Component

MA Public Opinion and Political Behaviour
BA Curating with History options

Final Year, Component 03

History option(s) from list
HR308-6-SP
Britain’s Second World War: Myth and Memory
(15 CREDITS)

This final year module examines and compares the experience of the British people during the Second World War, the myth-making that was a part of this experience, and the shifting cultural memory of the war in Britain from 1945 to the present day. It makes extensive use of the Mass Observation Online Archive (available online via the Albert Sloman library) to examine the British experience of war and to consider how people represented the war themselves. It is a full year Module that, in the first term, focuses on the war years, introducing students to the history of the war, to Mass Observation, and to the processes by which wartime culture created the enduring myths of Dunkirk, the Blitz, the Battle of Britain and the People's War. The module uses Mass Observation alongside other primary sources to consider which stories became a part of these myths, and which were excluded or marginalised. In the second term the focus turns to the cultural memory of the war in Britain since 1945. Students are introduced to concepts and theories of cultural memory that they will go on to apply to representations of the war that are studied. The memory of the war is traced from 1945 to the current day, with themes examined including the popularity of the war film, the mobilisation of the Second World War in Britain's subsequent wars, the growth of the wartime anniversary, museums and memorials, and the 'memory wars' that have been a central aspect of the Brexit debate since 2016.

HR322-6-SP
Britain’s Cold War
(15 CREDITS)

Britain faced an uncertain world after 1945. Successive governments sought to maintain the nation's global power in the face of economic decline, the end of empire, and the rise of the superpowers. At the same time, it took an active role in 'fighting' the Cold War, aiming to limit the influence of the Soviet Union and global communism. Fighting the Cold War involved a variety of activities, which we will examine on the module: how the Cold War was understood as a conflict; diplomatic and political plans to tackles crises; the military need to provide a significant 'deterrent' to future war; and the mass mobilisation of the public opinion in favour of the conflict. We also examine opposition to the Cold War. Each seminar will focus on a key topic using primary sources to deepen our knowledge of these important events.

HR352-6-FY
The Common People: British Social History 1830-1950
(30 CREDITS)

Britain underwent profound transformations between 1830 and 1950. It became the first indisputably modern, industrial capitalist society in the world. Not only was the environment turned upside down, but the lives and identities of the British people were altered fundamentally. You’ll explore this process in a thematic as well as a chronological manner, and study labour, class, gender, the state, democracy, imperialism, culture, and poverty.

HR366-6-SP
Henry VIII and his reign
(15 CREDITS)

The reign of Henry was a seminal period in English history which saw massive religious and cultural change in England. It was also a period of significant change in the history of Ireland, with the beginning of English attempts to conquer the entire island. Understandably a period of such transformative change is and was the subject of intense debate. Henry VIII, the monarch at the centre of these debates, also remains a figure of considerable significance and complexity in popular culture down to the present day. This module will examine the changes occurred in England and Ireland under Henry. It will also examine the goals of the king and his success or failure in achieving them. It will compare Henry VIII to rival kings and assess his challenges and achievements in comparison to their challenges and achievements. The major event of Henry VIII's reign was the break with Rome and his becoming Supreme Head of the English Church; this module will analyse how and why this happened and the consequences of these events. And it will look at the dark closing years of the reign as Henry VIII plunged his kingdom into debt fighting foreign wars and while rival nobles watched the dying king and schemed for their futures in the reign of his son. The module will conclude by examining the importance of Henry VIII's, especially on English religion and politics and by looking at Henry VIII's role in popular culture throughout the centuries. (Henry VIII is one of the very few monarchs in English history whose picture is recognised by nearly everyone; this module will explain how and why this happened). Henry VIII was many things but he was not dull. Fascinating people interacted with him: Anne Boleyn and Katherine of Aragon, Thomas Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell and Thomas More. The king, his friends and enemies, his achievements and failures have inspired playwrights, novelists and artists for five hundred years. If you take this module you will start to learn why. The readings in this module will consist of both primary and secondary sources for each lecture.

HR374-6-AU
Slavery and Plantation Societies in Latin America
(15 CREDITS)

The majority of the 12 million enslaved Africans deported to the Americas during the 16th to the 19th centuries ended up working on plantations in Brazil and the Caribbean. Sugar, cacao, indigo, tobacco, cotton and coffee were the main commodities produced for the rapidly expanding European markets. Slavery in the Americas contributed to the making of the modern world. You’ll examine the different plantation societies in Brazil, British Jamaica, the French Caribbean, and the Spanish colonies (Venezuela and Cuba).

HR628-6-FY
Witches, Witchcraft and Witch-Hunts in Early Modern Europe and New England
(30 CREDITS)

This module will focus on a phenomenon peculiar to the early modern period: the prosecution of c.100,000-120,000 people for the crime of witchcraft in Europe and its colonies, which resulted in around 50-60,000 executions. In order to understand this phenomenon, and also the regional and chronological variation in witch-trials across Europe during the early modern period.

HR645-6-AU
From Liberation to the Tiananmen Massacre: China From Mao to Deng Xiaoping, 1949-1992
(15 CREDITS)

The Mao era was a period of momentous changes in Chinese society. This module explores the history of the first 50 years of the People's Republic of China (the PRC) from the Communist Liberation in 1949 to the aftermath of June 4th 1989 Tiananmen Massacre. It begins with the date when the Communist Party of China established state power under the leadership of Mao Zedong, and ends with Deng Xiaoping's 'southern tour' in 1992, which signalled the full-scale rejection of Mao's economic strategy by embracing the global market. It places this history within the context of China's international relations, to examine the international influences and ideological premises moulding the government's changing political and economic strategies.

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