HI5004 - Affluence and Anxiety: The US from 1920 to 1960

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will study the ways historians and other researchers have studied US history and culture from the 1920s to through the 1950s. You will assess and analyse the major developments in the United States, including, but not limited to: the 1920s economic boom, the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, the New Deal, World War II, the Cold War, the postwar “economic miracle,” and American society and culture in flux. The course will cover this period of profound change by examining the role of the US as an emerging global super power and the critical social and political transformations that altered the nation over the past 90 years. Major historiographical interpretations will be emphasized as well. The United States’ involvement in world affairs and the tension between international engagement and isolationism will also be stressed. Primary and secondary source readings, along with classroom activities, will help you to critically engage this key era of American development and develop the interpretive skills of a historian.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn on this module by examining and scrutinising the significance events, terms, and individuals of the era; attending lectures; and taking part in seminars. You will develop your reading, writing, and thinking skills throughout the semester. You are expected to read all assignments and come ready to discuss these during seminars. Participation and attendance is required of each individual and will figure into the overall grade. All learning materials, tasks and readings will be posted on the eLP (Blackboard) to enable participation within the seminar programme. You will participate in formative assessment activities and receive feedback, and will be responsible for your own guided and independent learning. Summative assessment matches your learning against the learning outcomes for the module.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your academic development will be supported through engagement with your peers, academic tutors, and programme leaders. Academic support is provided through group/individual tutorials which allow specific issues to be addressed and to promote progress in academic development. The module tutor will be accessible within publicised office hours and via email. Your peers will provide you with a collaborative learning environment, and your programme leader will guide you through the requirements and expectations of your course. You will also be supported through individual engagement with the academic literature, lectures, and resources available on the eLearning Portal. Formative feedback will be on-going throughout seminar activities and through assessment tasks.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Critically analyse the way in which scholars understand key issues in US history, such as the economic booms and busts, the jazz age, military intervention, the Cold War, social change, conformity, economic development, consumerism, and mass culture.
2. Critically discuss and consider US involvement in world affairs, the power of isolationism, boom and bust years, the nation’s growing international role, and conflict vs. consensus.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Critically engage with historical theories and methodologies to investigate and analyse the political, economic, and cultural struggles of the US from 1920 to 1960.
4. Apply knowledge and communicate your informed opinions about US history, employing historical claims and arguments, and analysing and clearly presenting your arguments.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Demonstrate an awareness of historical and contemporary relationships and how these relations shape our contemporary perceptions.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed on your knowledge and understanding of American history in this era, your ability to analyse and critically discuss historiographical theories, and your skill at presenting a variety of primary evidence. This will be tested in 2 x 2,500 word essays, set by the tutor, which will span the breadth of the modules’ coverage. Basic to this assessment will be your ability to present your arguments clearly and back them up with strong evidence. MLOs 1-5

You will have the opportunity to present your work in the seminars and will receive formative feedback from your lecturer in classroom discussions, debates, and tutorial sessions. Formative assessment through your lecturer will be written and verbal, and you will also receive feedback through engagement with your peers who will enable you to test your explanations about the nature of America in an age of anxiety and affluence. Feedback on your first summative assessment will allow you to improve on later ones.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code T700

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2022 or September 2023

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Our Campus based courses starting in 2022 and 2023 will be delivered on-campus with supporting online learning content. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to adjust the delivery of our education accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

On-campus contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with any additional restrictions, which may be imposed by the Government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors. This could potentially mean increased or fully online delivery, should such restrictions on in-person contact time be required.


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