MA Public Opinion and Political Behaviour
Integrated Master in History: History options

Final Year, Component 04

History option(s) from list
Gender and Identity in Early Modern Europe, c.1450-c.1750

You’ll examine the ways in which gender divisions were constructed, experienced, affirmed and challenged, and the ways in which gender relations were played out and regulated in Europe c.1450-c.1750. You’ll look at key phenomena of the early modern period, such as the Reformation and religious change, and the hunting of witches, and analyse how they affected gender and gender relations and the extent to which men and women experienced them differently.

Rethinking History: Approaches, Theories and Concepts

This module focuses on the theoretical and methodological implications of the 'cultural turn'. You’ll be introduced to key concepts, and will explore debates about the meanings of terms such as 'subjectivity', 'identities' and 'discourse'. You will also explore the possibilities opened by cultural approaches, as reflected in new and emerging debates and themes such as childhood, public and private, sex, the psyche, and memory.

History, Power, and Identity

What is at stake in histories of power and identity? This module helps students to negotiate debates through examination of crucial concepts, including 'power', 'embodiment', and 'intersectionality', and consideration of different approaches to researching and writing histories of power and identity.

Making History, Sharing History: Sources, Methods, and Audiences for Historical Research

How does the history that we see all around us come into being? What choices do historians and others make in placing history before particular audiences in particular forms, and why do they make these decisions? This module explores how history is made using different types of sources and how it is shared in different forms. Part I of this module focuses on how historians encounter and engage with different types of sources, using case studies ranging across the early modern and modern periods. Part II considers the many forms in which histories are made and shared, both with and for different audiences.

Writing Cold War Lives
Archives and Power

Who controls the raw materials of History? Historians depend on archives: for manuscripts, printed and digitised documents, photographs and images, textiles, oral histories, film and many other types of source. It's only relatively recently, however, that we've started to look 'behind the catalogues' to examine critically the systems and structures of actual archives as specific sites of practice and to question the power relationships they preserve and/or hide. This module asks questions about what's been collected and how it's been organised, what's got 'lost', destroyed or withheld, and how and why records have been used, neglected and 'discovered'. It's also about whose voices and stories get included and excluded and why. This module flips our perspective as historians. We'll start from the other side of the enquiry desk, working towards a critical understanding of what archivists do, how archives are made and operate and how power is built into their structures. Records are always political and their use and abuse can have serious, sometimes catastrophic, human consequences (as we've seen in the recent Windrush scandal) – but they can also empower people, aid the pursuit of justice and foster a sense of community. So we'll also look at case studies, including one chosen by the class, to give us new insights into archives as sites of power.

Martyrs and Martyrdom in Britain and the USA from the 7th Century to the Present
Approaches to War, Culture and Society

What is at stake when we study war, culture and society? This module equips students with different disciplinary perspectives on the human experience of war in different times and places. It introduces students to major historical debates on the social effects of war in the modern era, human rights in conflict zones, and the psychological causes and consequences of war experience. Alongside approaches to these debates, students will consider diverse ways of 'framing' the study of war – whether this means thinking through gender, looking at the local or the global, or considering how individuals and societies come to terms with death rather than focusing on fighting. Finally, the module introduces students to a range of primary sources for studying war and its effects on culture and society, including personal testimony, legal sources, medical texts, and film. The module therefore exposes students to theoretical and methodological perspectives that will inform their study across this MA programme.

War and Medicine

Both medicine and the military are social phenomena. From the middle of the 19th century, medicine came to play an increasingly central role in the emergence of modern mass and industrialised warfare. In addition to the maintenance of discipline and morale, medicine also provided administrative and technical support to what became known as the 'total' wars in the 20th century. This module examines the relationship between medicine and the military in the 'modernisation' of societies during the 19th century and 20th century. It asks to what extent medicine contributed to the 'rationalisation' of military management?

War and Slavery in the Atlantic World

In the Atlantic World, war and slavery were intimately entwined. In Africa, warfare created slaves, while slavery spawned warfare. In the Americas, armies consisting of slaves and free blacks fought alternately for and against slaveholders through the eighteenth century, while in the nineteenth century, war figured prominently in the destruction of slavery. This M.A. module examines the complex relationship between war and slavery in the Atlantic World between ca. 1450 and 1850. It will begin with an examination of the role of warfare in the process of enslavement before exploring the many ways in which enslaved and freed people participated in warfare in the Americas. Topics will include: European and West African ideologies of warfare and enslavement; the 'predatory state' thesis; gender, warfare, and enslavement in Africa; the "gun-slave cycle"; free black militias in the Iberian colonies; the employment of black soldiers, free and enslaved, in the wars of the long eighteenth century; ex-soldiers and slave rebellion in the Americas; and the role of warfare in ending slavery. Students will be required to complete a historiographic essay on a topic of their choosing. This will be a reading-intensive module. Students are expected to read an entire book every second week, along with substantial reading in between. Each student is expected to contribute to seminar discussions on a regular basis and to run the seminar (as part of a group) at least once.

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