University of Sydney Handbooks - 2013 Archive

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American Studies

The American Studies major is an interdisciplinary program incorporating units of study taught by the Departments of English, Film Studies, History, Government and International Relations and Music, and by the United States Studies Centre.

Understanding the United States is critical for global citizens. This major enables students to develop a broad, multifaceted understanding of the United States, which remains the dominant cultural and political force in the 21st century, and has long loomed large in Australian life. A major in American Studies is one of the Area Studies options for students enrolled in the Bachelor of International and Global Studies.

Students take advantage of the widest range of undergraduate units of study focused on the United States of any arts faculty in Australia. They partake of a rich tradition of research and teaching on the United States in the faculty, particularly in the departments of History and English. Fisher Library holds the most extensive collections of American material of any library in Australia.

Students intending to major in American Studies must complete AMST1001 Global America and either HSTY1023 Emerging Giant: The Making of America or HSTY1076 American History from Lincoln to Clinton.

To complete a major in American Studies, students must take AMST2601 American Foundations (preferably in their second year), together with five senior units of study chosen from the list of cross-listed units offered by participating departments, no more than three of which may come from a single department. It is strongly recommended that students include AMST2602 Regionalism and American Culture as one of the units in the major.

AMST1001, AMST2601 and AMST2602 are interdisciplinary units team-taught by staff from the contributing departments.

Contributing departments offer more than 20 units of study focused on the United States, not all of which will be offered in any given year. Units in History and English are generally taught once every two years, ensuring students will have a wide range of choices from which to construct a major. Check the American Studies Program website for the list of cross-listed units of study.

The fourth year Honours program consists of an American Studies seminar, one other seminar chosen in consultation with the American Studies coordinator, from the American-focused fourth year seminars taught in English, Film Studies, Government and International Relations, and History, and an 18-20,000 word interdisciplinary thesis.

Contact/further information
Coordinator: Associate Professor Brendon O'Connor
United States Studies Centre
Institute Building
+61 2 9036 9206

Program website: