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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: War and Memory in the Twentieth Century (HIST10341)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course sets out to critically examine the ways in which memories of war in the twentieth century have been used to shape national identities. It covers a diverse range of European countries, as well as Australia, the USA and the Soviet Union and addresses both World Wars and the Spanish Civil War in particular. The course explores the different ways in which relationships to the past have been socially constructed, articulated and contested throughout the twentieth century and highlights the tensions between individual and collective memory. Using different countries as case studies, the course examines the ways in which narratives of war have been utilised by different social and political groups to inform present-day identity politics. A key focus of the course is on commemorative practices and memorial activity in the respective nations which considers how the process of 'forgetting' is often implicit within moves towards memorialisation. The course critically examines the developing relationship between history, memory and identity formation over time and in different contexts across the twentieth century, adopting an inter-disciplinary approach which draws upon popular representations within literature, art and films.
Course description The proposed course structure is as follows:
1. Introductory session
2. World War One and the Fallen - European 'communities of the bereaved'
3. Ireland and World War One - divergent commemorative practices in north and south Ireland
4. Australia and World War One - the creation of the Anzac legend
5. Spanish Civil War - historical memory and the Republican dead
6. France and World War Two- the 'Vichy Syndrome'
7. Denmark, Holland and World War Two- collaboration, co-operation and resistance
8. Italy and World War Two - 'Italiani, brave gente', Fascism and divided memory
9. Germany and World War Two - the 'victims or perpetrators' debate
10. The Soviet Union and World War Two - the hegemonic narrative of the 'Great Patriotic War'
11. The USA/Britain and World War Two- the endurance of the 'Good War' motif
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
Students who take this course will be able to:

develop an understanding of the impact of war on society and its role in the social and cultural history of the twentieth century

acquire knowledge and understanding of modern historical scholarship on war and memory

assess the complex relationship between history and memory and the need to analyse who remembers when, why and for what purpose

to grasp the importance of the social intentionality of memory and the complex ways in which national identities are shaped and informed by the past

demonstrate, by way of essay and examination, an ability to enage with primary and secondary sources in a critical manner

enhance their problem-solving and writing skills, develop greater precision in thought and judgement, develop team-working skills and the ability to deliver oral presentations

formulate appropriate questions and to provide answers to them using valid and relevant evidence and argument
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsWar and Memory
Course organiserDr Wendy Ugolini
Tel: (0131 6)50 3766
Course secretaryMrs Caroline Cullen
Tel: (0131 6)50 3781
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