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History and European History options

Students should refer to their degree homepage for module selection criteria.

GROUP A - CORE OPTIONS FOR UCL MA HISTORY STUDENTS

HISTGC05 HISTORY OF CHINA: CULTURE AND SOCIETY

HISTG045 THINKING POSTCOLONIALLY: BRITAIN AND EMPIRE IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
HISTG057 THE PUBLIC SPHERE IN BRITAIN 1476-1800
HISTG069 NATIONS AND STATES IN TRANSNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE
HISTG078A CHARISMATIC COSMOPOLITANISM: INTELLECTUALS AND INTERWAR INSTITUTIONS
HISTG077 GENDER AND KNOWLEDGE IN HISTORY
HISTG080 THE PRACTICE OF TOLERATION IN EARLY MODERN EUROPE
HISTG082 THE ORIGINS OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR
HISTG085 BORDER CROSSINGS AND ENLIGHTENMENT EUROPE
HISTG086 THE UNITED STATES AND THE WORLD 1776-1900

HISTG835 POLITICAL THOUGHT IN RENAISSANCE EUROPE

HISTG837 CRISIS AND FUTURE IN NINETEENTH CENTURY EUROPEAN THOUGHT

AMERG018 US PRESIDENTS AND THE PRESIDENCY
AMERG007 FROM SILVER TO COCAINE: HISTORY OF COMMODITIES IN LATIN AMERICA

AMERG010 POLITICS, SOCIETY AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE MODERN CARIBBEAN
AMERG016 RISE OF THE SUNBELT SINCE 1945
AMERG013 THE CARIBBEAN FROM THE HAITIAN REVOLUTION TO THE CUBAN REVOLUTION
AMERG017 US ECONOMIC POLICY AND THE NEW DEAL TO OBAMA

GROUP B - Elective modules

CONTEMPORARY HISTORY, SOCIETY AND CULTURE OF THE LOW COUNTRIES - 30 credits

THE MAKING OF MODERN EUROPE - 30 credits

THE CRISIS ZONE: CENTRAL EUROPE 1900-1990 - 30 credits
LITTLE HITLERS? RIGHT RADICALISM IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE 1900-1945 - 15 credits
EMPIRES, NATIONALISM AND COMMUNISM: STATES AND SOCIETIES OF SOUTH-EAST EUROPE - 15 creditsRELIGION IN SOUTH-EAST EUROPE: FROM THE AGE OF EMPIRES TO POST-COMMUNISM - (15 credits)

LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE IN THE DUTCH GOLDEN AGE - 30 credits
FASHIONS, FOLLY AND THE FATHERLAND: POLISH CULTURE 1764-1834 - 15 credits
ITALY: A DIFFICULT MODERNITY - 30 credits
CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN HISTORIES - 30 credits
FILM IN THE WEIMAR REPUBLIC AND THIRD REICH - 30 credits
ASPECTS OF GERMAN CULTURE, POLITICS AND IDENTITY - 30 credit

THE SOVIET PROJECT: REMAKING 'MAN' IN REVOLUTIONARY RUSSIA - 15 credits
THE SOVIET CULTURAL EXPERIMENT I, 1917-45 - 15 credits
THE SOVIET CULTURAL EXPERIMENT II, 1945-91 - 15 credits
RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY SINCE 1917 - 15 credits
GENDER AND SEXUALITY IN MODERN RUSSIAN CULTURE- 15 credits

HISTORY OF THE JEWS IN POLAND - 30 credits
THE ARAB/ISRAELI CONFLICT - 30 credits
ANGLO-ISRAELI RELATIONS, 1948-2006 - 30 credits

THEORETICAL ISSUES IN HISTORY AND LITERATURE - 30 credits

CLASSICAL TRADITIONS IN CULTURAL THEORY - 30 credits

SOCIAL THEORY - 30 credits.

