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

Undergraduate Course: The Marxist Imagination in Europe, c.1950-present (HIST10427)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is an introduction to Marxist and post-Marxist thought in Europe. Students will approach the subject through a close reading of diverse primary texts. Some of the key themes will include: communism and anti-communism; capitalism and class; imperialism; gender and race; the environment; and the role of utopia/dystopia in the contemporary political imagination.
Course description In the past seventy years, Europe has undergone massive social change and political upheaval. For better or worse, Marxist ideas have played a crucial explanatory and motivating role in many of these transformations. Different forms of Marxism have underpinned Communist politics in the East and West, given shape to powerful social movements, and provided the justification for radically new economic models. The collapse of the Eastern Bloc and the Soviet Union in the early 1990s was widely expected to put an end to this influence but, in recent years, new forms of Marxism have emerged to challenge neo-liberalism and the structures of financial capitalism. By looking at a mix of classic and lesser-known texts by historians, political thinkers, activists, politicians and novelists, this course will explore the diversity of Marxist and post-Marxist thought in contemporary Europe. There will be a strong emphasis on a global approach to European intellectual history, and the readings will encourage students to reflect on the relevance of utopian thinking, the dangers of revolutionary politics, and the continuing importance of social critique.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.

Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 504030).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students must have 3 History courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses. Enrolments for this course are managed by the CAHSS Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department. All enquiries to enrol must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 80 %, Practical Exam 20 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 3 x short source essays (1,000 words each) (35%)
1 x long essay (3,000 words) (45%)
1 x presentation (10%)
1 x participation (10%)
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and non-written skills as required, command of a variety of Marxist, post-Marxist and non-Marxist texts in the context of postwar European history;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and non-written skills as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and non-written skills as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and non-written skills as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
On Marxism:

Jon Elster, An Introduction to Karl Marx (1986)
Peter Singer, Marx: A Very Short Introduction (1980, 1996)
Terrell Carver, The Cambridge Companion to Marx (2006)
David McLellan, Marxism After Marx (1979, 4th ed. 2007)
Anthony Brewer, Marxist Theories of Imperialism: A Critical Survey (2nd edn., 1990)

On postwar European history

Tony Judt, Postwar (2005)
Dan Stone (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Postwar European History (2012)
Mark Mazower, Dark Continent: Europe's Twentieth Century (1998)
Tom Buchanan, Europe's Troubled Peace (2005)
Martin Conway, 'The Rise and Fall of Western Europe's Democratic Age 1945-73' in Contemporary European History (2004)
Jan-Werner Müller, 'European Intellectual History as Contemporary History' in Journal of Contemporary History
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Emile Chabal
Tel: (0131 6)50 4302
Course secretaryMiss Lorna Berridge
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