Global America


This unit examines why and how American politics, culture, economics, and ideas have such a significant impact around the world. Exploring the tension between global and insular America by focusing primarily on the 21st century, we take a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the nature of global America. To effectively analyse how America captures and shapes international relations and imaginations across the globe, we examine a series of topics (imperialism, freedom, race, the environment, and sexuality) from both political and cultural/literary perspectives. Students intending to study American Studies at senior level are also required to complete an additional 1000-level American Studies unit.

Thomas St John
"Given America’s influence extends through the economy, through culture and history, studying its global influence requires blending together the knowledge from different faculties across the university. To take American Studies is essentially a shortcut to a wide breadth of disciplines that the University offers, as well as the chance to focus in on your area of interest." Thomas St John, Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws

Learning outcomes

The purpose of this unit is to enable students to think critically about the key issues affecting the United States in the global 21st century.

By the end of this unit of study, students should be able to:

  • Have a greater appreciation of the complexities of American culture in the 21st century
  • Read texts of political science, cultural studies and cognate disciplines, and be able to intellectually analyse them
  • Have an understanding of contemporary American fiction and film, and be able to discuss them according to current practices of literary and cultural criticism
  • Have an understanding of the challenges and opportunities presented by interdisciplinary methodologies
  • Be able to acquire and evaluate new knowledge through independent research
  • Critically evaluate the sources, values, validity and currency of information
  • Write analytic essays on contemporary issues, bringing academic rigour to bear on them.

Cross-listed courses

This unit of study is cross-listed with American Studies and English.

The fine print

Available in Semester 2, 2022
1 x 2 hour lecture per week
1 x 1 hour tutorial per week

More details
Visit the University of Sydney website for information about fees, cross-institutional and non-award study, and more.

Unit coordinators