TRANSNATIONAL CULTURAL EXCHANGE - 15 credits

THE SELF AND THE WORLD: THEORETICAL APPROACHES TO TRAVEL WRITING - 15 credits

GROUP A - CORE OPTIONS FOR UCL MA HISTORY STUDENTS



HISTG045 THINKING POSTCOLONIALLY: BRITAIN AND EMPIRE IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
Catherine Hall
30 credits, both terms
Meets: Mondays, 11-1

This course focuses on the relation between England and its empire in the mid-nineteenth century, looking at the ways in which English identities, both masculine and feminine, were constructed in relation to imagined ‘others’. We shall explore the ways in which ‘difference’, the differences associated with class, race, gender and ethnicity, are articulated in a particular political and cultural world and how identities are shaped through the workings of power. The course will combine historical with theoretical work, utilising the approaches of post-colonial and feminist critics and historians. The focus on England will be in its relation to the so-called peripheries of the empire – India, Jamaica and Australia – and to that particular complicated terrain of empire, Ireland.

Indicative readings:

-- -- C. A. Bayly, Imperial Meridian. The British Empire and the World 1780-1830 (1989), esp. introduction.

-- -- Edward W. Said, Orientalism (1985)

-- -- Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism (1993)

-- -- Geoff Eley and Ronald Grigor Suny (eds), Becoming National: A Reader (1996)

-- -- Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities. Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism ([1983]; new edn., 2006)

-- -- Partha Chatterjee, The Nation and its Fragments. Colonial and Postcolonial Histories (1993)

-- -- Dipesh Chakrabarty Provincializing Europe: postcolonial thought and historical difference (2000)

-- -- Catherine Hall and Sonya O. Rose (eds), At Home with the Empire: Metropolitan Culture and the Imperial World (Cambridge University Press, 2006)

-- -- Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (1847)

-- -- E.P.Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class (1963)

-- -- Linda Colley, Britons: forging the nation 1707-1837 (1992)

-- -- Philippa Levine, The British Empire. Sunrise to Sunset (2007)

-- -- Andrew Porter (ed), The Oxford History of the British Empire, vol. III: The Nineteenth Century (1999), esp. chs. 1, 4, 18, 21, 22

Assessment: two essays totalling 8,000 words.


HISTG057 THE PUBLIC SPHERE IN BRITAIN 1476-1800

Jason Peacey

30 credits or two separate 15 credit modules, HISTG057A (term 1) or HISTG057B (term 2)

Meets: Wednesdays days 9-11

The possibility that the early modern period witnessed the development of a ‘public sphere’ has proved to be of significant interest to scholars of British history in recent years, following the translation of Jurgen Habermas’ influential account of The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere in 1989. The applicability of this concept to the period has generated some controversy, however, and this course explores the issues raised by Habermas’ work, not least the idea of a ‘bourgeois’ political nation, and a free domain of rational debate and discussion, and their relevance to the early modern world. It seeks to analyse the impact of the ‘print revolution’, and the extent to which political and public life became increasingly accessible to those traditionally considered to be outside the political elite, and the forces which impacted upon the nature of discourse in the public domain. It will examine, therefore, the development of print culture, and the variety of forms of printed literature, as well as the impact of censorship and government propaganda, in order to understand what could and could not be said, written and read during this period. It will also examine the factors affecting other means of participating in topical debate and the political process, by assessing the importance of petitions and elections, and by exploring the politics of public space – from streets and churchyards to the coffeehouses and corridors of power – and the efficiency of official secrecy.

Assessment: 2 essays totalling 8,000 words. Students taking either 15 credit module are each assessed by one essay of c. 3,000 words.


