Module Identifier AS30020  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Martin Padget  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Mrs Carol M Marshall  
Pre-Requisite AS10120 , AS10220  
Co-Requisite AS30120 , AS30220  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   20 Hours 10 x 2 hours  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment 2 x 2500 word essays100%

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate a knowledge of historical developments in United States society between 1945 and 1960

- Demonstrate an ability to use critically and engage with the perspectives of history, politics and literary and film studies to study key aspects of postwar American culture

- Review, summarize and critique contemporary debates about the definition of American culture in the 1950's

- Demonstrate developing skills in critical analysis using appropriate interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary resources

- Demonstrate developing skills in oral presentation

Brief description

This module is not intended as a survey but as an opportunity to examine in depth certain selected themes in American life and culture between 1945 and 1960: America's relationship with the rest of the world in the aftermath of World War II and the impact of that relationship on American politics, society and culture, especially as evidenced in the McCarthyite "witch hunts"; and contests over the definition of American culture during the 1950s.


Seminar content

1. ?The American Century?: The United States in 1945
2. McCarthyism in an International Context
3. McCarthyism in American Life
4. HUAC Goes to Hollywood
5. Suburban America
6. Women in Postwar America
7. Youth Culture
8. The Cultures of Art, Architecture and Music
9. The Beats
10. The Eisenhower Years

Required Reading
Anne Charters, ed., The Penguin Book of the Beats
John Diggins, The Proud Decades
Karal Ann Marling, As Seen on TV
Sylvia Plath, The Belljar
Ellen Schrecker, The Age of McCarthyism

Required Viewing
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Dir. Don Siegel, 1955)
Rebel Without a Cause (dir. Nicholas Ray, 1955)


This module is at CQFW Level 6