History

The following modules are available to incoming Study Abroad students interested in History.

Alternatively you may return to the complete list of Study Abroad Subject Areas.

HIST200: The Making of Germany, 843-1122

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas term only
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS credits
  • Pre-requisites: Has previously taken a History module.

Course Description

This module allows you to explore the story of the German Kingdom, from its origins and rise in the ninth and tenth centuries to its descent into civil war in the late eleventh. Formed amid the collapse of the Carolingian Empire, it originated as a cluster of disparate sub-kingdoms. It might well have collapsed under the pressure of the Magyar invasions, yet it emerged triumphant under the leadership of new and vibrant dynasty, the Liudolfings. From their base on the north-eastern frontier they would re-found the kingdom, turning it into the most dynamic state in tenth-century Europe. The vast empire they created—the Holy Roman Empire—would endure until 1804 when it was finally suppressed by Napoleon Buonaparte; but in the mid eleventh century the power of its monarchs was hollowed out by a savage crisis from which the realm would never entirely recover—a devastating civil war that lasted five decades, from the mid-1070s until 1122. This stunning narrative raises many questions. Why did it all go right? Why did it then go so wrong? This dramatic story provides fundamental insights into the nature of the medieval kingdoms, its capacities and its limitations.

Educational Aims

The module will provide students with:

  • a concise knowledge of the history of the German kingdom and the Holy Roman Empire, c.843 to 1122;
  • a sound grasp of the pivotal events and main trends in this period – that is, a sense of the significance of key events such as the Battle of the Lech (AD 955);
  • an understanding of medieval kingship and of the political culture of the early medieval kingdom; and
  • an understanding of the concepts and terms that historians have used to analyse and to make sense of this period – concepts such as Spielregeln (the rules of the game), ‘lordship’, amicitia (friendship), and so on.

The module will help you to appreciate the interconnectedness of various kinds of history--social, economic,cultural, religious and political.

Assessment Proportions

  • Exam: 60%
  • Coursework: 40%

HIST202: Norman England, 1066- 1154: Conquest, Colonisation and Conflict

  • Terms Taught: Lent and Summer terms only
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS credits
  • Pre-requisites: Has previously taken a History module

Course Description

The social and cultural consequences of the Norman Conquest of England were deep and enduring. A foreign, Francophone regime displaced the native élites: many of the former rulers, women as well as men, fled the kingdom. Enlisting in the Varangian Guard, some Englishmen even went as far as Byzantium and the Crimea. The new regime was inclusive in so far as it was eager to recruit foreigners of all kinds—Frenchmen, Bretons, Lotharingians, Italians, Spaniards, and even Jews—as long as they were serviceable and loyal; but racist in so far as it strove to deny persons of English descent access to high office. The English were denigrated as barbarians and peasants, but because the Conquest was not followed by sustained settlement from the Continent, many natives clung on in sub-altern positions, just below the foreigners who held the highest offices and the best estates. The English were also far from being the only victims: the regime also continued the later Anglo-Saxon state’s efforts to subjugate Wales and northern Britain. Offering a wide-ranging introduction to the history of Norman England and the debates that it has inspired, this course allows you to explore the course and effects of this transformative event.

Assessment Proportions

Exam: 60%

Coursework: 40%

HIST205: Byzantine and Muslim Sicily (535-1072)

  • Terms Taught: Lent/Summer terms only
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites: Has previously taken a History module

Course Description

This course offers a new introduction to a formative and exciting period in Mediterranean history after the fall of Rome and the rise of the Arabs. The main focus is on the central Mediterranean, especially Sicily and southern Italy, which was the rich prize for competing empires of the region: the contracting Byzantine empire and the expanding Muslim empire in North Africa. The course covers about 500 years of history through the medium of a range of sources, including archaeological finds, and rare documentary sources, which will be studied in translation.

Educational Aims

This module aims to enable students to attain knowledge about the early Islamic period in North Africa, Malta, Sicily and arts of the south Italian mainland from political, cultural, religious and socio-economic persepctives.

