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Undergraduate History 2020-2021

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.

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.

HI1523: RENAISSANCES AND REFORMATIONS

15 credits

Level 1

Second Sub Session

The course provides a broad overview of 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, radical and magisterial reformations, European expansion, growth of monarchies and republics, and the wars of religion of sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.  

HI1527: AMERICAN CIVILIZATIONS

15 credits

Level 1

Second Sub Session

The course examines the origins, growth, and development of the several civilisations of the Americas from the European invasion through to the present. The course is organized around the themes of ‘Inclusion and Exclusion’ which will pair a narrative history of the development of the United States of America with contrasting or countervailing narratives and topics that reflect other, alternative, or contrasting histories. Topics will thus include, among others, the American and Haitian Revolutions, the growth of the American Frontier and the Comanche Empire, the Cold War and the campaign for Civil Rights. The course will conclude with lectures on contemporary America as seen through an historical lens.

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 AND PIETY

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.

HI2025: THE FACE OF BATTLE: HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES ON WARFARE

15 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

Hastings, Waterloo, Gettysburg and Tsushima – the names of famous battles are well known and remembered today. The history of warfare continues to inspire video games, novels and TV documentaries. But what can we learn from battles and wars academically, and how do we research them? This course will introduce recent approaches to studying global military history with a focus on the human experience in times of war.

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. Download Course Guide

HI2524: KINGSHIP, CLEARENCES AND 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  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.  Download Course Guide

HI2526: VIKINGS: AN INTRODUCTION

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

The year 793: a surprise viking attack on the peaceful monastic island of Lindisfarne. This raid is often considered to mark the beginning of the so-called Viking Age, a time of turbulence and transformation with repercussions throughout Europe and beyond. This period saw violence and warfare, cultural contact and religious conversion, political overhaul, and literary and artistic creativity. As well as critically interrogating the concepts of the ‘viking’ and the ‘Viking Age’, this course provides an introduction to key themes and topics in the study of early Scandinavia, c. 800-1200.

HI303Q: DECOLONIZATION-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. 

HI303W: STEWART SCOTLAND 1406-1603

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course examines Scotland in the last two centuries of its dynastic independence. Organised chronologically, it will address the rule of the realm under the Stewart dynasty. Kingship, nobility and the exercise of power on the national, regional and local levels will form major themes of this course. It will also examine regicide, regency, and resistance to authority, the relationship between crown, church and nobility, and the development of governmental institutions and offices. Attention will also be given to exploring social and political change, especially with regard to landowners and other power-holders. 

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.

HI304H: LAW, SEX AND MARRIAGE IN THE MIDDLE AGES

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course investigates how the ideal of a lifelong monogamous marriage became the norm in Western Europe. It examines relevant texts from the period and introduces students to a wide range of sources and approaches to the past. The course consists in a mixture of seminars and lectures and will include both broad overviews and case studies of individual marriages in the Middle Ages. The course is divided into three major sections. The first section discusses the historicity of Western attitudes to marriage and the significance of the institution for academic study. The second section considers medieval attitudes to sex, marriage and the family. The third section investigates how secular and ecclesiastical forces interacted in the ultimately successful attempt to make marriage a matter between individuals rather than families.

HI304J: HISTORICAL RESEARCH FOR VISITING STUDENTS

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course is open to visiting students who have to finish their end-of-studies thesis at their home universities, and wish to develop this within the framework of this course. There is no formal scheduled teaching, but after an initial meeting to discuss individual topics, students will get some support and supervision in the area of their chosen research topic.

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.

HI304U: THE MAKING OF MODERN IRELAND

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course offers a chronological survey of Ireland and the Irish from the Act of Union with Great Britain to the present day.  It will consider the social, political, cultural and economic aspects of that history, and will place the island of Ireland within its wider contexts, as part of the United Kingdom, as part of Europe, as part of the British Empire, and as the source of the global Irish Diaspora.  The course will focus on a number of central issues.

HI305F: A MILITARY REV: WAR, STATE AND SOCIETY IN EARLY MOD EUROPE 1500-1800

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

HI307B: THE MAKING OF THE MODERN MIDDLE EAST

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course explores some of the major developments in the history of the modern Middle East, from the late 19th century, through the collapse of the Ottoman Empire to the formation of modern nation states. The course will then focus on the latest phase of the history of the Middle Eastern Empires, the subsequent changes in the political systems over the course of the 20th century, colonialism, the struggle for independence, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The course follows a chronological structure and aims at strengthening critical thinking skills and interrogating contextual understanding of the role of culture as well as modernisation in the region.

