HST297: The History of American Foreign Relations
20 credits (semester 2 - 2018-19) (semester 1 - 2019-20)
Please note this module has an alternative assessment format compared with other level 2 option modules.
Pass in at least two of the Level One modules History Units HST112-121.
George Washington famously warned against “the insidious wiles of foreign influence” in his farewell address in 1796. But history has challenged any idea of the United States as a self-contained, bounded nation. Rather, the U.S. has played an active role in world affairs and has been profoundly shaped by events and people outside its borders. This course surveys the history of the U.S. in global context, beginning with America’s first forays into overseas expansion in the late nineteenth century. We will cover both the major foreign policy moments and trends in U.S. history—wars, government initiatives and interventions abroad, interstate diplomacy—as well as the less formal encounters, migrations, and transnational exchanges that constitute American foreign relations. Primary and secondary source readings, lectures, and discussions will pay particular attention to the intersections between changes at home and developments abroad.
This module aims to help students to develop mastery in the history of American foreign relations and their impact on American culture and society. They will develop their writing and analytical skills through assessment and class discussion. Students will also learn how edit Wikipedia pages and enhance their knowledge of digital humanities.
Teaching and Assessment
Assessment for 2018-19 - The module will be assessed in part by one formative essay, which will allow students to advance their understanding of aspects of the module in more detail, to develop skills of analysis and argument, and to improve their writing skills. A written examination will require students to demonstrate that they have absorbed and understood the material and that they can express this in clear prose and a structured argument.
Assessment from 2019-20 - the module will be taught through eleven lectures eleven seminars. Lectures will focus on particular events and developments in the history of U.S. foreign relations and seminars will focus on historians’ and students’ interpretations of those events. The module will be assessed in part by one 2,500-word essay (33%), which will allow students to advance their understanding of aspects of the module in more detail, to develop skills of analysis and argument, and to improve their writing skills. Students will also be required to create or update a Wikipedia page chosen from a list of relevant pages provided by the module conveners. Students will be assessed on a 1,500-word reflective essay (67%) on this experience.
Information on assessment can be found at: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/history/current_students/undergraduate/assessment/level2