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Undergraduate History 2017-2018

HI1022: EUROPE IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

15 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

A comprehensive treatment of this enormous subject is obviously impracticable in an introductory course within the space of one semester, so we aim to highlight a selection of six key political, economic, social and other themes. The selection varies from year to year, but is likely to include the rise of Bolshevism, reconstruction and European integration after WW2, and the Cold War. The twice-weekly lectures introduce the topics, while the eight tutorial meetings emphasise the development of practical transferable research and presentation skills as well as the building of historical knowledge. Download course guide.

HI1027: MAKING HISTORY

15 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

This course will introduce students to the subject of university level history. Team taught lectures will introduce students to approaches, sources, and the dilemmas facing academic historians. Download course guide.

HI1523: RENAISSANCES AND REFORMATIONS

15 credits

Level 1

Second Sub Session

The course provides a broad overview of the changes which the Renaissance and Reformations introduced to European culture, politics, religion, society and people’s understanding of their role in the world. It traces these developments in a comparative way, from Europe’s Atlantic cost to East Central Europe and Russia, throughout a changing image of the world and its relationship to the spiritual, brought on by Renaissance, a time of unrest triggered by European Reformations, the radical and magisterial reformations, European expansion, growth of monarchies and republics, and the wars of religion of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

HI1526: VIKINGS!

15 credits

Level 1

Second Sub Session

This course introduces students to a period of warfare and pillage, political turmoil and social transformation, but also economic expansion and cultural innovation. In 795 Viking raiders mercilessly attacked the Christian monastic community on Iona in the Scottish western isles. From then on their activities extended from Denmark, Norway and Sweden out to Continental Europe, North America, Russia, and the Mediterranean Basin. Over time they became transformed from heathen raiders into Christianized settlers. In Iceland they created a republic which has remained Scandinavian in culture; elsewhere, for instance Britain, Ireland, and Russia, they adopted and modified the host culture. For more information please see course guide.

HI2020: BIRTH OF MODERNITY: POLITICS, CULTURE AND SCIENCE IN EUROPE, 1700-1870

30 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

Course introduces students to the crucible of the modern age. Hinging on the American, French and 1848 Revolutions, it explores how men and women in elite and popular communities generated new modes of living, experience and expression and how they understood and manipulated the natural world. Attention will be given to the Enlightenment, Revolution, Empire, Romanticism and Ideology with interrelated developments in politics, culture and science also being explored. Students will be introduced to the works of figures such as Newton, Voltaire, Paine, Goethe, Marx, Darwin and Nietzsche. Topics will include Salons, the Terror, nationalism and secularisation. Download course guide

HI2021: POWER & PIETY: MEDIEVAL EUROPE, 1100-1500

30 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

Between 1100 and 1500 western Europe underwent fundamental transformations: new technical, economic and political challenges, fresh developments in religious and intellectual life and catastrophes like wars, diseases and climate change fundamentally shaped European societies for centuries to come. This course offers a thematic survey of medieval western societies, focusing on religion, kingship and warfare, economy and environment, cultural renaissances and intellectual novelties, the emergence of national states and identities and the discovery of new worlds. Download course guide.

HI2520: GLOBAL EMPIRE IN THE LONG NINETEENTH CENTURY

30 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

The  long nineteenth century (c.1760-1914) saw dramatic rises and falls in political units and power systems (empires) bringing together a range of peoples and territories.  Generally, but not exclusively, they were dominated by Europeans (or those who at least claimed European descent). These global empires are now recognised by historians as a key feature of modern history, and have generated an increasingly rich and varied literature. This course offers you the chance to examine this crucial and controversial phenomenon which, for better or worse, made the modern world. For more information please see course guide.

HI2524: KINGSHIP, CLEARANCES & CONFLICT: DEBATES IN SCOTTISH HISTORY

30 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

This course looks at the main debates in the history of Scotland from c.1000-2000AD. It focuses on themes and moments in Scotland's history, such as the interaction of 'feudal' and 'Gaelic' influences in the making of the Kingdom from c.1100-1300; the Wars of Independence in the fourteenth century, the Protestant Reformation of the 1560s, the Union of the Crowns and Parliaments in 1603 and 1707; the Highland Clearances; and the effects of global war, empire and democracy in the twentieth century. It shows how historians use sources to advance different interpretations and create a new understanding.

