Our BA (Hons) degree in American Studies allows students to explore the history, culture, and literature of the United States from the period of colonization through to the present-day, and trains them in interdisciplinary ways of working. This means that students become familiar with the approaches and tools found in several disciplines, including those of visual studies, history, literature, politics, and cultural theory. Students discover these ways of working by studying a wide variety of materials, including literary texts, cartoons and photographs, and works of music. It leads them to develop a sophisticated understanding of the political, legal, and administrative infrastructure of the United States, and familiarizes them with a raft of concepts-poverty, inequality, racial stratification, mass incarceration, the logics of policing, the changing nature of work and leisure, radical organizing, military power, cultural imperialism, environmental policies, and urban politics-that have obvious wider reach in contemporary global society. At Manchester we encourage our students to be attentive both to the mainstream and the margins of American society and politics, and to be alert to the counter-currents of US history and literature. This degree places a strong emphasis on the themes of race, capitalism, sexuality, the cultures of labour, and political protest, and seeks to develop a stance that we describe as `critical American Studies'. Students on this programme are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities for study abroad, especially with our partner institutions in North America and Europe. These opportunities are offered competitively to students in their second year, and allow them to spend between one semester and the entire year at one of our partner institutions in the United States or Canada. **The course aims to:** - Provide students with a systematic introduction to key aspects of American literature, history, politics and film, exploiting their interdependence and distinctiveness within the discipline of American Studies; - Encourage independent study, the spirit of enquiry and a commitment to scholarly method appropriate to the field of American Studies; - Develop in students powers of critical and analytical thinking, the ability to apply these to primary and secondary texts, and to foster skills in written and verbal forms of expression; - Provide students with the opportunity to benefit from a period of study and life in the United States through an optional Semester abroad at a North American partner university.