 

HI307D: RACE IN THE ATLANTIC WORLD

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course aims to introduce students to Atlantic history by using one of its key themes: race. It seeks to provide an introduction not merely to broader frameworks of Atlantic world history, but also to a range of methodological approaches in the study of social, cultural, political and intellectual history. The course begins by looking at methodological approaches to Atlantic world history before charting ancient and medieval ideas on race, racialism and xenophobia. The first half of the course focuses on the ways in which exotic peoples and lands were represented in European texts, and the social history of early settlement and colonial exploitation. Five sessions then follow on the history of racial ideas as they related to religion, science, society, human ‘progress’ and the management of globalising empires. The course then turns to examine the twin crises of revolution and abolitionism and their role in the development of racial ideas and practices in Europe and the Americas. The final session explores the reinvention of race in the diffusion of Darwinian evolution throughout the Atlantic world. A research-based approach to teaching and learning will be taken throughout, partly by drawing directly on the course organiser’s own research, and through a focus on the analysis of seminal texts in each seminar.

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? 

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.

HI354J: HISTORICAL RESEARCH FOR VISITING STUDENTS

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This course is open to visiting students who have to finish their end-of-studies thesis at their home universities, and wish to develop this within the framework of this course. There is no formal scheduled teaching, but after an initial meeting to discuss individual topics, students will get some support and supervision in the area of their chosen research topic.

HI355M: AZTECS, MAYAS & INCAS: EMPIRES ON THE EVE OF APOCALYPSE

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This course will examine the economies, cultures, religions, and socio-political structures of the three ‘great’ civilizations of Meso- and South America: Aztecs, Mayas, and Incas. Their concepts of wealth, civilization, history, and overall worldviews will be examined in detail. The course will close by considering the status of these empires on the eve of contact with Europeans and the extent to which inherent factors within the empires may have contributed to their collapse and subsequent conquest by the Spanish. 

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.

HI4003: SPECIAL SUB: 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.

HI4004: SPECIAL SUB.: THE THIRTY YEARS' WAR

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

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.

HI4012: SPECIAL SUB.: BRITAIN AND REVOLUTIONARY RUSSIA 1917-1924

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course explores British relations with Russia during the early years of the Soviet regime. It highlights a series of key developments in the relationship, especially major changes in British government policy that charted a course from military intervention to diplomatic recognition. Most of the seminars trace an aspect of the relationship within a fairly short time-frame, but some seminars investigate a particular issue through the whole period 1917–24. Several sessions will be used specifically for analysing gobbets. Knowledge of the Russian language is not required.

HI4023: SPECIAL SUB:EUROPEAN CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHIES IN THE LONG 19THCENTURY

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. 

HI4025: SPECIAL SUBJECT: HISTORY OF THE ISRAELI PALESTINIAN CONFLICT

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

The course examines the origins of the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and its developments from multiple angles in order to provide a comprehensive understanding of the complex dynamic that constitutes ‘the conflict’. The course will investigate the causes of the Palestinian refugee crisis and of the Arab-Israeli wars. It will introduce students to the Arab-Israeli peace process and familiarise students with the polarised historiography surrounding the Arab-Israeli conflict.

HI4026: SPECIAL SUBJECT: MYTHS OF THE NORTH

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course critically evaluates representations and functions of Old Norse myth and legend in both medieval and modern contexts. It will enable students to better understand the myths, beliefs and stories of Viking and medieval Scandinavia in their own historical contexts, and to analyse the political and cultural implications of their endurance, significance and popularity into the modern world.

HI407C: THE MAKING OF THE MODERN MIDDLE EAST

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course explores some of the major developments in the history of the modern Middle East, from the late 19th century, through the collapse of the Ottoman Empire to the formation of modern nation states. The course will then focus on the latest phase of the history of the Middle Eastern Empires, the subsequent changes in the political systems over the course of the 20th century, colonialism, the struggle for independence, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The course follows a chronological structure and aims at strengthening critical thinking skills and interrogating contextual understanding of the role of culture as well as modernisation in the region.

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. 

HI4518: HISTORY IN PRACTICE

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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