HI303Q: DECOLONISATION: THE BRITISH EXPERIENCE

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

Few changes in the twentieth century were more dramatic than the collapse of European colonial empires and of a world system centred on Europe. Drawing widely on a vibrant literature, this course will examine the decline of British imperialism. It will consider causes and consequences of that decline. It focuses on key areas including India, Africa, and the former settler colonies, Britain itself, and global developments such as the cold war and the rise of global humanitarianism. In so doing it sheds new light on a modern world still haunted by the ghosts of empire.  Download Course Guide

HI304A: CULTURAL HISTORY OF SPORT

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course uses sport as a way of trying to understand the historical past as well as viewing it as an active agent in producing historical change. The main chronological focus is on the development of modern sports from the nineteenth century onwards. Geographically, the focus is on western Europe, but there is also detailed consideration of the British Empire, the United States and other areas. Issues addressed include social class, 'race', gender, violence, senses of identity and governmental policies. A comparative and interdisciplinary approach is encouraged. Download course guide.

HI304T: WORLD WAR ONE: INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course examines the history of the First World War in an international comparative perspective through detailed study of contemporary as ell as secondary sources. Following a series of introductory lectures on various aspects of the war, the students taking this course will be divided into sub-groups with normally a maximum of 20 students per group. Each group will focus on either the war experience of a particular country such as Russia or France or undertake comparative study of selected themes such as political, social and cultural transformations and the peacemaking process. Download course guide.

HI306L: EATING HISTORY: FOOD AND CULTURE FROM COFFEE TO CHOCOLATE

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

Food is such a basic human necessity that we can easily take for granted the huge variety of produce available in our supermarkets. This course explores how familiar foods like coffee, chocolate and citrus were introduced to European tables. Why, in past cultures, has food been so bound up with questions of ethnicity, class, race and religion? How have recipes and diets changed with time, how have people written about and discussed food? And what meanings have been ascribed through the ages to food, eating and cookery? If hungry for knowledge, this is the course for you. Download course guide.

HI306N: WOMEN AND VIOLENCE IN THE MEDIEVAL NORTH 0-1300 AD

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

What impacts did women have on violence — and violence on women — in Scandinavia and the British Isles, during Antiquity and the Middle Ages? What sorts of women were thought to enact, incite, suffer or resist violence? Did artistic representations of links between women and violence match realities, or not? How can we tell? And what roles did men play in all this? Throughout this course, students will investigate a selection of primary sources from across the North (0-1300 AD) and compare and contrast relevant examples from different regions, periods, and source types. Download course guide.

HI306S: CRIME AND PUNISHMENT: THE DEVELOPMENT OF LEGAL CULTURE IN NORTHERN EUROPE, 500-1500 AD

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

The period from the sixth century to the sixteenth century saw fundamental changes in European Society, including the emergence of the outlines of states and kingdoms that are recognisable today. But the period also saw fundamental changes in conflict resolution. Using a mixture of chronicle, legal, and literary evidence this course provides a comprehensive overview of a millenium of conflicts and conflict resoution in a period which saw the development of fundamental concepts and methods which still shape legal practice.  Download Course Guide

HI30BD: GERMANY, 1517-1806: REFORMATION, EMPIRE AND ENLIGHTENMENT

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

Composed of hundreds of territories, the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation seemed an incoherent patchwork. Yet it functioned as a political entity for centuries. This course studies the profound transformation of Germany from the onset of the Reformation to the destruction of the Empire by Napoleon. We will look at religious conflict, the impact of war, the early Enlightenment and the development of early national identity. The question we have to ask is not why did the Holy Roman Empire fail, but why and how did it survive for such a long period?  Download Course Guide

HI353N: WAR AND SOCIETY IN THE LATER MIDDLE AGES

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

War was a ubiquitous feature of western Europe during the later middle ages. The course examines not the processes of European wars themselves but their significance in relation to a broad range of societal and governmental themes. Subjects for examination will include the mentalities which underpinned the prevalence of warfare, the experiences of soldiers and non-combatants, women and warfare, the development of national identities and the impact of warfare on governmental structures. The primary, although not exclusive, geographical focus of the course is on Scotland, England and France.

