Searching for the American Dream

Subject HIST30001 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 25
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

June, Parkville - 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: Not available

Completion of at least 12.5 points of second year history or other relevant subject within the Faculty of Arts

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: 131-018 Searching for the American Dream
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Description, Course Objectives and Generic Skills of this entry.
The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


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, and in each city we visit museums, cultural sites, and speak to academics, politicians and community leaders. For example, in Boston we speak to police and the Public Defender about the legal system, visit Harvard University, and we explore the role sport plays in American culture by seeing a Red Sox game. In New York we visit a homeless shelter in the Bronx, see a Broadway show and have a class with a professor at City University of New York. In Washington we meet staffers from the State Department, as well as visiting the Mayor&amp.amp.rsquo.s Office and the headquarters of America&amp.amp.rsquo.s most powerful union, the Teamsters. On return to Australia students are required to write an essay based on one of the visits. Students taking the subject are eligible to take up internships at a later date with many of the organizations we visit, including the US Naval Museum, the Teamsters, and the Washington based non-profit organization One Economy.

  • 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:

A subject reader will be available.

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 and a quota of 45 students apply. A brochure containing the itinerary, travel arrangements and an application form 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 Majors/Minors/Specialisations: American Studies Major
History Major

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