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Module details

CS261-5-FY: America: Centres and Margins, Borders and Boundaries

Year: 2015/16
Department: Various
Essex credit: 30
ECTS credit: 15
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: Yes
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No

Supervisor: Dr Matt Lodder  
Teaching Staff: Various staff will lecture on this module from across the humanities  
Contact details: Dr Matt Lodder, School of Philosophy and Art History, email: mlodder.  

Module is taught during the following terms

Module Description

The module, taught by staff from across the humanities at the University, is this academic year titled America: Centres and Margins, Borders and Boundaries. From a variety of perspectives, including history, literature, politics, sociology, art and architecture, the module will examine the structural relationships of America and American culture at its core and at its (geographic, cultural) edges. Lectures will deal with topics including the USA's political, cultural and subcultural relationships with its Native communities and with Mexico, Puerto Rico and Latin America more broadly; various subcultural movements including gay rights, the Harlem Renaissance and activist art movements; race relations; the politics of war; the architectural fabric of American cities; and more. The over-arching theme of this disparate module is the constant balance in America history between powers and resistances of all kinds.

Learning and Teaching Methods

1 hour lecture + 1 hour class per week. As some of the teaching material includes films some sessions may vary in length and content.


50 per cent Coursework Mark, 50 per cent Exam Mark

Two 3,000 word essays equally weighted.

Exam Duration and Period

3:00 hour exam during Summer Examination period.

Other information

Compulsory for 2nd Yr BA American (United States) Studies, Criminology and American Studies and American (US) Studies with Film.

To prepare for this module, suggested introductory reading:

'Politics of Belonging' by Natalie Masuoka and Jane Junn - first two chapters

Critical documents of 20th-Century Latin American and Latino Art. Resisting categories: Latin American and/or Latino? Museum Fine Arts Houston, International Center for the Arts of the Americas. 2012

Also keep track of what is currently happening regarding Donald Trump's presendential campaign and the recent interest of Obama and Cuba.


  • The reading list will be available on the Moodle/Online Repository Bank.

Further information

External Examiner Information

  • Name: Prof Richard Ellis
  • Institution: The University of Birmingham
  • Academic Role: Professor of American Studies

Should you have any queries about the Module Directory pages, please contact the Course Record Team, Systems Administration Office, Academic Section; email: crt (non Essex users should add @essex.ac.uk)