Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

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

Undergraduate Course: Making of the Modern World (HIST08033)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course provides an introduction to the history of the modern world (c.1780-c.2015). Students will look at major themes and examine these from both a thematic and chronological perspective.
Course description This courses contextualises modern history by providing a framework in which major historical processes can be understood. It moves away from a Eurocentric position towards a more global history that takes in different approaches and regions. Although the structure of the course is chronological, the main focus is on processes and themes. Students will be expected to use specific case studies to illuminate large themes such as modernity, revolution, nationalism and decolonisation.

Tutorials will be organised according to the weekly themes below:

Weekly topics: (subject to change)

Week 1
1. What does 'modern' mean and where is 'the world'?
2. Two Perspectives on the World in 1750

Week 2
3. Revolutions and Counter-Revolutions
4. Liberty, Inequality, Slavery

Week 3
5. Trade, Commerce, Capitalism
6. Nation States and Empires

Week 4
7. Cities, Leisure and Lifestyles
8. Industrialisation and Commodification

Week 5
9. Social Groups and Class Society
10. Socialism and Communism

Week 6
11. 'Progress' and Resistances
12. Knowledge, Science, Technology

Week 7
13. Connections and Conflicts before 1914
14. Racism and Imperialism

Week 8
15. World Wars: The Implosion of Europe
16. The World Wars in Global Perspective

Week 9
17. The Global Cold War
18. Decolonization and Independence

Week 10
19. International Organisations and Peace Order
20. Post-1945 Economy and Mass Consumption

Week 11
21. 9/11 and the Return of Religion
22. A Globalised World? Two perspectives
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites Students MUST also take: The Historian's Toolkit (HIST08032)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, a sound knowledge of the subject considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to assimilate a variety of sources and formulate critical opinions on them;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to research, structure and complete written work of a specified length, or within a specified time;
  4. demonstrate an ability to make informed contributions to class discussion and give an oral presentation as required;
  5. demonstrate an ability to organise their own learning, manage their workload, and work to a timetable.
Reading List
Eric Hobsbawm, Age of Revolution (1962), Age of Capital (1975), Age of Empire (1987), Age of Extremes (1994)

Sebastian Conrad, What is Global History? (2016)

Jürgen Osterhammel, The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century (2014).

Jürgen Osterhammel, Colonialism. A Theoretical Overview (2005).

Jürgen Kocka, Capitalism. A Short History (2016)

Christopher Bayly, The birth of the modern world, 1789-1914 (2004)

Michael Goebel, Anti-Imperial Metropolis. Interwar Paris And the Seeds Of Third World Nationalism (2015)

Odd Arne Westad, The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times (2006)

Kenneth Pomeranz, The Great Divergence: China, Europe and the Making of the Modern World Economy (2000)

John Illiffe, Africans: The History of a Continent (2007)

Felipe Fernández-Armesto. The Americas: The History of a Hemisphere (2004)

Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (2007)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Skills and abilities in research and enquiry
- ability to draw valid conclusions about the past
- ability to identify, define and analyse historical problems
- ability to select and apply a variety of critical approaches to problems informed by uneven evidence
- ability to exercise critical judgement in creating new understanding
- ability to extract key elements from complex information
- readiness and capacity to ask key questions and exercise rational enquiry
- ability critically to assess existing understanding and the limitations of knowledge and recognition of the need regularly to challenge/test knowledge
- ability to search for, evaluate and use information to develop knowledge and understanding skills and abilities in personal and intellectual autonomy
- openness to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking
- ability to identify processes and strategies for learning
- independence as a learner, with readiness to take responsibility for one's own learning, and commitment to continuous reflection, self-evaluation and self-improvement
- ability to make decisions on the basis of rigorous and independent thought
- ability to test, modify and strengthen one's own views through collaboration and debate
- intellectual curiosity
- ability to sustain intellectual interest
- skills and abilities in communication
- ability to make effective use of oral and written means convey understanding of historical issues and one's interpretation of them.
- ability to marshal argument lucidly and coherently
- ability to collaborate and to relate to others
- readiness to seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness skills and abilities in personal effectiveness
- ability to approach historical problems with academic rigour
- ability to manage and meet firm deadlines
- possession of the confidence to make decisions based on one's understanding and personal/intellectual autonomy
- ability to work effectively with others, capitalising on diversities of thinking, experience and skills
KeywordsModern World
Course organiserDr Fraser Raeburn
Course secretaryMiss Katy Robinson
Tel: (0131 6)50 3780
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