On successful completion of this module students will be able to: express, in the form of an examination, knowledge of the key themes and events in the history of late Byzantine and Muslim North Africa and Sicily from political, cultural, religious and socio-economic persepctives. They will be able to undertake historical research appropriate to undergraduate degree level, which will include familiarity with the university library, its print holdings, its cataloguing systems and its electronic resources, and the ability to use these appropriately.

Outline Syllabus

Key themes and weekly topics include:

  • introductions to the historiography of the region, geopolitical considerations, issues of periodisation as well as the Muslim legacy in the central and western Mediterranean.
  • The rise and fall of the Byzantine and Muslim rulers in North Africa, Sicily, Malta and parts of the south Italian mainland are studied through the medium of both primary and secondary sources, with particular emphasis on the political, cultural, socio-economic dynamics of the region.

Assessment Proportions

Coursework: 40%

Exam: 60%

HIST206: Athens, Sparta and the Greek World (c. 800-404 B.C.)

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas term only
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS credits
  • Pre-requisites: Has previously taken a History module

Course Description

How did the ancient Greeks define themselves against the barbarians? How did the Athens and Sparta come into clashes with each other? To what extent was the ‘golden age’ of Athens an invention by the Athenians?

In this module you will study the major political, socio-economic and cultural developments in the Greek world from the emergence of the city-state to the end of the Peloponnesian War (c. 800 to 404 B.C.). In particular you will focus on the Persian Wars, Sparta as a hoplite state, Athenian democracy and culture, the heyday of the Athenian empire, and the conflicts between Athens and Sparta. While the focus is on Greece, you will also study the Greeks’ interactions with neighbouring cultures in the Mediterranean such as Persia and Asia Minor.

By using the main literary texts of Herodotus and Thucydides, together with Greek drama, visual and archaeological materials, you will have the opportunity to come vividly close into contact with the political and cultural life of the early Greeks. This module is open to all of you; those new to the topic are especially welcome: absolutely no prior knowledge of Ancient History is needed.

Educational Aims

The module aims to enable students to:

  • engage in the analysis of major political, socio-economic and culture developments of the period from 800 to 400 BCE
  • acquaint themselves with political and intellectual developments across the ancient Greek world, through analysis of key political thinkers, of social structures, of different political systems, and of the impact of pivotal historical events
  • gain indepth awareness of the interactions between Greece and other Mediterraneansocieties in shaping Greek history
  • appreciate the significance of the Persian and the Peloponnesian wars for the history of the Greek world
  • engage critically with primary sources (in translation) and secondary literature, to develop familiarity with the material culture and landscape of Greece.

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 100%

HIST207: Athens, Sparta and Alexander the Great, 403-31 BC

  • Terms Taught: Lent/Summer terms
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites: Has previously taken a History module.

Course Description

The defeat of Athens in the Peloponnesian War changed the power relations in the Greek world significantly. In this module you will explore the major political, socio-economic and cultural developments in ancient Greece from the end of the Peloponnesian War through the age of Alexander the Great to the coming of the Rome (c. 403 to 31 B.C.).

You will focus in particular on Spartan imperialism, Athens in the fourth century, and Theban hegemony, as well as the rise of Macedon, the legacy of Alexander the Great, Hellenistic kingship and monarchies, and the emergence of Rome as an imperial power.

Using the main literary sources of Xenophon, Arrian and Polybius, together with iconographic and archaeological evidence, you’ll come into close contact with the most significant political, social and cultural developments in the late Classical and Hellenistic periods.

Educational Aims

The course aims to introduce students to ancient Greek history and society (the major political, socio-economic and cultural developments in the Greek world from the fourth century B.C. to the end of Hellenistic period), to encourage students to engage critically with the major literary sources and secondary literature, to improve their confidence in dealing with primary sources for studying ancient Greece (in translation), and to develop their ability to analyse and interpret historical issues in ancient history.

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 100%

HIST208: Crusade and Jihad: Holy War in the Middle East, 1095-1254

  • Terms Taught: Lent/Summer terms
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites: Has previously taken a History module.

