These generally provide an overview of a large geographical region and/or a long time span and are taught over two terms, normally by weekly 1-hour lectures and discussion classes (of c. 15 students). Assessment is by one coursework essay of 2,500 words (25%) and one 3-hour examination (75%). In addition, tutors will require students to make other contributions, including informally-assessed written work.
- HIST6106: The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the End of the Attalid Kingdom
This course covers the period from Alexander to the formation of the Roman province of Asia in 129 B.C. It includes all areas of the Mediterranean and the Near East that were conquered by Alexander of Macedon (336-323 B.C.). These areas formed part of a cultural milieu of great variety and complexity, but one that was to some degree united by the presence of Greek ideas, Greek institutions and the Greek language.
The course will cover the main outlines of the political history of the Hellenistic kingdoms, as well as their institutions, structures of power, economies, and cultural and religious systems. It will pay particular attention to major shifts and developments associated with the period: the changing nature of the polis, religious, artistic and intellectual developments, acculturation and cultural conflict, and the interaction between Rome and the East.
- HIST6106: 1 X 2,500 word essay (25%) and a 3-hour examination (75%)
- HIST6106A (Term 1 Affiliate students only): 1 X 4,000 word essay (100%)
- HIST6106B (Term 2 Affiliate students only): 2 X 2,500 word essays (40/60%)
- HIST6107: The Roman Republic, c.350-44BC
The course, covering a chronological range of approximately three centuries, aims to study Rome from its emergence as a leading city-state in Italy to the eventual decline of its republican system. A particular emphasis will be given to the investigation of the values that informed Roman republican society. The course will be structured as follows: the first half of the lectures will focus on the evolution and transformation of Roman society analysed in its political, economic, social and cultural aspects. The emergence of and changes in political and social values will be highlighted. The second half of the lectures will concentrate on the factors that led to the fall of the Republic, paying particular attention to the evolution of the ideas previously presented as part of an ideological system. In the classes we will analyse specific topics connected to the lecture and will have the opportunity to handle different kinds of ancient sources (literary, archaeological, and epigraphic).
- HIST6107: 1 X 2,500 word essay (25%) and a 3-hour examination (75%)
- HIST6107A (Term 1 Affiliate students only): 1 X 4,000 word essay (100%)
- HIST6107B (Term 2 Affiliate students only): 2 X 2,500 word essays (40/60%)
- HIST6111: Bronze Age States in the Ancient Middle East
Extending from the late third millennium to the end of the second millennium (24th-12th c.) B.C., this course offers a long-term perspective on the history of the regions today represented by the modern states of Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. The course takes a comparative approach to historical narratives, focusing especially on how the presence vs. absence of documentary archives, the disappearance and re-emergence of writing systems, and cross-cultural influences shape our understanding of the ancient past. How does high vs. low textual-historical visibility (i.e. the presence vs. absence of documents, or the availability of first- vs. second-hand written evidence) guide scholarly agendas, inform interpretations, generate habits of (over)compensation or disinterest? When and how other strands of evidence from art, archaeology, and hard science become useful or meaningful for text-based studies? How are histories of textual disappearance and re-emergence constructed?
Emphasis will be on establishing counterpoints against traditional narratives centring on the political history of southern Mesopotamia, in a more holistic treatment of key Bronze Age developments by considering parallel or alternative trajectories in Syria and Anatolia.
Key themes for this course will be: Territorial states (formation, ideologies, administration); Trade (private enterprise vs. state regulation, long-distance networks, overland vs. maritime exchange); International relations (elite gift-giving, diplomacy, vassalage, alliances); Empire (political ethnicity and imperial strategies); and Critical approaches (theories of collapse, political fragmentation, chronological schemes, 'dark ages').
- HIST6111: 1x 2,500 word essay (25%) and a 3 hour examination (75%)
- HIST6111A (Term 1 Affiliate students only): 1x 4,000 word essay (100%)
- HIST6111B (Term 2 Affiliate students only): 2x 2,500 word essays (40/60%)
- HIST6209: The Medieval Universe
The universe in the late Middle Ages (ca. 1000-1500) was vast, but its structure of perfect spheres was ordered, limited and intelligible. Within the harmony of this system, many questions remained. How can human free will exist alongside an omnipotent God? What of the competing forces of celestial influences – whether good and bad spirits, or the science of astrology? Despite these tensions, variations of this model satisfied European scholars for nearly half a millennium. The first half of this course explores how medieval people engaged with the invisible and sacred forces of the heavens, and how this worldview gave meaning to human experience. We will study the pious and illicit rituals medieval people used to try to influence sacred beings and explore medieval concepts of time, imagination and geography.
