Europeans love American culture but are often distrustful of US global leadership, while Americans are sometimes puzzled by the European project. This one-year academic programme examines these paradoxical political and cultural connections between the two sides of the Atlantic Ocean. You will learn to analyse the past and present of multilayered exchanges between North America and Europe in order to understand the challenges facing the transatlantic world today. In a truly interdisciplinary fashion this programme is grounded in American studies as it intersects with cultural and political history, and international relations. This will enable you to analyse the forces of globalisation, transnationalism and cultural transfer, and engage with current transatlantic debates about urgent topics such as populist politics, transatlantic alliances and diplomacy, diversity, democracy, racism, Black Lives Matter, indigenous peoples, and the legacies of colonialism.
In close collaboration with fellow students and staff, you will reflect on complex international interactions through themes such as global citizenship, democracy, international cooperation, freedom, equality, and human rights, all from a transatlantic perspective. The interdisciplinary approach will allow you to use and synthesise knowledge from a wide range of sources, such as digital collections, social media, policy documents, visual media, literature and popular culture. You will acquire intercultural skills to work in or with other cultures and societies.
The first semester will offer you a firm grounding in the field through a range of core courses. You will master the theories and research methods of transatlantic studies, engage with state-of-the art academic literature about the political and cultural dimensions of transatlantic interactions, and develop your own research interests. The second semester offers opportunities for in-depth exploration of research topics or an interdisciplinary specialisation in such transatlantic areas as international law, human rights, international relations, border studies, or the way contemporary North American culture reflects the social and political issues of its day. You can also integrate an internship or exchange programme with an American or Canadian university in this semester. You will complete the programme with a master’s thesis, which will offer you the setting to develop and present your own approach to the question of America’s place in transatlantic relations and European engagements with America.