Course Description

The papal call of 1095 to take up arms in holy war began a phenomenon that would endure for centuries, transforming the medieval world as masses of men and women were moved to journey thousands of miles to kill and die in the service of God. In this module you will explore the religious, cultural and military history of crusaders and mujahideen from the First to the Seventh Crusade, focusing on the Holy Land and Egypt. From the Christian triumph of the First Crusade to the encounter of Richard the Lionheart and Salah al-Din, and the calamitous defeat of Louis IX of France, you will investigate fundamental questions: why did people take the cross?; how did Christians and Muslims in the crusader states interact?; did women fight on crusade? You will also examine in combination Muslim perspectives on the period, including the concept and preaching of jihad. You will be encouraged to engage with the diverse range of sources available for the period, from narrative texts to letters, sermons, law codes, and physical evidence (in the form of the great crusader castles), as well as poetry written by the crusaders themselves.

Assessment Proportions

Coursework: 40%

Exam: 60%

HIST210: Partisans and Collaborators: World War II in Occupied Europe

  • Terms Taught: Michalemas term only
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS credits
  • Pre-requisites: Has previously taken a History module

Course Description

After a brief survey of the main events leading to the declaration of war and the invasion of Poland, this module allows you to explore resistance and collaboration in countries that were first occupied in 1940, namely, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Holland and the Netherlands. The transition between active collaboration to increasing resistance is next traced through Vichy France. The module then moves to the Eastern and Mediterranean fronts where the resistance was more effectively organized. The countries studied in this segment include Yugoslavia, Greece, and the USSR (Belarus, Russia, Baltics and Ukraine).

Lastly, you’ll examine countries that were first part of the Axis and eventually switched sides from 1943 onwards (Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania). Special attention will be given to the treatment of Jews, the Holocaust and the difficulties of coming to terms with what remains a contested past. Besides political documents, you will engage with photography, posters, films, documentaries and personal memoirs.

Educational Aims

This module aims to:

  • introduce the different layers of opposition to fascism as it developed in the years prior to and during WWII
  • introduce the most important groups in the European left and their development throughout World War II
  • familiarise students with events underlying the development of World War II in occupied countries
  • scrutinise attitudes of individuals and groups when subject to a military occupation and living in a climate of civil war and internal strife
  • understand developments and contradictory forces pulling peoples’ alliances in different directions throughout World War II
  • acquaint students with the use of memoirs, testimonies, court cases, films or photography as historical sources
  • explore how historians use primary sources, and the relationship between primary and secondary sources
  • introduce the nature and practice of comparative history

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework:100%

HIST225: The History of the English Lake District: Terror, Ecstasy, and Environmental Change

  • Terms Taught: Lent/Summer terms
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites: Has previously taken a History module.

Course Description

Do you enjoy hiking and climbing? Are you interested in the history of Britain’s landscape? In this 15-credit module, we’ll address these topics through an exploration of the cultural and environmental history of the Lake District. We’ll begin by reading accounts by c17 travellers to the Lake District (many of whom found the region terrifying) before considering the causes of a dramatic change in popular opinions about the Lakeland in the c18 and c19. We’ll conclude by examining the dedication of the Lake District as a national park in the c20 and by discussing debates that are currently shaping the region’s future. Along the way we’ll have the chance to delve into a range of important topics. These will likely include (but will not be limited to): the Lake District’s place in the history of environmental activism; the region’s connection with key cultural movements (e.g. the Romantic movement of the early c19); the rise of mass tourism and commercial leisure culture; the development of landscape aesthetics and modern cartography. We will also have a chance to evaluate the effect of the industrial revolution on the Lakes, and we will explore the region’s industrial heritage. The module may involve field trips.

Assessment Proportions

Coursework: 100%

HIST237: The English Civil War (1640-1660)

  • Terms Taught: Lent/Summer term only
  • US Credits: 4 Semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS credits
  • Pre-requisites: Has previously taken a History module

Course Description

This course explores the period known colloquially as the English Civil War and the Interregnum, bounded by the traditionally-accepted dates that allow for a discussion of the causes of war and the final collapse of constitutional experimentation. It will look at the controversies which have whipped up successive generations of historians; at the birth of a republic in England; the role of Scotland and Ireland, the rise of the gutter press, and the birth of modern political campaigning; (in)famous characters such as ‘Freeborn’ John Lilburne and the radical preacher Praise-God Barebones; ask if Oliver Cromwell was a dictator, a king or a saviour; and explore the trial and execution of a king whom many believed was the Lord’s anointed and the fount of all justice.

