ENG2500 – American History

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

You will study the topic of US history in the 20th century with focus on a particular theme or era. The course may focus more heavily on select decades—with greater focus on the post-WWII years, a heavy focus on the interwar era, or more attention paid to the early part of the century. It may also highlight race and civil rights, religion, foreign affairs and diplomacy, or a similar, overarching theme. Students will assess and analyze the major developments and the ways that American society and culture changed over the decades. The course will cover this period of profound change by examining the critical social, cultural, and political transformations that altered the nation. Major historiographical interpretations will be emphasized as well. The United States’ involvement in world affairs and the tension between international engagement and isolationism will also be stressed. Primary and secondary source readings, along with classroom activities, will help students to critically engage this key era of American development and will help them to build their interpretive skills.

Learning outcome

After completing this course, you:

  • are able to critically analyze the way in which scholars understand key issues of 20th-century US history.  
  • can critically engage with historical theories and methodologies to investigate and analyze the political, economic, and cultural struggles within the US.
  • will be able to apply knowledge and communicate informed opinions about 20th century American history, employing historical claims and arguments, and analyzing and clearly presenting arguments.
  • can demonstrate an awareness of historical and contemporary relationships and how these relations shape our perceptions.


Recommended previous knowledge

It is recommended that students take ENG1506 – American History and Society: An Introduction before taking this course.


Seminars, 2 hours per week for 10 weeks. 20 hours in all.

You are expected to read all assignments and come ready to discuss these in the seminars.

Obligatory activities:

  • Participation in reflective exercises during the course.

  • The submission of the first draft of your term paper.

All obligatory activities must be approved in the same semester for you to sit the exam. Approved course requirements are only valid the semester you attend the course.


The final grade is set on the basis of a written term paper (5-7 standard pages à 2,300 characters, 60% of the grade) and a school exam (2 hours, 40% of the grade).

A pass mark is required on both parts. You have to take both examination parts in the same semester.

You will be assessed on your knowledge and understanding of American history in this era, your ability to analyze and critically discuss historiographical theories, and your skills of interpreting primary source evidence. You will have the opportunity of receiving formative feedback on seminar discussions, debates, and tutorial sessions.


Assessment guidelines


Written examination

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.

Read more about written examinations using Inspera.

Submission in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read more about how to submit in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

For those who want to retake their exam: Since this exam includes a term paper, you must follow the classes and write a new paper in order to qualify. Admission depends on capacity.

If it's just the written exam you have missed because of illness, it is possible to apply for a postponed exam. Please contact the exam consultant for more information.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

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