Term 2 focuses on the physical rather than the celestial world. How did people think about the body and its place in the cosmos? What were medieval attitudes to sickness, asceticism, sexuality and death? What did dreams and visions mean, and where did they come from? We will explore the relationship between belief and practice, for example how Christian concepts of spiritual perfection led to the mortification of the flesh. Finally, we will explore the relationship of medieval men and women to their physical environment: physical, legal, religious and emotional concepts of landscape, the juxtaposition between ‘natural’ and ‘supernatural’, and the changing ways wilderness was experienced and imagined.
- HIST6209: 1x 2,500 word essay (25%) and a 3 hour examination (75%)
- HIST6209A (Term 1 Affiliate students only): 1x 4,000 word essay (100%)
- HIST6209B (Term 2 Affiliate students only): 2x 2,500 word essay (40/60%)
- HIST6210: Social Systems in Religious History from Constantine to Napoleon
This course analyses the history of religious structures, particularly in the West, with the help of concepts from Anthropology and Sociology, to bring out some of the distinctive long and middle-term features of Latin Christianity between the late Roman Empire and the end of the Ancien Regime. It brings the concepts to bear on original documents, translated and where necessary transcribed for the first time, so that students will be engaged in original empirical research as well as with social theory.
The theme is ‘complexity’ (which will be made simple!) and the ways in which religious social systems cope with it. The first part of the course develops a framework of concepts and questions, which, incidentally, also work for non-religious systems. The remainder of the course will be mainly about Western history (hence ‘Constantine to Napoleon’), though in a wider comparative framework. The course is concerned with understanding both structures and conjunctures – but not so much with the narrative of events.
This is one of the courses that should help you understand what the point of the ‘Concepts’ core course was: how it relates to ‘real’ History.
- HIST6210: 1x 2,500 word essay (25%) and a 3 hour examination (75%)
- HIST6210 (Term 1 Affiliate students only): 1x 4,000 word essays (100%)
- HIST6210 (Term 2 Affiliate students only): 2x 2,500 word essays (40/60%)
- HIST6301: British History 1689-c.1860
The course is designed to provide an overview of British (not just English) history in its political, economic, social and intellectual dimensions. Though the main structural thrust will be provided by political and economic developments, emphasis will be laid on the importance of placing these developments in their full context. The topics covered will include: the significance of the Revolution Settlement of 1689-1701; the impact - politically, economically, and socially - of war, particularly during the ‘long eighteenth century’ (1689-1815); the changing role of the crown; the development of political parties; church and state; social structure and social mobility; the loss of the American colonies; agrarian change; the industrial revolution; urbanization; political and religious dissent; free trade and protection; Chartism and trade unions; Britain as an imperial power; the Victorian administrative state.
- HIST6301: 1 X 2,500 word essay (25%) and a 3-hour examination (75%)
- HIST6301A (Term 1 Affiliate students only): 1 X 4,000 word essay (100%)
- HIST6301B (Term 2 Affiliate students only): 2 X 2,500 word essays (40/60%)
- HIST6304: British History 1850-1990
This module provides an introduction to the political, economic, social and cultural history of Britain between 1850 and 1990. Britain’s position in the world is a key theme of the module, but we will also trace longer-term developments that cut across the period. In 1850, the British empire was expanding; from the mid-twentieth, decolonisation and its aftermath fundamentally shaped British society, culture and politics. The two world wars—both closely entwined with the history of the British empire—form key turning points in modern British history and significantly impacted Britain’s place in the world as well as domestic politics and society. In domestic politics, we examine the birth of mass democracy, the rise of working-class politics and the growth of women’s suffrage campaigns, as well as the development of the welfare state and ‘warfare state’. In economics, we explore both industrial revolution and recurrent ideas about British economic ‘decline’. Britain has always been a ‘four nations’ country; the ethnic make-up of society also changed substantially across the period, with Irish, Jewish and new commonwealth migration. Ideas about race and its relationship to national identity changed significantly between 1850 and 1990, and are key topics for this module. Changes in race, class and gender are, thus, key themes in the module, alongside broader cultural trends such as demographic change, secularisation, the development of mass consumerism, and the decline of deference.
- HIST6304: 1x 2,500 word essay (25%), oral presentation (10%) and a 3 hour examination (65%)
- HIST6304A (Term 1 Affiliate students only): 1x 4,000 word essay (100%)
- HIST6304B (Term 2 Affiliate students only): 2x 2,500 word essay (40/60%)
NB: Students are not permitted to take this module if they have already taken HIST6406: Britain and the Wider World.
