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

Undergraduate Course: Themes in Modern European History (HIST08043)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course provides an introduction to the history of modern Europe (c.1780-the present). Students will examine the history of the continent from both a thematic and chronological perspective.
Course description This course offers a wide-ranging survey of European history from the late eighteenth century to the present. The course has a dual function. It provides a basic grounding in Modern European History as preparation for students intending to take Honours History courses. It also provides a stimulating and informative overview of the topic for students taking the course as an outside subject. This course contextualises 'modern Europe' by introducing students to a variety of critical historical frameworks and develops their understanding of major historical processes. Its prime purpose is to examine major themes that have shaped how Europe and European societies have evolved through the interplay of economic, social, political and cultural developments over a span of more than two hundred years. Such a wide chronological and geographical span means the course must be rigorously selective, and in consequence the lectures will use key events and case studies to illustrate the most significant themes and chronological developments. Some of these include colonialism, nationalism, imperialism, decolonisation, democracy, the French / 1848 / Russian Revolutions, the First and Second World Wars, the Cold War, and contemporary European history, politics and memory.

Content note: The study of History inevitably involves the study of difficult topics that we encourage students to approach in a respectful, scholarly, and sensitive manner. Nevertheless, we remain conscious that some students may wish to prepare themselves for the discussion of difficult topics. In particular, the course organiser has outlined that the following topics may be discussed in this course, whether in class or through required or recommended primary and secondary sources: war, colonisation, poverty, violence, racism, fascism, and the Holocaust. While this list indicates sensitive topics students are likely to encounter, it is not exhaustive because course organisers cannot entirely predict the directions discussions may take in tutorials or seminars, or through the wider reading that students may conduct for the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: The Historian's Toolkit (HIST08032)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass in any first level course achieved no later than August of the previous academic year.

Students on the Economic History (MA Hons) degree do not require the compulsory pre-requisite 'The Historians' Toolkit'
PLEASE NOTE: The pre-requisite is still compulsory for ALL OTHER DEGREE PROGRAMMES
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 1 introductory level History course at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 163 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
1,500 word Essay (40%)
2,500 word Essay (60%)
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 a sound knowledge of the subject considered in the course;
  2. assimilate a variety of sources and formulate critical opinions on them;
  3. research, structure and complete written work of a specified length, or within a specified time;
  4. organise their own learning, manage their workload, and work to a timetable.
Reading List
Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008)

Frederick Cooper and Ann Laura Stoler (eds.), Tensions of Empire: Colonial Cultures in a Bourgeois World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997)

Robert Gildea, Barricades and Borders: Europe, 1800-1914, 2nd edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003)

Eric Hobsbawm, The Making of the Modern World: The Age of Revolution: Europe, 1789-1848 (1962), The Age of Capital: 1848-1875 (1975), The Age of Empire: 1875-1914 (1987); The Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century, 1914-1991 (1994) (London: Folio Society, 2005)

Natasha Kelly and Olive Vassell (eds.), Mapping Black Europe: Monuments, Markers, Memories (Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2023)

Ian Kershaw, To Hell and Back: Europe, 1914-1949 (London: Penguin, 2016)

Giuliana Laschi, Valeria Deplano and Alessandro Pes, Europe between Migrations, Decolonization and Integration 1945-1992 (Oxford: Routledge, 2020)

Mark Mazower, Dark Continent: Europe's Twentieth Century (London: Allen Lane, 1998)

Karen Offen, European Feminisms, 1700-1950: A Political History (Boston: Stanford University Press, 2000)

Jonathan Sperber, Revolutionary Europe, 1780-1850 (Harlow: Longman, 2000)

Richard Vinen, A History in Fragments: Europe in the Twentieth Century (London: Abacus, 2002)

Heinrich August Winkler, The Age of Catastrophe: A History of the West, 1914-1945 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015)
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
Course organiserDr Iain Lauchlan
Tel: (0131 6)50 3769
Course secretaryMrs Shannon McMillan
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