Our Faculty of Humanities offers a unique, research-led student experience across a broad range of undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes. Our Faculty's outstanding reputation for research was confirmed by the last UK-wide Research Assessment Exercise (RAE, December 2008), with Essex ranked in the top ten for History, Philosophy and Art History.

This course explores disparate and changing treatments of American identity and purpose from the emergence from World War Two up to recent re-evaluations of history, applying a variety of critical approaches and considering crucial social, political and cultural contexts. The course begins and ends with novels by Cormac McCarthy that extend the study into a violent past and a post-apocalyptic future. Between these texts, broadly speaking, we follow a chronology of setting, rather than publication date, allowing a fluid, intertextual picture of the United States to emerge, kicking off with work with the Second World War as the recurrent central image, sometimes portraying combat, but with its aftermath always in mind. The difficulties of return and re-assimilation into (or rejection from) the United States are explored from different perspectives: white middle-class, Native American, and African American. Post-war conditions of different kinds are then explored in work haunted not so much by the presence of great historical events but rather by absence and sense of loss. Fictional treatments of effects of the Vietnam War increasingly become concerned with America's perpetually 'post-war' state, with striking studies of this conflict and the continuing resonance of the Civil War appearing in the 1970s and 80s. The course ends with late-twentieth and early-twentieth century studies of America's attitudes towards itself, its history, and its ongoing role in the world.

This module will provide students with a thorough understanding of the relevant contexts of Refugee Care (as a theoretical and applied field). Refugee Care has not been a subject at post-graduate academic level and this module aims to contribute modestly to this development by creating a coherent framework within which Refugee Care can be located meaningfully. This module complements the 'Therapeutic Care for Refugees' module in so far as it will assist students develop a thorough understanding of the (inter-)relationship between Therapeutic Care with other academic disciplines.

Learning Outcomes
On satisfactory completion of this module students are expected to be able to:
Demonstrate an understanding of the multidisciplinary nature of Refugee Care.
Demonstrate an ability to approach Refugee Care from wider academic perspectives which include specific insights that enrich the comprehension of key terms and processes in this field (e.g. hospitality, otherness, gender, culture, care).
Demonstrate an understanding of relevant parameters of Refugee Care (e.g. economic, historical, legal)

Human Rights involve professionals in engaging with the plight of individuals or group need. The target groups are suffering as a result of violations of their human rights and, inevitably, the professionals are affected by their clients' psychological state. This module attempts to make students aware of the psychological complexities involved in (a) the client group, (b) the interaction between professionals and clients in these situations and (c) the way the wider contexts impact on the psychological dimensions. In short, it will explore the psychosocial parameters of human rights violations.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the module you should be able to:

Become familiar with the overall issues, debates and literature on the Psychosocial perspective of Human Rights
Develop a systematic understanding of the 'victim, perpetrator, saviour' triangle
Acquire a working knowledge of the epistemological issues concerning the interaction between intrapsychic, interpersonal and socio-political realms


1. Human rights and psychological considerations: defining the field of the psychosocial phenomena; epistemologies of combining the intrapsychic, interpersonal and socio-political realms; the spectrum of relevant methodologies.
Lecturers: Andrew Fagan and Renos Papadopoulos

2. Identity, identification and group identities: gender, ethnicity politics, religion, culture; essentialist and constructivist perspectives; the psychosocial dynamics of purity and genocide.
Lecturer: John Packer

3. Difference, conflict and violence: otherness, marginalisation and the psychosocial dynamics of conflict escalation; intrapsychic, interpersonal and socio-political dimensions.
Lecturer: Renos Papadopoulos

4. The psychological dynamics of the Victim triangle (Perpetrator - Victim - Rescuer): focus on the Perpetrator: essentialist and constructivist perspectives; the making of a human rights violator; intrapsychic, interpersonal and socio-political dimensions
Lecturer: Renos Papadopoulos (or Ana Ljubinkovic)

5. Focus on the Victim: essentialist and constructivist perspectives; the making of a Victim (debates in Victimology); intrapsychic, interpersonal and socio-political dimensions
Lecturer: Renos Papadopoulos (or Ana Ljubinkovic)

6. Focus on the Rescuer: essentialist and constructivist perspectives; the making of a Rescuer; intrapsychic, interpersonal and socio-political dimensions
Lecturer: Renos Papadopoulos (or Ana Ljubinkovic)

7. Compliance to authority: classic and current perspectives to this debate. Implications for Human Rights.
Lecturers: Andrew Fagan

8. Psychological trauma; individual and group trauma; trauma theories and implications; classic and current debates; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Resilience and Adversity-Activated Development.
Lecturers: Renos Papadopoulos (or Ana Ljubinkovic)

9. Approaches to conflict resolution: the range of approaches with particular emphasis to the constituent psychosocial dimensions
Lecturers: John Packer and Renos Papadopoulos

10. An overview (revisiting and focusing on anything else of relevance).
Lecturers: Andrew Fagan and Renos Papadopoulos