- HIST6312: Colonial and Revolutionary North America 1607-1787
This course aims to provide an understanding of the history of Colonial and Revolutionary North America from the first English settlement in Virginia to the aftermath of the War of Independence that created the United States. Attention is concentrated on the mainland English (later British) colonies, though consideration is given to French, Dutch, and Spanish North America and to the relationship between English/British North America and the rest of the Atlantic world. Topics considered include patterns of migration from the Old World to the New, the introduction of chattel slavery, relations between European incomers and the native inhabitants, religious diversity, and the increasing integration of eighteenth-century Britain and its North American colonies.
- HIST6312: 1 X 2,500 word essay (25%) and a 3-hour examination (75%)
- HIST6312A (Term 1 Affiliate students only): 1 X 4,000 word essay (100%)
- HIST6312B (Term 2 Affiliate students only): 2 X 2,500 word essays (40/60%)
- HIST6313: Building the American Nation: The United States 1789-1920
This course will offer an introduction to the key themes and events in nineteenth century American history. At the beginning of our period the United States was a fragile union of post-revolutionary states that had struggled to free themselves from British rule. At its end it the United States was a global power that had intervened decisively in the First World War and which saw itself as being in a unique position to shape the peace that followed. What drove this dramatic transformation, and what was the relationship between domestic nation-building and this rapid increase in American influence overseas?
We will focus on the vigorous and often violent contests over slavery and capitalism, democracy, nationalism and imperialism that moulded the United States during this period. We will examine the rapid extension of the American settler population across the continent and the dispossession of native peoples, as well as the ongoing debates over who exactly comprised ‘we the people,’ as named by the U.S. Constitution. And, of course, central to this module will be the American Civil War (1861-1865), which cost the lives of more than 700,000 Americans and resulted in the emancipation of nearly four million enslaved African Americans. Still the bloodiest conflict in the history of the United States, the Civil War has shaped the modern United States to a greater degree than any other event since the Revolution.
The course will introduce you to both primary and significant secondary works relating to this period and will aim to give you a sense of the tumultuous political, economic and social changes that remade American life between 1789 and 1920.
- HIST6313: 1 X 2,500 word essay (25%) and a 3-hour examination (75%)
- HIST6313A (Term 1 Affiliate students only): 1 X 4,000 word essay (100%)
- HIST6313B (Term 2 Affiliate students only): 2 X 2,500 word essays (40/60%)
- HIST6410: History of Latin America c.1830-c.1930
This course looks at Latin America in the first century after independence. Its main stress is on Spanish America, but considers Brazil for comparative purposes. The continent will be studied as a whole, and specific countries will be examined too. No language requirement is set, and no prior knowledge of the subject is assumed. Students are encouraged to pursue their own interests. Topics include: liberalism and authoritarianism in Mexico; the character of the Mexican revolution; race and nation-building; environmental history; urbanisation; Argentine development in comparative perspective; slavery and abolition; the survival and demise of the Spanish colony in Cuba and Cuban radical traditions; US imperialism.
- HIST6301: 1 X 2,500 word essay (25%) and a 3-hour examination (75%)
- HIST6301A (Term 1 Affiliate students only): 1 X 4,000 word essay (100%)
- HIST6301B (Term 2 Affiliate students only): 2 X 2,500 word essays (40/60%)
- HIST6414: The Making of Modern America: The United States since 1920
The Making of Modern America is an introduction to the key themes and events in twentieth century American history. Topics covered will include the New Deal, the impact of World War Two, US foreign policy during the Cold War and afterwards, the Civil Rights movements, the domestic impact of the war in Vietnam, the “right turn” of the 1970s and 1980s, and the Clinton, Bush II and Obama administrations. The lectures will focus on the competing visions of America that have shaped culture, society and politics since the 1920s and suggest some frameworks within which this history can be understood, while the seminars will explore a range of primary and secondary source material to help illuminate these themes.
- HIST6414: 1 X 2,500 word essay (25%) and a 3-hour examination (75%)
- HIST6414A (Term 1 Affiliate students only): 1 X 4,000 word essay (100%)
- HIST6414B (Term 2 Affiliate students only): 2 X 2,500 word essays (40/60%)
- HIST6416: The Global Economy since 1700
This module introduces the history of global economic change from a long-term perspective drawing on the new economic history literature. It is divided into two broadly defined historical periods. The first term, covering the period of 1700-1914, starts with a series of lectures on concepts and debates in global economic history. Topics follow a chronological order as they introduce major turning points in the history of economic change prior to 1914, including the rise of fiscal states, commercial expansion of the West, and financial and monetary transformations. The second half of the term mainly focuses on history of industrialisation, economic growth and divergence from a global and comparative standpoint. The second term opens with an introductory lecture on history of economic globalisation since 1870. In chronological order, weekly lectures explore the globalisation backlash between the two world wars, the post-war Bretton Woods consensus, and the new economic order since 1970. The first five weeks of the second term primarily feature the economic performance of the developed world; whereas the second half sheds light on the economic history of key developing regions and political economy of late development. The module concludes with two lectures on global demographic trends and living standards from a long-term perspective.