HISTG069 NATIONS AND STATES IN TRANSNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE

Axel Korner

15 credits, Term 2

Meets: Mondays 11-1

This course discusses the transformation of states into national states in 19th-c. Europe and the impact of this process on the ways nations and states relate to each other. I argue that this dramatic change to Europe’s political map was rooted in a teleological understanding of historical time and paid tribute to the role of national movements, most of which considered Europe’s established system of states to be anachronistic and lacking legitimacy. In their view the formation of “modern” nation states represented an inevitable process in Europe’s political, economic, social and cultural development, requiring a substantial redrawing of political borders, which changed the ways in which people and states related to each other. This process created new identities and introduced new notions of community, of inclusion and exclusion within existing states. It also changed the relationship between Europe and the wider world. While this process dominated the outcome of European history since the 19th c., there also existed different models of development. Not all national movements aimed at forming independent nation states. Multinational empires as well as cosmopolitan ideals constituted important alternatives to the formation of national states. This course challenges historiographical conceptions which take the development of national states for granted, as the inevitable outcome of naturally occurring historical processes. Instead, the course examines how these changes came about, what alternatives existed at the time and how they impacted on Europe’s system of states.


HISTG078A CHARISMATIC COSMOPOLITANISM: INTELLECTUALS AND INTERWAR INSTITUTIONS

Dina Gusjenova

15 credits, Term 2

Meets: Wednesdays 3-5

The years between the First and Second World War saw the emergence of new international and supranational institutions, which reinvigorated cosmopolitan visions of politics. Intellectuals played a key role in forging links between cultural and political institutions that surpassed diplomatic relations between states. They were go-betweens in political negotiations, fashioned themselves as performers of a utopian ideal, and sought political influence using private networks of influence and publishing as well as emerging institutions such as the League of Nations. Their ideas of a cosmopolitan world order differed widely, but they shared a rejection of nationalism, imperialism, and state-dominated politics. New media of transmission, such as the film industry, were widely drawn upon to elaborate visions of a world society that seemed within reach for the first time in human history. Interwar cosmopolitanism was a set of projects that bore the mark both of intellectuals’ narcissism and their demonstration of the power of charisma. Their activities as leaders of political movements, founders of institutions, or public critics, will be situated in the historical analysis of the international and transnational institutions and organizations with a cosmopolitan agenda that emerged in the interwar period.

This course is aimed at those with an interest in modern political, cultural and intellectual history. No knowledge of foreign languages is assumed, although if you do have foreign language skills you will be encouraged to use them in your reading for essays and class presentations. Each week focuses on readings of influential and provocative primary texts, framed by readings of secondary texts. In terms of content, the course will introduce you to some of the core theoretical arguments about cosmopolitanism in general, and interwar cosmopolitanism in particular.

Indicative readings:

-- -- David Held: ‘Principles of cosmopolitan order’, in Gillian Brock and Harry Brighouse (Eds.): The Political Philosophy of Cosmopolitanism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp. 10-28.

-- -- Jeremy Jennings and Tony Kemp-Welch: ‘The century of the intellectual. From the Dreyfus Affair to Salman Rushdie’, in Jennings and Kemp-Welch (eds.), Intellectuals in Politics (London: Routledge, 1997)

-- -- Nicholas Doumanis: ‘Europe and the Wider World’, in Robert Gerwarth (Ed.): Twisted Paths. Europe 1914-1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 355-91.

-- -- Also in the same volume: Introduction by Robert Gerwarth, pp. 1-8; Patricia Clavin: ‘Europe and the League of Nations, pp. 325-55.

-- -- Gordon Laxer: ‘The Movement That Dare Not Speak its Name: the Return of Left Nationalism/Internationalism’, in Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, Vol. 26, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 2001), pp. 1-32.

-- -- Martin Robert: "Baraka": World Cinema and the Global Culture Industry, in Cinema Journal, Vol. 37, No. 3 (Spring, 1998), pp. 62-82.


HISTG077 GENDER AND KNOWLEDGE IN HISTORY

Helga Satzinger

30 credits or the two parts of this module may be taken separately, for 20 credits each. HISTG077A (term 1) and HISTG077B (term 2)

Meets: Fridays 11-1

The course will focus on the role of science, technology and other forms of knowledge in creating, stabilising and destabilising gender orders in history. How did various forms of knowledge contribute process of identifying maleness and femaleness, how did the social gender orders influence and determine what we know, how we know and who was included into and excluded form the knowing “we?”.

