Searching for the American Dream

Subject 131-018 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 25.00
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

June, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Three weeks in the United States in the Winter Recess (after the examination period ends on 26 June), eight 1-hour lecture/workshops and at least thirty site visits
Total Time Commitment: 8 contact hours/week , 9 additional hours/week. Total of 17 hours per week.
Prerequisites: 50 points of first year from any area of study within the Faculty of Arts.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Mr Glenn Moore


Glenn Moore

Subject Overview: In this subject we trace the American Dream from its origins in Puritan Boston, to the present day. We spend time in Boston, New York, and Washington, with day trips to Salem and Lowell. In each city we visit museums, historic sites, and a range of current day organisations. For example, in Boston we speak with the Public Defender about the American legal system, and we explore the role sport plays in American culture by seeing a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. In New York we take walking tours of Harlem and the Lower East Side, and we visit a range of community organisations. In Washington, we meet with several political players as well as touring the monuments and visiting Arlington Cemetery. On return to Australia, students are required to write an essay based on one of the visits.
  • have gained a knowledge of how American ideologies such as the American Dream evolved;
  • be familiar with important areas of debate in America today, and how these debates relate to ideologies like the American Dream;
  • be able to engage in group discussions and maintain a sense of collegiality within the group for an intensive three week period.
Assessment: A journal exercise of 4000 words 45% (written throughout the trip), a research essay of 4000 words 45% (due at the end of semester 2) and class participation 10%.
Prescribed Texts:
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be familiar with the archives and other primary material available for research in American History, and to use some of that material to produce an essay;
  • demonstrate research skills through competent use of the library and other information sources;
  • show critical thinking and analysis through recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument;
  • show critical thinking and analysis through recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument.
Notes: Special entry conditions apply. A quota of 45 students applies. Itinerary and travel arrangements are available from the subject coordinator or the School. The subject dates and HECS/course fee census date for this subject change each year. Check your enrolment record for the correct census date for this subject.
Related Course(s): Diploma in Arts (American Studies)
Diploma in Arts (History)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: American Studies Major
History Major

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