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.
Students produce a dissertation of up to 20,000 words on a historical topic, chosen in conjunction with their supervisor. This represents the culmination of the History MAs, and constitutes Part Two of the programme.
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.
Under the supervision of staff of the Department of History and Classics and of the Richard Burton Archive/ISS (or other relevant institutions outside Swansea University), students investigate a historical collection (or set of collections) with a view to producing written and oral commentaries about the collection aimed at non-specialist audiences.
Directed Reading in History
Under the guidance of an expert supervisor, students analyse developments in research and historiography relating to a topic in History which they choose from a wide range of options.
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.
The Practice of History
The purpose of the module is to encourage you to think more deeply about how historians work and, in particular, about how we as historians can locate and use primary historical sources effectively as a means of interpreting and understanding the past. During the module we will learn about the survival of historical evidence, how it is organised and made accessible to historians to undertake their research, and how to effectively locate and interpret it in your studies. We will consider how the process of doing historical research changes over time, in particular with the impact of recent developments like digitization.
At the core of the module will be the work you undertake with others in your seminar group using a range of primary sources which your seminar tutor will introduce to you. As part of the module assessment you will also undertake your own primary source based research project using items from these collections. The module is designed strengthen your analytical skills and to help prepare you for the more extensive uses of primary evidence which you will encounter in final year special subjects and dissertation.
Fear, Conformity and Oppression in Fascist Italy (1)
The study of fascist Italy has over recent decades been characterized by debate and controversy over how repressive Mussolini's dictatorship was. This module forms the first of a two-part Special Subject (the other being HIH3254). It introduces students to the main historical debates surrounding repression in fascist Italy, comparing the institutional structures and levels of coercion and violence underpinning the fascist police state with those of Nazi Germany and Franco¿s Spain. The module also introduces the main primary sources used for analyzing repression in fascist Italy in the second module.
Fear, Conformity and Oppression in Fascist Italy (II)
The study of fascist Italy has over recent decades been characterized by debate and controversy over how repressive Mussolini's dictatorship was. This module forms the second of a two-part Special Subject (the other being HIH3253). Based on the study of original archive documents, this module analyses the police state at the service of Mussolini¿s dictatorship. With a particular focus on the impact of fascism on communities, it questions the regime¿s success in controlling and preventing political dissidence, and in conditioning more generally the behaviour of citizens.
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.
War and Conflict in European Film (Modern Languages route)
War and Conflict in European Film provides a detailed overview of the history of war and conflict in Europe from the early twentieth century to the present day as it is represented and expressed on film. Beginning with the origins of film-art fused with political expression, the module proceeds through the analysis of film movements and representative films to engage with and analyse the development of war and conflict in Europe as it is represented and expressed in relation to film narrative, aesthetics and genre. Encompassing both World Wars, the rise and fall of Communism, the often violent end of European colonialism, and the `oil wars¿ of recent decades, this module is of vital interest to all those with an interest in the history of Europe, the nature of war and conflict, and the response of film, the art form of the twentieth century, to these events and themes.
Fascism and Culture
The module examines and compares ideological and cultural manifestations in European fascist regimes and their employment in the attempted creation of national communities and totalitarian orders. This is based on an analysis of a variety of primary sources, including literary and political texts, film and other visual materials. All works studied are in English translation, but comparison with the originals is encouraged where students have the appropriate foreign language expertise.