The course is divided into two parts, which can be taken independently. The first part offers a more general approach to the topic, including various “ways of knowing” and its relationship to gender orders, whereas the second part deals in a more specific way with gender concepts developed by science and technology and with the gendered nature of scientific knowledge and technology and its production.


HISTG080 THE PRACTICE OF TOLERATION IN EARLY MODERN EUROPE

Ben Kaplan

15 credits, Term 2

Meets: Mondays 4-6

The subject of this course is the relations between Europe’s different religious groups – the various Christian denominations chiefly, but also Christians and Jews – in the centuries between the Protestant Reformation and the French Revolution.  With the Reformation, a once-united western Christendom split into hostile, warring camps.  Despite the ideals of toleration and religious freedom championed by some thinkers, actual social relations between the groups remained intensely problematic to the very end of the early modern period.  Those relations will be the focus of our study. 

How did ordinary people experience the religious divisions?  How did they interact with one another?  What were the obstacles to peaceful coexistence?  Why did toleration prevail in some local communities while others descended into sectarian violence?   What kinds of arrangements and accomodations did toleration entail, where it existed?  Did toleration increase over time?  To address these questions we will take a comparative approach, examining different parts of Europe, principally France, the Holy Roman Empire (roughly equivalent to Germany), and the Netherlands.


HISTG082 THE ORIGINS OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

Adam Smith

15 credits, Term 1

Meets: Tuesdays 2-4

The Civil War is the central event in American history. Four million slaves were freed and perhaps 700,000 combatants died in a war that convulsed the nation for four years. As the visibility of neo-Confederates in the United States today reminds us, there is a folk memory in the United States which disputes the assertion of Abraham Lincoln in his second inaugural address in 1865 that slavery was ‘somehow’ the cause of the war. Academic historians, in contrast, are agreed on the centrality of slavery to the dispute between North and South. The states that first seceded in the winter of 1860-1 did so as a direct response to the election of Lincoln, the first president elected by a purely Northern party, the Republicans, whose central plank was opposition to the expansion of slavery. The ordinances of secession of the southern states made explicit their fears for the protection of what they called their ‘peculiar institution’.  But what was it about slavery that led to war? Some historians have argued that slavery created a fundamentally different culture in the South; others that free labour and slave labour systems were inherently in conflict. For many of the so-called ‘fundamentalist’ school, there were irreconcilable, ‘irrepressible’ economic and cultural divisions that made conflict unavoidable. Other historians have questioned why, if the divisions were so great, the war came when and how it did. Why did a conflict that had been in existence since the Republic’s founding become insoluble only in 1861? For some “revisionist” historians the similarities between North and South were as striking as the differences. For these scholars, the explanation for the break down of normal political relations lies in the politicisation of the slavery issue by a group of politicians in the 1850s. This course will explore these issues in order to make sense of the roots of this conflict. On the one hand, we will seek to explain why Southerners, quixotically or paradoxically as it may appear, launched a ‘conservative revolution’, breaking up the Union in order to preserve what they saw as its original meaning. On the other hand, we’ll ask why a majority of Northerners by the late 1850s had come to believe, paradoxically as it may appear, that only a sectional party could preserve the Union.


HISTG085 BORDER CROSSINGS AND ENLIGHTENMENT EUROPE

Simon MacDonald

30 credits

Meets: Wednesdays 3-5

This course explores interchange across political and cultural borders as a fundamental category of historical analysis, and examines the powerful forms such patterns of exchange and dissemination took in early modern and Enlightenment Europe. Migration and human traffic will be studied as integral elements within larger processes of cross-border connections and encounters, which might take a range of material, textual, visual, and ideological forms. Students will engage with a rich theoretical and historical literature, as well as exploring a range of primary sources, which will enable them to examine both the impetuses for mobility and also its policing across a range of given individuals, objects, and ideas. The course opens by introducing two contrasting historiographies: a well-established body of work concerned with eighteenth-century state development, and a rich developing scholarship drawing on transnational perspectives. Juxtaposing these approaches highlights ongoing scholarly debates about the extent and nature of cross-border circulation in old regime Europe. In reviewing these questions, this course will attend to the variety of ways in which contemporaries described, envisioned, and valorized cross-border conjunctions, as well as the multiplicity of sites, agents and forms of exchange which can be observed in practice. This will involve exploring a series of subfields of historical research, with an emphasis on cultural and social history.

