Containment and Resistance in 1950s and 1960s American Culture

Module code: EN3005

Module co-ordinator: to be confirmed

In this module you will assess the impact of American culture in the 1950s and 1960s. We will mainly focus on literature and film, while also considering representative examples of journalism, visual art and popular music. Through a series of seminars and film screenings we will explore the twin themes of social containment and cultural resistance and consider how American culture reflected on and reacted to a crucial phase in modern US history (including the Korean War, the Cold War, and the political tumult of the 1960s) by assessing the influence of youth culture, feminism, civil rights and experimental art in transforming concepts of identity, gender, sexuality, race and creativity. 

By studying different types of writing - including novels, short stories, poetry and journalism - along with various types of film-making - including science-fiction, domestic melodrama, documentary and counter-cultural manifesto - we will shed light on the role of the artist during this important period in American cultural history. 

Topics covered




  • Case study, 1,500 words
  • Essay, 3,500 words