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Explore American history and culture

Story added 4th Jul 2017

Explore American history and culture at Build

Fan of all things Stateside? At Build you can take a look at the United States’ complex political structures, and explore the importance of American film, culture and literature to the rest of the world over the last century. Here’s a choice cut of just some of our courses exploring historical and contemporary America…


American culture…


American literature: the landscape of the dream

The American reinvention of self changed pace after WWII. Read and discover fiction and drama of the 1950s that captured the changing sensibilities of the post-war world.

Hollywood's new musicals - La La Land scene by scene

La La Land is a contemporary musical set in Los Angeles celebrating old Hollywood with new wave naturalism. Compare La La Land to both golden age musicals and to the sixties’ new wave Umbrellas of Cherbourg and we’re back in musicals heaven!

Great short stories: modern and contemporary American fiction

This is a 6 week course devoted to the iconic beauty and stye of American short story narratives. Gain knowledge and understanding of the aims, issues and debates involved in the study of modern and contemporary short stories through reading and discussing key American writers who have developed the form.


American politics…


Origin and evolution: a short history of America's complex federal system

Federalism in the United States is the dynamic relationship between state governments and the federal government of the United States. Develop an understanding of this complex relationship and explore how shifts of power in America challenge government cooperation.

The US presidents who made the post-war world

Five American Presidents (Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon) shaped the post-War world both in their own country and beyond. America changed hugely during the thirty years of their presidencies and each of them played an important part in that. In the same way, the Cold War and various conflicts shaped an emergence from historical isolationism to a truly global power.


Explore contemporary issues….


The drug trade, the war on drugs and their effects on democracy in Mexico

Popular series including Breaking Bad and Narcos have explored the War on Drugs in recent years. This course explores the growth of the drug trade and of violence in Mexico.

Fidel is out and Trump is in: what's next for Cuba?

With the introduction of important economic reforms, the restoration of diplomatic relations with the USA in July 2015, the passing of Fidel and the election of Trump, where is Cuba heading? In this short introductory course we’ll take a look at the contemporary state of Cuba and its future.


Or take a step back in time…


A history of Native American slavery

Though not unknown before colonisation, Native American slavery took a different course with the arrival of Europeans who each in their distinctive way enslaved North American Indians for many purposes. The course looks at colonial slave networks, economic and political motivations behind this trade to disclose a little known phenomenon of North American and Caribbean history.

The American Civil War

The war that changed the landscape of America – politically, economically and socially. It was America’s bloodiest clash and resulted in the death of more than 620,000, with millions more injured. This course will be examining: the reasons behind the War; a few of the deadliest battles and personalities; the role of African slaves and freedmen, women; and the economics of paying for the war.

Browse all American history courses at Build >>>

Browse all history, culture and writing courses at Build >>>

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