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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Currents of Radicalism, 1776-1848 (PGHC11417)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course uses biographical case studies of a range of figures (including Thomas Paine, Thomas Spence, William Cobbett and Robert Owen) to explore the concept of 'radicalism' within Britain c. 1776 - c. 1848. Students use a wide range of primary source materials (newspapers and pamphlets, prints, manuscripts and material culture) to explore radical leadership, cultures, ideas, arguments and actions.
Course description British politics and society were challenged and criticised in a number of ways by men and women who sought change during the 'Age of Revolutions' and this course explores the ways in which historians can interpret the diversity of 'radicalism'. The term itself was not used until the 1820s and students will be encouraged to engage with radicalism as something that has to be investigated contextually and incorporated a range of positions and practices aimed at challenging or overturning existing political authority during this period. Through the study of a number of movements and leaders and by paying attention to radical cultures, ideas, arguments and actions this course will: introduce students to an important and much-studied area of British history; invite them to engage with a range of historical methodologies; and encourage them to become familiar with a wide variety of primary source materials.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
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 in seminar discussion and assessed work a detailed and critical command of the body of knowledge concerning radicalism in Britain between c. 1776 and c. 1848
  2. Demonstrate in seminar discussion and assessed work an ability to analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship, primary source materials and conceptual discussions relating to radical cultures, ideas, arguments and actions in Britain
  3. Demonstrate the ability to develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in oral and written form in seminar discussions and assessed work by independently formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence considered in the course
  4. Demonstrate in seminar discussions and assessed work originality and independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers; and a considerable degree of autonomy
Reading List
Indicative Reading:
John Belchem, Popular Radicalism in Nineteenth-century Britain (1996)

Glenn Burgess and Matthew Festenstein (ed.), English Radicalism, 1550-1850 (2007)

Malcolm Chase, 1820: Disorder and Stability in the United Kingdom (2014)

Malcolm Chase, Chartism: A New History (2007)

Gregory Claeys, Citizens and Saints: Politics and Anti-politics in Early British Socialism (1989)

Anna Clark, The Struggle for the Breeches: Gender and the Making of the British Working Class (1995)

Michael T. Davis and Paul Pickering (ed.), Unrespectable Radical? Popular Politics in the Age of Reform (2008).

Ian Dyck, William Cobbett and Rural Popular Culture (1992)

James Epstein, Radical Expression: Political Language, Ritual, and Symbol in England, 1790-1850 (1994)

James Epstein, In Practice: Studies in the Language and Culture of Popular Politics in Modern Britain (2003)

Iain McCalman, Radical Underworld: Prophets, Revolutionaries and Pornographers in London, 1795-1840 (1988)

William Stafford, Socialism, Radicalism and Nostalgia: Social Criticism in Britain, 1775-1830 (1987)

Barbara Taylor, Eve and the New Jerusalem: Socialism and Feminism in the Nineteenth Century (1983)

Indicative Primary Source Databases:
Eighteenth-Century Collections online
Nineteenth-Century British Library Newspapers
Nineteenth-Century UK Periodicals
Burney Newspaper Collection
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Keywordscurrents radicalism
Course organiserDr Gordon Pentland
Tel: (0131 6)50 8354
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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