2020 applicants
News

New first year history modules launched

  • Date

    Wed 19 Jul 17

We are delighted to have two exciting new first year modules running in 2017-18. Both of these modules take alternative approaches to understanding British history.

Hidden Histories of Modern Britain

The first is Hidden Histories of Modern Britain. It uncovers some of the radical ideas and practices that have often been overlooked in accounts of modern British history. Going back to the revolutionary years of the mid-seventeenth century, it examines how radicals questioned dominant ideas about democratic rights and property ownership, with some even advocating ‘communism’, and the power imbalance between men and women, in the family and the private sphere as well as in the public. It also looks at the era of rapid economic and social change that accompanied the growth of industrial capitalism in the nineteenth century and the ways in which earlier oppositional ideas and practices informed working-class culture and institutions, as well as gender relations, during the twentieth century.

Hidden Histories will be overseen by Dr Amanda Flather.

Multicultural Britain: A History

The second module is called Multicultural Britain: A History. It explores Britain as a diverse, multicultural society, something that many traditional histories of Britain ignore. Specifically, it examines how ‘race’ became a defining concept for understanding British society, how mass immigration transformed concepts of Britishness, and how Black, Asian and other Ethnic Minorities had to fight in order to exercise their rights as British citizens. It also looks at the history of Europeans in Britain throughout the twentieth century, from anxieties about Jewish immigration in the 1900s, to uncertain welcome afforded to refugees and migrant workers in the 1930s and 1940s, and finally to contemporary debates about the EU and ‘Brexit’. This module focuses on the agency and experience of the people in Multicultural Britain as much as on their interactions with power, while never downplaying the enormous impact of racism, highlighting the diverse range of cultural experiences which make up the fabric of British history.

The convenor for Multicultural Britain is Dr Alix Green.

For more information about these or any other modules offered by the Department, please contact Belinda Waterman on email belinda@essex.ac.uk or telephone 01206 872313.