- HIST6416: 1x 2,500 word essay (25%) and a 3 hour examination (75%)
- HIST6416A (Term 1 Affiliate students only): 1x 4,000 word essay (100%)
- HIST6416B (Term 2 Affiliate students only): 2x 2,500 word essays (40/60%)
- SEHI6006: History of the Habsburg Monarchy 1700-1918
This course concentrates on the high politics of the Habsburg Monarchy in the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as well as the origins of nationalism in Central Europe, baroque art and architecture, and fin-de-siecle Vienna. The current schedule includes lectures on: the Baroque; Maria Theresa; Enlightened Despotism; Joseph II and Leopold II; Metternich and Conservatism; Czech and Slovak nationalism; Hungarian and Romanian nationalism; the Pre-March 1848; the 1848 Revolutions; October Diploma and February Patent; the 1867 settlement; Czech politics in the later nineteenth-century; Hungarian Liberalism; Culture and Politics c. 1900; Socialism and mass politics; the South Slav question; the Great War and the dissolution of the Monarchy. Weekly lectures are supported by tutorials. A principal aim of the course is to introduce students to the outstanding secondary literature on the history of the Monarchy.
- SEHI6006: 1x 2,500 word essay (25%) and a 3 hour examination (75%)
- SEHI6011A (Term 1 Affiliate students only): 1x 4,000 word essay (100%)
- SEHI6011B (Term 2 Affiliate students only): 2x 2,500 word essays (40/60%)
- SEHI6009: History of Russia 1598-1856
When the Riurikid dynasty unexpectedly came to an end in 1598, Muscovy was plunged into civil war. Beginning with that chaotic ‘Time of Troubles’, this course analyses the ways in which the Romanov dynasty installed in 1613 restored stability and secured their territories against enemy incursion. To some extent, they drew on Western models, but it was only when Peter the Great (r. 1682-1725) built a new capital at St Petersburg that Russia fully confronted European civilization. Over the course of the following century, Westernization transformed the Russian elite, bringing noble culture into contact with the European Enlightenment under Catherine the Great (1762-96), the most celebrate ruler of her age. However, as the state counted the cost of its new army, its extensive multi-national territories and its glittering cosmopolitan capital, the people paid the price. Risk-averse serfs relapsed into traditional collective responsibility as the only way to meet their rulers’ fiscal demands. The more the tsars tried to modernise their state, the more backward their empire became. Alexander I’s defeat of Napoleon in 1812-14 made Russia the greatest continental power in Europe. But as the Crimean War was to show, the colossus had feet of clay. The course covers a wide range of social, political, cultural and diplomatic topics, and you can choose from these in writing your essays.
- SEHI6009: 1 X 2,500 word essay (25%) and a 3-hour examination (75%)
- SEHI6009A (Term 1 Affiliate students only): 1 X 4,000 word essay (100%)
- SEHI6009B (Term 2 Affiliate students only): 2 X 2,500 word essays (40/60%)
Please note, this module will only be running one group in 2017/18 so is only available to 2nd year students.
- SEHI6011: History of Germany since 1815
Most students who choose this course are interested in the Nazi period, and in particular in the Holocaust: How could it happen? Of course, we will look at the reasons for the destruction of democracy and at the appeal of Nazism. We will examine how a dictatorial regime could hold Germany, and later most of Europe, in check. However, Germany in the 20th century was far more than the Nazi Dictatorship. What is more, German History has more to offer than only issues of contemporary history. This course will to a large extent deal with Germany during the so-called long nineteenth century. In fact, this is a course about a couple of different German societies and political systems: German Confederation, German Empire, Weimar democracy, the Nazi regime, the immediate Post-War Period, East and West Germany from 1949 onwards and the unified German state after 1990. The course is split in two terms. The first term covers the period from the Congress of Vienna (1815) until the ‘Great War’ (1914-18); the second term focuses at the period from the aftermath of war until the reunification of Germany (1990). We discuss questions such as: Why did so many ruptures and changes in Modern German history occur? Can we identify long-term developments, for instance, from Bismarck to Hitler? Was there a special path of modernisation in Germany? How did the First World War impact on Germany? Why did the Weimar Republic fail? What made a stable democracy in West Germany possible, immediately after the demise of the Nazi regime? And why, on the other hand, did the socialist East German state survive for 40 years?
- SEHI6011: 1 X 2,500 word essay (25%) and a 3-hour examination (75%)
- SEHI6011A (Term 1 Affiliate students only): 1 X 4,000 word essay (100%)
- SEHI6011B (Term 2 Affiliate students only): 2 X 2,500 word essays (40/60%)