-Philippe Mathy, "The Atlantic as Metaphor," Atlantic Studies 1.1 (2004)
Anzaldúa, Gloria. Borderlands/La Frontera. (1987)
Calderón, Héctor, and José David Saldívar, eds. Criticism in the Borderlands (1991)
Claudia Sadowski-Smith, Border Fictions: Globalization, Empire, and Writing at the Boundaries of the United States (2008)
---, Globalization on the Line: Culture, Capital, and Citizenship at U.S. Borders (2002)
Saldívar, José David. Dialectics of Our America: Genealogy, Cultural Critique and Literary History (1991)
---. Border Matters: Remapping American Cultural Studies (1997)
Desmond, Jane, and Virginia Domínquez. "Resituating American Studies in a Critical Internationalism." American Quarterly 48 (September 1996):
Lowe, Lisa. Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics (1996).
Singh, Amritjit, and Peter Schmidt, eds. Postcolonial Theory and the United States: Race, Ethnicity, and Literature (2001)
King, C. Richard, ed. Postcolonial America (2001)
Buell and Dimock, Shades of the Planet: American Literature as World Literature (2007)
Fisher, Philip, ed. The New American Studies: Essays From Representations (1991)
Gilbert, James, et. al. The Mythmaking Frame of Mind: Social Imagination and American Culture
Gilroy, Paul. The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (1993)
Gleason, Philip. "World War II and the Development of American Studies," American Quarterly 36 (1984)
Hollinger, David. Postethnic America: Beyond Multiculturalism (1995)
Kaplan, Amy, and Donald Pease, eds. Cultures of United States Imperialism (1993)
Kerber, Linda K. "Diversity and the Transformation of American Studies", American Quarterly 41 (1989)
Levander and Levine, Hemispheric American Studies (2008)
Marx, Leo. "Some Thoughts on the Origin and Character of the American Studies Movement", American Quarterly 31 (1979)
Takaki, Ronald. A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America (1993)
Watts, Steven. "The Idiocy of American Studies: Poststructuralism, Language, and Politics in an Age of Self-fulfillment," American Quarterly 43 (1991)
Wise, Gene. "Paradigm Dramas' in American Studies: A Cultural and Institutional History of the Movement", American Quarterly 31 (1979)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

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