Educational Aims

Students will have a knowledge and understanding of the nature of power and authority: what it takes to keep and to gain or lose both. They will explore the differences between riot, rebellion, civil and international war and revolution. They will explore the religious upheavals of the period and understand movements such as puritanism, Laudianism, and sectarianism. They will explore the relationship between military and civilian rule and the ethics behind these. They will be introduced to primary sources through the vast and exciting pamphlet literature produced in the era, and come to have detailed and transferable skills in research, library use, writing, exposition and explanation.

Assessment Proportions

  • Exam: 60%
  • Coursework: 40%

HIST240: Slavery & Freedom: North America, 1620-1800

  • Terms Taught: Lent/Summer Term only
  • US Credits: 4 US semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS

Course Description

In 1775, Samuel Johnson asked why the loudest yelps for liberty came from American drivers of negroes? Johnson articulated one of the central paradoxes of early American history: the simultaneous rise of slavery and freedom. This module explores that paradox by examining the history of North America between 1620 and 1800. It initially focuses upon the simultaneous colonization of North America by Puritan migrants in the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts and indentured servants holding planters in Virginia. It then charts the transition from indentured servitude to African slavery in the Chesapeake, and the settlement of a true slave society in the Lowcountry during the early eighteenth century. By showing how discourses of liberty emerged in tandem with the institution of slavery, this module explores how American colonists rebelled against what they called their enslavement by the Crown while holding hundreds of thousands of Africans in bondage. The module concludes by studying the expansion of slavery into the Deep South after the Revolution, and the settlement of the trans-Appalachian frontier by free settlers in the same period. Students will thus emerge from the course with a firm understanding of how the United Statesthe Empire of Libertywas forged in both slavery and freedom.

Educational Aims

This module aims to:

  • Introduce students to the history of North America before 1800.
  • Introduce the concept of a spectrum of (un)freedom in the early modern world.
  • Introduce the concepts of comparative and entangled histories.
  • Introduce students to scholarly debates about slaverys role in shaping the history of the United States.

Assessment Proportions

Exam: 60 %

Coursework: 40%

HIST241: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, 1500-1865

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites: Has previously taken a History module

Course Description

Between 1500 and 1865, Europeans embarked twelve and a half million captive Africans on slave ships for transportation to the Americas, the largest forced trans-oceanic migration in human history. In this module, you will study the slave trade in the context of broader trends in Atlantic history. You will first see how slavery diminished in Europe during the late Middle Ages, just as Europeans began to systematically explore the Atlantic basin. You will then study the rapid expansion of the trade after Columbus’ voyages, as Europeans enslaved increasing numbers of Africans to work in the fields, mines, and ports of the Americas. Focusing on the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, you will look closely at how the trade operated, and how Africans experienced their enslavement. You will also study north-west England’s connections to the slave trade by investigating how Liverpool and Lancaster merchants outfitted slave ships and profited by the trade, and the slave trade’ influence on industrialization in Lancashire. In the concluding section of the module, you will see how the slave trade was abolished in the early nineteenth century, and the persistence of a clandestine trade until the end of the American Civil War.

Assessment Proportions

Coursework: 40%

Exam: 60%

HIST257: After Vietnam: Remembering, Representing and Refighting the 'Bad War'

  • Terms Taught: Lent/Summer terms
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites: Has previously taken a History module

Course Description

In this module, you will encounter the political, cultural and psychological consequences of the Vietnam War in the United States, and the ways that they combined and complicated one another. You will address the way the war was commemorated through a so-called ‘healing’ process designed to overcome wartime divisions; the repercussions of wartime atrocities; the position of Vietnam veterans as embodiments and reminders of the experience of the war; and the debates about the proper lessons of the Vietnam War and their application to later foreign and military policy contexts, including the renewed debates about the lessons of Vietnam in the wars in Asia after 2001.

