nl en

U.S. Culture and Identity in an Age of Globalization


Admission requirements

Admitted to the Master International Relations


From its early embedding in the Atlantic world through to what Dani Rodrik has described as contemporary “hyper-globalization”, the United States has long been influenced by transnational forces. This course explores how these forces have influenced the politics of culture and identity within the United States in modern history, with the bulk of the course focusing on the period from c. 1945 to the present. As the United States became a global superpower, it acted in the world, and was acted upon in return, to an unprecedented degree. At the same time, American society was undergoing profound changes at home – racial, economic, social, and gender-related – which led to a new era of political contestation over questions of culture and identity. Taking a thematic approach, this course highlights the most important of these debates and the often-surprising links they had and continue to have to globalization and America’s broader role in the world. Topics like the impact of trade and immigration, cultural fusionism, hyphenated American identities, and the global context of America’s racial politics will be explored through historical sources, contemporary debates and popular culture.

Course objectives

Students will:

  • Gain an understanding of how U.S. culture(s) and identit(y/ies) have been impacted by globalization and transnational encounters from 1945 – present.

  • Gain an understanding of how both the study of popular culture and historical sources can illuminate questions in contemporary international politics, as they pertain to identity and culture.

  • Be able to synthesize this knowledge into presentations, essays and writing aimed at a general audience.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method


  • Midterm op-ed or podcast assignment

  • Presentation

  • Final essay


  • Midterm op-ed or podcast assignment, 25%

  • Presentation, 25%

  • Final essay, 50%


The resit is only available if the final essay is insufficient.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

The booktitles and / or syllabi to be used in the course, where it can be purchased and how this literature should be studied beforehand. Syllabus including reading list will be distributed before the start of the course. We will study historica land contemporary sources along with popular culture.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Huizinga


Not applicable.