Why American Studies at Hull?

The calibre of teaching here is first-rate.

The people who teach our programmes have distinguished national and international reputations for both teaching and research, with the whole subject group officially graded “excellent” for the quality of teaching it provides. Like the University of Hull in general, American Studies is also rated as one of the friendliest school in the country, on a scale intimate enough to generate a vibrant dialogue between students and lecturers.

We have consistently held one of the highest rankings in the National Student Survey, rating 100% for overall satisfaction for our Single Honours programme in 2016 , and being the highest ranked American Studies subject group for “satisfaction with teaching” every year since 2010.

A full year of study in the United States.

American Studies at Hull has a long-established programme, placing students for a full year of study in the United States. With over 30 different US campuses to choose from, ranging from the universities of California, New York and Maine to campuses in Arizona, Florida and Illinois, our exchanges offer all students on the Four Year programme an enormous range of study options.

Hull pioneered American Studies in Britain.

Having celebrated over 50 years in 2013-14, American Studies at Hull has the virtue of being so well-established as to have one of the finest collections of American resources in any British university. However, we aim to provide an innovative, up-to-date programme that channels our expertise towards engaging with an ever-changing America. And as you will see, we are constantly updating our teaching, with new modules in film, media, race, history and literature introduced every year.

A New Curriculum with 'Big Ideas'

We are constantly finding ways to refine our programme and from 2016 are starting the process of rolling out a refreshed curriculum, with new modules at all levels of the degree. These developments correspond with our philosophy of looking at America according to four 'big ideas':

Exceptionalism:   The story of the United States, in its rich and rapid historical and cultural development, is unique from the history of other nations. The American experience, born out of the first modern democratic revolution and expanded and developed into a global superpower, make it exceptionally worthy of study. 

Superpower:   America remains the world's only superpower.  American power not only affects our own geopolitical reality, but our culture, our institutions, our customs and our society.  Whether studying US foreign policy, American history or American culture on our broad and interdisciplinary programme, students will come to comprehend the extent and nature of American power in its many forms.

Intellectual flexibility: American Studies develops intellectual flexibility by providing a multidimensional programme that transcends the constraints of regular disciplines.  Intellectual flexibility is fostered by creative adaptation of a wide variety of disciplinary approaches and methods to fit subject and source materials that are both traditional and alternative.  

Internationalism Students will learn and live in both the UK and the USA to seek an understanding of American identity in its local, regional and global contexts.  Direct exposure to America during the year abroad embeds the concept of global citizenship in American Studies students, fostering cross-cultural and international perspectives and encouraging qualities of independence and autonomy.  The exceptional diversity of the United States encourages understanding and critical awareness of multiculturalism both within and across societies, enabling students to better understand their own place within an increasingly globalized or, perhaps, Americanized world.

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