Indicative readings:

-- Robyn Adams and Rosanna Cox, ed., Diplomacy and Early Modern Culture, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2011.

-- Lorraine Daston, ‘The Ideal and Reality of the Republic of Letters in the Enlightenment’, Science in Context, 4:2 (1991), pp. 367–386.

-- Jas Elsner and Joan-Pau Rubies, ed., Voyages and Visions: Towards a Cultural History of Travel, London: Reaktion Books, 1999.

-- Stephen Greenblatt, ‘Cultural Mobility: An Introduction’ and ‘A Cultural Mobility Studies Manifesto’, in Stephen Greenblatt, ed., Cultural Mobility: A Manifesto, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010, pp. 1–23, 250–253.

-- Lynn Hunt, Margaret C. Jacob and Wijnand Mijnhardt, The Book that Changed Europe: Picart and Bernard’s Religious Ceremonies of the World, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2010.

-- James Van Horn Melton, The Rise of the Public in Enlightenment Europe, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

-- Renaud Morieux, ‘Diplomacy from Below and Belonging: Fishermen and Cross-Channel Relations in the Eighteenth Century’, Past and Present, 202 (February, 2009), pp. 83–125.

-- Barbara Ann Naddeo, ‘Cultural Capitals and Cosmopolitanism in Eighteenth-Century Italy: The Historiography and Italy on the Grand Tour’, Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 10:2 (2005), pp. 183–199.

-- Sophia Rosenfeld, ‘Citizens of Nowhere in Particular: Cosmopolitanism, Writing, and Political Engagement in Eighteenth-Century Europe’, National Identities, 4:1 (2002), pp. 25–43.

-- Ann Thomson, Simon Burrows, and Edmond Dziembowski, ed., Cultural Transfers: France and Britain in the Long Eighteenth Century, Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2010.

-- Francesca Trivellato, The Familiarity of Strangers: The Sephardic Diaspora, Livorno, and Cross-Cultural Trade in the Early Modern Period, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009.

-- Charles W. J. Withers, Placing the Enlightenment: Thinking Geographically about the Age of Reason, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2007.


HISTG086 THE UNITED STATES AND THE WORLD 1776-1900

David Sim

15 credits, Term 2

Meets:  Thursdays 2-4


HISTG835 POLITICAL THOUGHT IN RENAISSANCE EUROPE

Iain McDaniel

30 credits

Meets: Wednesdays 9-11

This course analyses key works of political thought in Europe in the period c. 1350-1651, surveying the development and flourishing of classical humanist theories of monarchy and republicanism in Italy and subsequently in Northern Europe. It involves detailed study of a number of influential authors, concentrating on those in the humanist tradition, such as Francesco Petrarch, Leonardo Bruni, Niccolò Machiavelli, Thomas More, Francesco Guicciardini, Michel de Montaigne and Justus Lipsius. Emphasis is placed throughout on the various political, religious and social contexts in which Renaissance political discourse was situated. Key concepts, themes and debates addressed at various stages in the course include republicanism, monarchy, liberty, virtue, absolutism, and reason of state. The course ends by considering the waning of classical humanism in the seventeenth century and the attack mounted upon humanist political thought in Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan (1651).


HISTG837 CRISIS AND FUTURE IN NINETEENTH CENTURY EUROPE

Axel Korner

15 credits, Term 1

Meets: Mondays 11-1

The course explores concepts of crisis and future in European thought during the long nineteenth century. The age of revolution started as an era widely associated with the liberation and emancipation of man, with technological progress, national aspirations and constitutional promises. How then do we explain the widespread sense of crisis which marked the second half of the nineteenth century, associated with concepts such as “alienation”, “degeneration” and “decay”?

Assessment:






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