HI353T: IMPERIAL RUSSIA 1801-1914

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This course will examine key issues and events in Russian history during the period 1801-1914. The following themes will be central: Autocracy, opposition and alternatives; International affairs, military might and great-power status; Social problems and the inter-relation of sections of Russian society; Economic problems such as modernisation, industrialisation, finance, communications etc; and Problems of a vast contiguous Empire, containing many non-Russian groups, religions and cultures, in an age of imperial competition.

HI356J: THINKING HISTORY

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This course looks at how history is written. It considers the problems involved in studying and explaining the past, and the many dilemmas faced by historians in reconstructing it. By examining the ways in which history has been written from the Ancient Greeks to Postmodernism, it considers the limits of historical study, asks whether history can ever be a science, and reveals the assumptions behind the various approaches to history that inform its writing. It is designed to provide honours history students with an essential understanding of what they are doing when they study history.

HI357A: ACTS OF TERROR: VIOLENCE AND AUTHORITY IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY EUROPE

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

 

This course looks at how modern terrorism and the threats attributed to radical political thought were experienced and debated in contemporary media, societies and politics. It considers the problems historians face when studying and explaining acts of terror in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The course is designed to provide honours students with an essential understanding of historical contextualization. Comparing various national case studies allows for an analysis of acts of terrorism as a European – even global – phenomenon.

HI4001: SPECIAL SUBJECT: IRISH TROUBLES

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course examines the events known collectively as the “Irish Troubles”. That is, the origins, development and partial conclusion of non-violent and violent opposition to the continuation of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the mid-1960s until the present day. Download course guide.

HI4003: SPECIAL SUBJECT: ENLIGHTENMENT COMPARED: IRELAND, SCOTLAND, CENTRAL EUROPE

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course examines the emergence and the variations of Enlightenment thinking in Scotland and Central Europe (with particular emphasis on the German and East Central European Enlightenment, to which the Scottish Enlightenment had strong historical links). It emphasises the varieties of the European Enlightenment, against the traditional assumption that the Enlightenment was exclusively 'located' in France. Download course guide.

HI4007: SPECIAL SUBJECT: WOMEN AND MEN

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

 

This course will address a number of themes, including modern studies of marriage; the western medieval church and marriage law, sexuality and gender in the middle ages; attitudes to love, marriage and the family; and sex roles and gender differences. We will examine the way in which gender and ideology influence the lives of both ordinary and not-so-ordinary people in the middle ages by examining a variety of primary and secondary sources. Download course guide.

 

HI4008: SPECIAL SUBJECT: HITLER

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

 

Hitler is omnipresent in modern life. He appears everywhere in the media and he is invoked all the time in public and private discourse. Yet Adolf Hitler remains an enigma. While he tends to be reduced to a one-dimensional cardboard cutout villain outside of academia, inside academia there has been a tendency in recent years to diminish Hitler’s importance and to push Hitler to the sidelines. Download course guide.

 

HI4009: SPECIAL SUBJECT: THE SCOTTISH WARS OF INDEPENDENCE, 1286-1328

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

In 1286 Alexander III of Scotland was found dead at the foot of a cliff and Scotland was engulfed in a period of political instability and eventually war that was to have a profound impact on the future development of the British Isles. The course considers key stages of the ‘wars of independence’ period in chronological sequence until the final triumph of Robert I in 1328. Due consideration will be given to international perspectives in trying to understand the Anglo-Scottish struggle, notably in relation to Ireland, France, Flanders and the Papacy. Download course guide.

HI4023: SPECIAL SUBJECT: EUROPEAN CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHIES IN THE LONG 19TH CENTURY

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

On the eve of the First World War Europe was a continent of monarchies. A long 19th century of revolutions, wars, growing literacy, an expanding public sphere, changes in social, economic, intellectual and technological life and imperial expansion lay behind them, but the continent’s monarchical systems had survived in surprisingly rude health. That monarchies had flourished throughout these profound transformations points to their suppleness and ingenuity. This course offers new perspectives on the political cultures of the states and societies of 19th-century Europe.  Download Course Guide

HI403Q: DECOLONISATION: THE BRITISH EXPERIENCE

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

Few changes in the twentieth century were more dramatic than the collapse of European colonial empires and of a world system centred on Europe. Drawing widely on a vibrant literature, this course will examine the decline of British imperialism. It will consider causes and consequences of that decline. It focuses on key areas including India, Africa, and the former settler colonies, Britain itself, and global developments such as the cold war and the rise of global humanitarianism. In so doing it sheds new light on a modern world still haunted by the ghosts of empire.  Download Course Guide

