Introduction to Being Human
This module will focus on introducing what it is to be human from a broad humanities and social science perspective. It will offer the opportunity to engage with key ideas, theory and literature within these disciplines. It will therefore prepare students for further academic work in the humanities and social sciences and initiate the development of critical thinking and creative abilities.
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.
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.
Modern Medical Bodies: Major themes in the History of Modern Medicine
This module examines the changing conditions, roles, representations, and uses of bodies in modern medicine. It examines how historians have made the body a central focus of research to explore the interconnections of medical ideas, institutions and practices with histories of modern world and to address core problems of medicalisation, power, class, race, gender, sexuality, nationality, and empire. Surveying the intersections of bodies, medicine, and modernity, students taking this module will develop critical grounding in major themes, controversies and approaches in the history of modern medicine.
History is an imprecise art and what historians say and write about the past is not the same as what actually happened in the past. Most people's knowledge about the past doesn't come from professional historians at all but rather from 'public history'. Public history is the collective understandings of the past that exist outside academic discipline of history. It is derived from a diverse range of sources including oral traditions, legends, literature, art, films and television.
This module will introduce you to the study and presentation of the past. It will consider how the content, aims and methods of academic and public history compare and contrast and you will engage in your own small research project to investigate this. The module will also teach you about the fundamentals of studying and writing history at university. You will learn about essay writing, group work and critical analysis and employ these skills to understand and assess history today, both as an academic activity and as public knowledge.
Modern British History
This module explores the broad sweep of the history of the United Kingdom since its modern creation in 1801. It brings together different approaches from political, economic, social and cultural history to consider the different ways the history of a nation can be studied. At the module's heart are questions of what constitutes a nation and the extent to which British society can be considered to be unified.
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.
Colonial to Humanitarian Medicine: The History of Global Health
This module examines global health as a crucial topic in the history of the modern world. We start by tracing the origins of global health in nineteenth century commercial and colonial systems, and then turn to study how missionaries, philanthropies and international health organisations created in the early twentieth century reproduced and challenged the nineteenth century European imperial order. The module then turns to the period after the Second World War and the rise of the United Nations as a key player in international health. We examine how UN organisations confronted legacies of colonialism and challenges of the Cold War in tackling such problems as disease, population, development, and human rights. In developing a long-view of the history of global health, the module will allow students to develop critical tools for understanding how `health¿ became a global problem and how global health shaped and was shaped by different ideologies, institutions, economies and geopolitical systems. It engages with key themes, methods and debates in global health historiography, which will enable the use of different approaches in analysing a range of primary sources and in writing essays. Seminars will provide an opportunity to develop communication skills, to work with fellow students in leading discussion, and to present essay plans. The skills developed in this module will prove valuable for higher-level study in modern history and in careers outside academia.
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.
Infections in Global History, 1500-2000
This module surveys the global history of infectious diseases from 1500 to the present. Weekly lectures and seminars will examine the ¿biographies¿ of some of the most significant diseases in history ¿ from plague to AIDS. Taking this approach, the module explores how diseases have shaped and been shaped by the interaction of ideas, practices, and institutions that different societies and cultures developed to understand and control them. Students will gain particular insight into a wide range of perspectives and sources ¿ government records, treatises, textbooks, medical and popular press, art, literature, film and digital media ¿ that historians have used to address themes of class, race, gender, sexuality, nationality, and empire, and into how the history of disease is integral to the history of the modern world.
The Hungry World: Food, Famine and the End of Empire, 1880-1945
Hunger has fundamentally shaped human history. But only in the twentieth century did it emerge as a medical, scientific, and public health problem to be studied and controlled in every corner of the globe. This two-semester module explores how hunger became a galvanising and polarising force in the contemporary world. We will address this question in seminars that focus on key themes and debates in the historiography ¿ particularly with how hunger has been tied to matters of health, development, colonialism, geopolitics, war, socio-economic and gender inequality, human rights, security, and the global food system. Seminars will be based on analysing a range of primary sources, including those produced by governments, medical and scientific authorities, the popular press and mass media, philanthropies and international agencies. We will use these documents to elucidate the many experts, organisations, and governments who converged on hunger, the changing methods and means they used to define and combat it, and those who embodied and experienced it. The first semester traces the framing of hunger as a world problem from the late nineteenth century to the Second World War. The second semester examines its rise to prominence with the creation of the United Nations, battles over solutions in the contexts of decolonization and the Cold War, and its emergence as a global humanitarian crisis.