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

Undergraduate Course: Gender Identities in Britain during the Two World Wars (HIST10342)

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 highlights the centrality of gender to the analysis of wartime experience in twentieth century Britain and explores how gender identities are socially, culturally and historically shaped. It examines the public construction of gender roles in wartime and considers the ways in which norms of masculinity and femininity were promoted and utilised by the government to mobilise the British population at war. It pays particular attention to the social construction of masculinities in wartime Britain. The primacy of the 'soldier hero' discourse during the world wars has been widely recognised but this course will also address the experiences of those who did not conform to this hegemonic form of masculinity such as conscientious objectors, pacifists and civilian male workers. It will also address the experiences of those held in captivity, either as Prisoners of War or as internees. This course will also examine the ways in which femininity was used to mobilise support for the war and critically analyse the competing narratives of the woman worker and the faithful wife or mother at home. Addressing wide-ranging topics such as sexuality, disability, ethnicity and criminality, this course adopts an inter disciplinary approach which incorporates popular representations from film, literature and the arts.
Course description War and Gender - overview
Soldiers and Sailors - constructions of masculinity in the army and navy Maiming - disfigurement, mutilation, disability and shell shock Aviators - masculinities in the Royal Air Force Women's Work/pro-natalism - the contested role of women: work; motherhood, military service Sexuality - sexual health and disease, femininity, romance Homosexuality - experiences of gay and lesbian recruits in the armed forces Dissent - conscientious objectors, pacifists, criminals Home front masculinities - civilian male workers, organised labour, immigrant 'other'
Captivity - the experience of imprisonment as prisoners of war or internees
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  26
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) A coursework essay (3000 words) accounts for 30% of the total assessment;
one (2-hour) degree examination accounts for 60% and an oral presentation for 10%.
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
Students who take this course will be able to:

- develop an understanding of the impact of war on society, in particular the relationship between war and the formation of gender identities

- acquire knowledge and understanding of modern historical scholarship on war and gender

- assess the complex relationship between war and gender identities and the need to critically analyse popular representations of wartime gender roles

- to grasp the importance of the social construction of gender identities and the complex ways in which gender identities are shaped and re-imagined at a time of war

- demonstrate, by way of essay and examination, an ability to engage 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
KeywordsGender Identities
Course organiserDr Wendy Ugolini
Tel: (0131 6)50 3766
Course secretaryMrs Caroline Cullen
Tel: (0131 6)50 3781
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