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HI2020: BIRTH OF MODERNITY: POLITICS, CULTURE AND SCIENCE IN EUROPE 1700-1870 (2021-2022)

Last modified: 29 Sep 2021 15:35


Course Overview

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

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Elizabeth Macknight

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Programme Level 2

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • HI2018 Birth of Modernity: Politics, Culture and Science in Europe 1700-1870 (Studied)
  • HI2023 Birth of Modernity: Politics, Culture and Sci in Europe 1700-1870 (Dl) (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

This 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, Revolutions, 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.

The forging of, and resistance to, new ideas concerning the individual, gender, society, the state and the natural world generated a wide-ranging and vigorous debate, which held at its heart a vital sense of the actors as either self-consciously modern or reactionary. At the core of the course will therefore be a study of the notion of revolutionary change, both in its specifically political and its broader cultural meanings. Thus, the ways in which revolutions were generated across the period, and the impact they held for the populace which created and experienced them will be the central focus of each phase of the course.
The course will be broadly divided into four component elements, outlining the contours of the projects of Enlightenment, Revolution, Romanticism and Ideology. Lectures will highlight emblematic figures in each phase, and themes which link the different phases together. Particular attention will be given to the social context which generated and shaped actors, examining for instance, the rise of a reading public, the professionalisation of cultural activity, and the fragmentation of an ideal of universal knowledge.

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Tutorial during University weeks 10 - 13, 15 - 18

More Information about Week Numbers


In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

Essay, 2000 words (50%)

Take Home Exam, 1500 words (40%)

Tutorial Participation (10%)

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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