Current Themes in American History

Subject 131-416 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2008.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: .
Prerequisites: Usually admission to the postgraduate diploma or fourth-year honours in history, gender studies or American studies.
Corequisites: .
Recommended Background Knowledge: .
Non Allowed Subjects: .
Core Participation Requirements: .


Dr Barbara Keys
Subject Overview:

The Cold War shaped US foreign policy and domestic politics, culture, and society for nearly half a century. The subject examines how superpower rivalry and American anti-communism shaped government policies and popular attitudes toward events abroad and toward dissent, education, scientific research, sexuality, and race and gender relations at home. We look at various facets of the competition with the Soviet Union for global power and influence, including the war in Vietnam and the US role in the ultimate collapse of the Soviet empire. We also examine how the Cold War shaped the home front: fears of communist infiltration led to McCarthyism; the intense anxieties of the nuclear age helped reshape gender and family relations; the battle for the "hearts and minds" of the Third World propelled the government to address glaring inequities in race relations at home. We explore the complicated and multifaceted ways that the Cold War shaped America and America shaped the Cold War.

Assessment: A 3500-word research essay 50% (due at the end of semester), a 1500-word reflective essay 40% (due during the examination period), and class participation throughout the semester 10%.
Prescribed Texts: .
Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • show an advanced understanding of the changing knowledge base in the specialist area;

  • be able to evaluate and synthesise the research and professional literature in the discipline;

  • have an appreciation of the design, conduct and reporting of original research.

Notes: .
Related Course(s): Master of International Studies
Postgraduate Certificate in International Studies
Postgraduate Diploma in International Studies

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