Educational Aims

This module aims to give students new or improved knowledge of an important episode in American political and cultural history. Students will attain new or improved understandings of efforts by Americans to come to terms with or to contain knowledge about various troubling residual issues related to the Vietnam War: the significance of wartime atrocities and concerns about how widespread they were and how much the result of military policy; the treatment of military veterans by the government and their fellow citizens; the persistent divisions about the rights and wrongs of the Vietnam War. Students will learn about the process that led to the official recognition of the psychiatric condition post-traumatic stress disorder and how that condition manifested in Vietnam veterans and helped shape perceptions of veterans and of the war. They will learn about the motivations underlying attempts to create local and national commemorations of the war, and will gain insight into the comparative features of various genres and modes of representing the war. Students will address the political debates about the proper lessons of the war, and will examine the way that politicians contributed to and intervened in policy towards veterans and toward the commemoration of the war. Students will come to an understanding of the interaction among psychological, cultural and political processes in phenomena such as a political leaders attempts to bolster Vietnam veterans pride in their service and to encourage the nation to overcome what he considered its unjustified guilt and shame about its troops actions in Vietnam. Through this case study, students will come to a new or improved understanding of the interaction between perceptions and representations of the past and the dynamics of conflict and consensus in subsequent political and cultural life.

Outline Syllabus

The module addresses the political, cultural and psychological consequences of the Vietnam War in the United States, and the ways that they combined and complicated one another. The course addresses the distinctive features of the Vietnam War: the first military defeat for the United States, the longest U.S. war up to that time, and one stained by dishonour and division. The module addresses the repercussions of wartime atrocities and of Americans' efforts to overcome or come to terms with that legacy; the position of Vietnam veterans as embodiments and reminders of the experience of the war, and instigators of new knowledge about wartime trauma known since 1980 as "post-traumatic stress disorder"; the debates about the proper "lessons" of the Vietnam War and their application to later foreign and military policy contexts; attempts to overcome the so-called "Vietnam syndrome" beginning in the Reagan administration of the 1980s; the centrality of Vietnam veterans as participants in and beneficiaries of a so-called "healing" process to overcome national divisions in commemorations of the war; and the renewed debates about the "lessons" of Vietnam in the wars in Asia after 2001.

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 50%
  • Exam: 50%

HIST258: The Cold War in Europe

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites: Has previously taken a History module

Course Description

The course will allow you to study the Cold War in Europe, from its emergence in the immediate post-war period to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration of the Soviet Union. You will be encouraged to question the rapid breakdown of the alliance between the victorious powers of the Second World War and how this could lead to the division of Europe into two blocs; to understand and put the role of the superpowers into perspective by studying also the role of medium and small European powers, and thereby show the room for manoeuvre that existed within the blocs; to analyse how the nuclearization of the Cold War eventually led to a ‘long peace’ in Europe; and to assess how the East-West struggle was eventually overcome. During the lectures and seminars, you will have the opportunity to engage with the vast and diverse historiography of the Cold War in Europe; study the conflict at the political, diplomatic, military, economic, and cultural levels; and focus on themes ranging from the Origins of the East-West struggle in Europe to the challenges to authority in the Eastern bloc and the end of the Cold War.

Assessment Proportions

Coursework: 40%

Exam: 60%

HIST259: Inventing Human Rights, 1776-2001

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites: Has previously taken a History module

Course Description

Of all intellectual and ideological concepts in the modern world, few are as contested and powerful as human rights. At their most influential, concerns for the protection of human rights have been used to justify international conflict and widespread military intervention in order to save the lives of thousands of people. Yet human rights critics argue that they are a form of cultural imperialism that limits the sovereignty of local populations. How has an ethical and moral concern for individual lives come to be so divisive? Why after years of supporting the establishment of international human rights law do many governments now pledge to scrap their own human rights acts?

