Skip to main content Skip to navigation

AM213 - American Historical Cinema

  • Module code: AM213
  • Module name: American Historical Cinema
  • Department: Comparative American Studies
  • Credit: 30

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

This module is an option available to second-year History and Comparative American Studies students. While complementing modules on nineteenth and twentieth-century North American topics, this module also offers a comparative dimension to those students taking modules in the evolution of mass culture and historiography. The module will consider the trajectory of popular and professional historical writing in conjunction with Hollywood’s filmic engagement with the American past. Readings, lectures and discussion will consider issues in historiography, narration, ideology, genre, race and gender. module readings will be divided among traditional and revisionist historiography, popular biographies, historical novels later adapted for the screen, screenplays, and recent critical assessments of “filmed history.” Topics this year will focus upon the western and gangster genres. Filmmakers will include Wellman, Stevens, Ford, Peckinpah, Coppola and Hansen.

Principal learning outcomes

Intended Learning Outcomes: a) the further development of study, writing and seminar participation skills; b) the successful completion of a focused 4,500-word research essay; c) an awareness the major arguments and issues driving the trajectory of American historiography; d) a familiarity with the major historical and theoretical debates about the Hollywood cinema and its attitudes toward American history; e) an improved ability to assess film narration and more traditional forms of historical analysis.

Timetabled teaching activities

This module runs throughout the year, with weekly lectures and seminars.

Departmental link

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
30 CATS (Module code: AM213-30)
D (Assessed/examined work) Assessed Course Work 45%
Assessed Course Work 10%
Examination - Main Summer Exam Period (weeks 4-9) 45%
Assessed Course Work 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:



Optional Core
  • Undergraduate History, Literature and Cultures of the Americas (V230) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Comparative American Studies (Q405) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate French and History (R1VA) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate History (V100) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate History, Literature and Cultures of the Americas (V230) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate History, Literature and Cultures of the Americas (V230) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate History, Literature and Cultures of the Americas (V231) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate History and Sociology (VL13) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate History and Politics (VM11) - Year 2