HI404A: CULTURAL HISTORY OF SPORT

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course uses sport as a way of trying to understand the historical past as well as viewing it as an active agent in producing historical change. The main chronological focus is on the development of modern sports from the nineteenth century onwards. Geographically, the focus is on western Europe, but there is also detailed consideration of the British Empire, the United States and other areas. Issues addressed include social class, 'race', gender, violence, senses of identity and governmental policies. A comparative and interdisciplinary approach is encouraged. Download course guide.

HI404T: WORLD WAR ONE: INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course examines the history of the First World War in an international comparative perspective through detailed study of contemporary as well as secondary sources. Following a series of introductory lectures on various aspects of the war, the students taking this course will be divided into sub-groups with normally a maximum of 20 students per group. Each group will focus on either the war experience of a particular country such as Russia or France or undertake comparative study of selected themes such as political, social and cultural transformations and the peacemaking process. Download course guide.

HI406B: GERMANY, 1517 - 1806: REFORMATION, EMPIRE AND ENLIGHTENMENT

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

Composed of hundreds of territories, the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation seemed an incoherent patchwork. Yet it functioned as a political entity for centuries. This course studies the profound transformation of Germany from the onset of the Reformation to the destruction of the Empire by Napoleon. We will look at religious conflict, the impact of war, the early Enlightenment and the development of early national identity. The question we have to ask is not why did the Holy Roman Empire fail, but why and how did it survive for such a long period?  Download Course Guide

HI406L: EATING HISTORY: FOOD AND CULTURE FROM COFFEE TO CHOCOLATE

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

Food is such a basic human necessity that we can easily take for granted the huge variety of produce available in our supermarkets. This course explores how familiar foods like coffee, chocolate and citrus were introduced to European tables. Why, in past cultures, has food been so bound up with questions of ethnicity, class, race and religion? How have recipes and diets changed with time, how have people written about and discussed food? And what meanings have been ascribed through the ages to food, eating and cookery? If hungry for knowledge, this is the course for you. Download course guide.

HI406N: WOMEN AND VIOLENCE IN THE MEDIEVAL NORTH 0-1300 AD

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

What impacts did women have on violence — and violence on women — in Scandinavia and the British Isles, during Antiquity and the Middle Ages? What sorts of women were thought to enact, incite, suffer or resist violence? Did artistic representations of links between women and violence match realities, or not? How can we tell? And what roles did men play in all this? Throughout this course, students will investigate a selection of primary sources from across the North (0-1300 AD) and compare and contrast relevant examples from different regions, periods, and source types. Download course guide.

HI406S: CRIME AND PUNISHMENT: THE DEVELOPMENT OF LEGAL CULTURE IN NORTHERN EUROPE, 500-1500 AD

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

The period from the sixth century to the sixteenth century saw fundamental changes in European Society, including the emergence of the outlines of states and kingdoms that are recognisable today. But the period also saw fundamental changes in conflict resolution. Using a mixture of chronicle, legal, and literary evidence this course provides a comprehensive overview of a millenium of conflicts and conflict resoution in a period which saw the development of fundamental concepts and methods which still shape legal practice.  Download Course Guide

HI4516: UNDERGRADUATE DISSERTATION IN HISTORY

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

The undergraduate dissertation is the final-year major research undertaking, based on primary and secondary material and providing a critical analysis of a specific subject chosen by the student. It is obligatory for Single Honours students, whereas Joint Honours students choose to write their dissertation in either of the two subjects. After initial sessions about the nature of the dissertation and research approaches, students develop a topic with the help of a member of staff, who will also supervise their project throughout.  Download Course Guide

HI4518: HISTORY IN PRACTICE II

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

History is not simply a dry, academic study of the past; it shapes a host of contemporary political, economic and cultural attitudes and is a central underpinning to the tourist and heritage industries - now one of the largest sectors of employment among mature western economies. This course is designed to give a critical understanding of the theoretical and practical links (as well as clear distinctions) between the practice of 'academic' History and 'public' History. This is done by having students assess how heritage and tourist businesses project a particular version of the past.

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