This module will examine the history of human rights, putting their development into a broad historical context. It will chart the development of rights discourses from the pre-modern era through to the present, assessing the influence that the enlightenment, imperialism and war have had on their construction. It will offer students the opportunity to explore differing aspects of the history of human rights. Indicative topics include:

  • Codifying and Quantifying Rights: 1776, 1789, 1948
  • The Universality of Human Rights
  • Human Rights and Humanitarianism, 1807-2001
  • Decolonisation and Self-Determination, 1945-1991
  • Gendered rights
  • Capital punishment in the nineteenth and twentieth century
  • Responding to Genocide: The Holocaust, Bangladesh, Srebrenica
  • Amnesty International, 1961-2001
  • Helsinki Watch/Human Rights Watch, 1975-2001

Assessment Proportions

Coursework: 40%

Exam: 60%

HIST270: The History of the United States, 1789-1865

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only
  • Also Available: Not running in 2015-16
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS credits
  • Pre-requisites: Has previously taken a History module

Course Description

This module combines a lecture series that offers an overview of the history of the United States in the 19th century with a closely linked set of seminars that focus on the construction of race, class and gender difference over the same period. This combination allows students to explore an important thematic aspect of world history (the construction of race, class and gender difference) while simultaneously providing grounding for further study and research into the history of the United States in the 19th and/or 20th centuries.

The module builds upon skills that you gained in Part I and, in particular, will explore the history of the United States, from the passage and implementation of the US Constitution (1789) to the conclusion of the Civil War (1865). The module is particularly focused on the culture and politics of race, class and gender in the rapidly industrialising and expanding nation.

Seminars meet fortnightly and are structured around primary readings and recommended secondary texts that offer critical and historical insight into the topics under consideration.

Educational Aims

This module aims to:

  • develop students' knowledge of the broad contours and key events of nineteenth-century United States history, beginning with the ratification of the U.S. Constitution and concluding with the Civil War.
  • develop students interest in social and cultural history but will also have the opportunity to learn about more strictly defined political and economic issues.
  • familiarise students with the ways that different groups have struggled to extend the promises of democracy defined in the US Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Bill of Rights (adopted 1791), to all Americans, regardless of their race, class or gender.

Assessment Proportions

Exam: 60%

Coursework: 40%

HIST272: Three Colours, One Flag, One Empire: the French Colonial World, 1791-1962

  • Terms Taught: Lent/Summer Term only
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS credits
  • Pre-requisites: Has previously taken a History module

Course Description

This module explores the relationship between imperialism, race and the making of modern French identities. France's overseas empire was a context in which coloniser and colonised interacted in complex and unexpected ways, forging new hybrid cultures and redefining the meaning of metropolitan centres and colonial peripheries. You will encounter a variety of case studies from the Haitian Revolution of 1791 to the end of the French empire in Algeria in 1962, from the Americas to Africa, Asia and the Pacific. Key themes and topics include race, class, citizenship, the civilising mission, knowledge and power, gender and sexuality, violence and decolonisation, and the role of literature and film in history.

Educational Aims

This module aims to

  • develop students' grounding in the historical background of issues of immigration and race in modern French history.
  • develop students' interest in themes of change, continuity and conflict in modern French history.
  • develop students' interest in different historiographical approaches to the past, the role of theory in history, and the use of non-traditional historical sources.

Assessment Proportions

Exam: 60%

Coursework: 40%

HIST274: Medicine, Life and Death, 1800 to the Present

  • Terms Taught: Lent/Summer Term only
  • Also Available: Not running in 2015-16
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites: Has previously taken a History module

Course Description

How did life come to be located within the body? How did the boundaries between life and death become matters of intense political regulation? This module seeks to answer these basic questions by introducing you to topics as diverse as the arguments over body snatching in Victorian Britain and the importance of political disagreements over the conduct of medical experiments to the development of drugs to treat AIDS.

Educational Aims

This module aims to:

  • develop students' knowledge of key developments in the history of clinical medicine from the early nineteenth century to the present day and understanding of why these developments are so important.
  • develop a historically grounded understanding in students of the relationship between power and medical knowledge.

Outline Syllabus

This module consists of a series of lectures on the history of medicine, focussing particularly on hospitals and laboratories, and a series of workshops in which we will examine more closely select aspects of this history.

