University of Essex

University of Essex

American Literatures

MA American Literatures enables a rich understanding of the variety and interconnections of American writing. We challenge the study of the United States as an exceptional or territorially bound space by embracing an expanded conception of �America�, which explores the richness of US and Caribbean literatures in dialogue and within the context of hemispheric and global power relations. This allows you to formulate sophisticated analyses of the role of space and place in the production of American writing and identities, and of how we can understand these in terms of transculturation and diaspora.

Entry requirements

Our applicants should have a 1st, 2.1 or high 2.2 degree, or equivalent, in a relevant area. If English is not your first language, then we require IELTS 7.0, or equivalent, with 6.5 in writing.

Course modules

Compulsory modules: there is a continent outside my window; United States and Caribbean literatures in dialogue; research methods in literary and cultural analysis; us nationalism and regionalism; war, violence and conflict in the American tropics. Optional modules: there is a continent outside my window; united states and Caribbean literatures in dialogue; adaptation; advanced film and industry: production and industry; African American literature; documentary and the avant-garde: film, video, digital; dramatic structure; early modern to eighteenth century literature; film and video production workshop; Georgian and romantic literature and drama; literature and performance in the modern city; literature and the environmental imagination: 19th to 21st century poetry and prose; memory maps: practices in psychogeography; oulipian practice; poetic practice; research methods in literary and cultural analysis; sea of lentils: modernity, literature, and film in the Caribbean; the new nature writing; the novel; the wild east; us nationalism and regionalism; writing magic; writing the novel

Assessment methods

Assessment is by four essays of 4,000-5,000 words, a reflective piece on research methods and a dissertation (of approximately 20,000 words) written between April and September. Where appropriate, films, plays or pieces of creative writing can be submitted as your dissertation.


Qualification Study mode Fee Course duration
MA Full-time - 12 months
MA Part-time - 24 months

Campus details

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Key information

Graduate Administrator
Telephone number: 
01206 872719