Researching and Re-telling the Past
Research project focusing on a specific historical topic. Refer to departmental literature for details. This module allows students to work with original historical sources to produce text and images on an historical topic which communicate its meaning to a wider audience.
Historical Methods and Approaches
This module provides training in advanced historical research. It is designed to introduce students to methods of historical investigation, writing, and presentation, and to important historical resources (including archives, collections of sources, and museums). Attention will be given to the use of IT in historical work work as well as more traditional paper-based methods.
New Departures in the Writing of History
This module provides an introduction to advanced historiography. It is designed to develop students’ awareness of traditional historiographical concerns alongside their knowledge current trends and new directions in writing and thinking about the past.
This module is designed to help students to identify a dissertation topic appropriate to their interests and expertise, and to tackle the problems of methodology, develop the research techniques, and undertake the project planning which are the necessary preliminaries to researching and writing a 20,000 word dissertation.
Europe of Extremes: 1789 - 1989
The nineteenth century saw the rise of a western European civilization, characterized, as Eric Hobsbawm has noted, by capitalist economics, liberal politics, and the dominance of a middle class that celebrated morality and science. In the twentieth century this civilization faced unprecedented challenges from new political ideologies, and from a working class demanding the right to govern in its own name. The result was an eruption of violence not seen on the continent for centuries; in its wake, the Cold War divided the Europe with an Iron Curtain, and saw the continent become the client of two world superpowers – the USA and the Soviet Union. This team-taught module relies on the specialist knowledge of its tutors to examine economic, political and social themes in the history of nineteenth and twentieth-century Europe.
War and British Society 1688 - 1815
This module examines the extent to which recurrent warfare as an agent of economic, social, and cultural change in Britain between 1688 and 1815. Particular emphasis is placed upon the war-driven growth of the state, the reform of government, and the establishment of effective publc finance mechanisms; but war-related social costs, stresses, and strains are also considered, together with government responses. Finally, the relationship between war and industrialisation is assessed in the context of wider discussion of the performance of Britain's wartime economy.
The History dissertation is a free-standing, 40-credit module that runs across both semesters of Level Three. Candidates conduct research upon a subject of their choice, devised in consultation with a member of staff teaching for the degrees in History, and concerning a topic that falls within staff research and teaching interests.
Imperial Nation? (1): Britain and empire 1750-1830
In the eighty years or so after 1750 Britain lost her thirteen American colonies, but gained an extended territorial empire in South Asia thereby laying the foundations for what eventually was to become a global empire. This module critically assesses the extent to which imperial crisis and expansion shaped Britain, and the lives, outlooks and attitudes of the British people between c.1750 and 1830. It is based upon the study of key concepts, debates and theories and detailed consideration will be given to a wide range of primary source materials. The themes to be discussed will include the economic impact of empire, the dynamics of expansion; consumption and empire; the cult of the imperial hero; imperialism and popular culture; patriotism and empire; literature, art and empire.
Imperial Nation? (2): Britain and Empire 1830-1900
In the seventy years or so after 1830 Britain created the seemingly powerful global empire on which the sun 'never set'. Yet Victorian imperial self-confidence proved to be fragile, with British strength and resilience tested by successive crises: the Indian 'mutiny' or uprising, the Jamiacian Rebellion, Anglo-Afghan wars, and the Boer War. Running alongside a sense of civilising 'mission' were deep concerns about the value and cost of empire, and this provoked much debate about Britain's role in the world, so much so that in recent years some historians have been questioning the extent to which the British were an 'imperial people'. This module critically assesses the extent to which the imperial experience shaped Britain, and the lives, outlooks and attitudes of the British people between c.1830 and 1900. It is based upon the study of key concepts and historiographical debates, and detailed consideration will be given to contemporary views expressed in a wide range of primary source materials. The themes to be discussed will include the economic impact of empire, the empire and popular culrure, religion and empire, migrations and empire, different views of the empire, and anti-imperialism.
Invention, innovation and technological revolutions
Why do people talk about technological ‘revolutions’? Is life really so different before and after such a revolution? For whom? Is technological change the major factor in historical change? Or is the impact more limited? To explore these questions, this course will focus on four key historical transitions commonly called ‘revolutions’: the secondary products revolution (the acquisition and use of products that are obtained from living animals, e.g. wool, milk), the engineering revolution (the development of infrastructure and construction by the Romans e.g. aqueducts, roads, concrete); the industrial revolution (what do we mean by that actually?), and the electrical revolution (power at the flick of a switch). These topics are studied through a mix of reading, illustrated lectures, class discussions, and short debates.