Our themes will be organised as follows:

  • What is a Disease?
  • The French Revolution and the Invention of Anatomo-Pathology Political Agitation and the Anatomy of the Mind
  • The Political Economy of Death in the Age of Reform
  • The Generation of 1848 and the Emergence of the Laboratory
  • The Hospital and the Triumph of the Laboratory
  • The Clinical Critique of Modern Medicine Medical Reform and the Power of Statistics
  • The Disappearance of the Patient
  • On Dying Twice

This schedule of studies will provide students with a historically grounded understanding of important critical concepts, specifically 'power/knowledge' and 'anatomo-politics'

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 40%
  • Exam: 60%

HIST275: Sex, Babies and the Reproduction of the Nation, 1800 to the Present

  • Terms Taught: Lent/Summer terms
  • Also Available: Not running in 2015-16
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS
  • Pre-requisites: Has previously taken a History module

Course Description

If sexuality is a most intimate matter, how and why is it a matter of great public concern? When, how and why has it become a matter of intense and intrusive political regulation? This course seeks to answer these basic questions by introducing you to topics as diverse as the arguments over the spread of disease in the crowded Victorian city and the importance of eugenic considerations to the development of contemporary genetic understanding of disease.

Educational Aims

This module aims to:

  • introduce students to key developments in the history of sexuality from the early nineteenth century to the present day and develop their understanding of why these developments are so important.
  • advance a historically grounded understanding of bio-politics and the relationship between power and knowledge.

.

Outline Syllabus

This module combines a series of lectures on the history of sexuality, focusing particularly on the politics of reproduction, and a series of workshops in which we will examine more closely select aspects of this history. Our themes will be organised as follows:

  • The Body Politics and the Body of the Citizen
  • Counting People and the Wealth of the Nation
  • Cholera, Sex and the Regulating the Urban Mass
  • Women, Children and the Future of the Nation
  • Expanding the Domain of Expertise
  • Degeneration, Eugenics and Political Reform
  • From the Genetic Critique of Eugenics to the New Genetics
  • Men, Women and the Politics of Sexuality
  • Sex, Freedom and the Two Histories of Abortion
  • From Sex and Freedom to Bodies and Pleasures

This schedule of studies will provide you with a historically grounded understanding of important critical concepts, specifically 'power/knowledge' and 'bio-politics'.

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 40%
  • Exam: 60%

HIST279: Gandhi and the End of Empire in India, 1885-1948

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS credits
  • Pre-requisites: Has previously taken a History module

Course Description

By what means was Indian independence seized from the British Empire in 1947? This module explores opposition to British rule in India from the end of the nineteenth century until 1947 when colonial India was divided to create the nation states of India and Pakistan. In particular, we will explore the modes of resistance that emerged from the Indian freedom struggle and in particular, the role of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Gandhi transformed the Indian National Congress, an organization that had been founded in 1885 as a loyal and moderate organization. Gandhi created a mass movement that challenged the colonial state in extraordinary ways. British rule in India gradually lost credibility and struggled to find the means of maintaining control in the face of massive resistance to its right to govern India.

You will explore Gandhi’s philosophies of personal restraint and political resistance to the injustices of the colonial state. You will also trace the emergence of religious politics in India during this period and the increasing pace of communal conflict, in particular Hindu-Muslim antagonism. What was the role of the colonial state in firing communal anxiety? Did Gandhi’s political ideas allay or encourage the conflation of political action and religious identity? The course ends with the partition of India, the largest migration in history and a process in which over one million people lost their lives, and the event that led, in 1948, to Gandhi’s assassination by a Hindu fundamentalist.

Educational Aims

The aim of this module is to allow students to develop an understanding of the means by which British political authority was resisted in South Asia. Students will gain an insight into the ways in which different social and political orders were affected both by colonialism and the freedom struggle. They should also become familiar with the particular historiographical questions raised by studying anti-colonial resistance. The course will develop an understanding of immediate and longer term affects of constitutional change in colonial governance, and students should also develop an appreciation of the ways in which orders of authority are reflected in the built environment.

Outline Syllabus

This course will begin by considering the relationship between imperialism and nationalism in South Asia. It will go on to explore the inception of political and religious organisations which were formed towards the end of the nineteenth century to challenge British Imperial authority. Students will engage with the various forms of criticism directed at the colonial state as well as the means by which popular support was garnered by nascent nationalist organisations. The course will examine the rise of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi as a political leader, within and outside of the Indian National Congress. The course will culminate with the Quit India movement and the British acceptance of decolonisation.

Indicative content will be:

  • religion, caste and nationalism
  • the role of Indian women and the 'woman question' in nationalism
  • Gandhi's philosophy of resistance
  • communalism and nationalism
  • the constitutional organisation of British withdrawal
  • the Partition of India

Lectures will provide introductions and background to the themes of the course. Seminars will develop explorations of visual and textual sources through discussion and assessed group work.

Assessment Proportions

  • Exam: 60%
  • Coursework: 40%

HIST285: New World Order 1919-1939

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS credits
  • Pre-requisites: Has previously taken a History module

Course Description

This module explores how globalization, shared cultures and new identities – key features of modern life – are not as new as we might think. Historians understand the repeated cycles of interaction and change over several centuries, but in this course you will examine just 20 years, focusing on ‘Eurasia’, that combination of Europe, Russia China and Japan. This process between 1919 and 1939 involved virtually every aspect of life, modern and traditional, with various influences flying in every direction; indeed, aviation played a significant role in the transformation. The module therefore uses diplomatic, political, military, social and cultural histories to examine the rich, and often surprising, interplay between states and societies in the Eurasian region that now dominates the international system.

Educational Aims

The module aims to equip students with an overview of the key themes and issues involved in the creation of the 'interwar' international system bewteen 1919-1939, by means of an engagement with the most important historiographical debates. Students will gain insight into the complexities of systemic shifts in three regions, Europe, Eurasia and East Asia, each with their own dynamics but which also interact with wideranging consequences. There will be a combination of social, cultural and political dimensions as well as the various interpretations of the 'new world order' in Paris, Rome, Moscow, Beijing and Tokyo.

Outline Syllabus

  • The course will assess the transformation from the hopes and optimism of the 1920s to the more pessimistic and ideologically driven sense of fracture, division, conflict and finally world war by the end of the 1930s.
  • The course will assess the complexities of attempting to rebuild "Eurasia" and East Asia within a twenty year timespan.
  • The course will end with an exploration of the movement towards these regions interacting and clashing across a variety of national interests, international crises and global conflict.
  • The course will use a variety of approaches, including social, cultural, political, economic and military history.

Assessment Proportions

  • Exam: 60%
  • Coursework: 40%

HIST294: Nature and culture 1500-1700: Themes from the Renaissance

  • Terms Taught: Lent and Summer terms only
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS credits
  • Pre-requisites: Has previously taken a History module

Course Description

This is a rare opportunity to study a revolution in ideas about the world we live in. It begins in the Renaissance (1500), when blood-letting was a common treatment for diseases, when no-one suspected that the earth moved around the sun, when witches were executed for performing diabolic magic, and when students thought that the best authors on their reading lists had to have died two thousand years ago.

The module ends in the early modern period (1700), and with ‘modern’ thinkers like Francis Bacon, René Descartes, Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton. But these people believed, respectively, that new inventions would recreate Paradise on earth, that the laws of billiards proved the existence of God, that the ocean’s tides proved that the earth moved, and that Christianity was a corrupt religion.

You will find out why Renaissance men and women believed what they did, discuss how modern the ‘moderns’ really were, and which historians have the best explanation of this exciting period in the history of ideas.

Educational Aims

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • Express, in an exam setting, knowledge of the key themes and problems in the history of natural knowledge in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
  • Demonstrate competence in both written and verbal analysis and interpretation of the themes and problems contained in the syllabus.
  • Undertake competently independent historical research, including familiarity with the university library and its cataloguing systems and an ability to use critically on-line and electronic archives and resources.

Outline Syllabus

This course allows students to study the following key module themes:

  • ancient and modern models of authority in knowledge;
  • rationality and relativity of world views;
  • the relation between science and religion;
  • site-specific forms of knowledge;
  • the emergence of operational, practical natural knowledge;
  • the rise of mechanistic paradigms.

It covers the period of European intellectual history sometimes called "the Scientific Revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries".

Assessment Proportions

  • Exam: 60%
  • Coursework: 40%