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

Undergraduate Course: Making Men: The History of British Masculinity, c. 1700-1900 (HIST10477)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryWhat makes a man? Is it something consistent - manners, clothes, body parts - or something changeable, subject to external social, cultural, economic and political factors and historical circumstance? Source-led, this course interrogates these questions in relation to the history of British masculinity across the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, exploring how concepts and experiences of masculinity were, and remain, tightly enmeshed with the social, cultural and political histories of a country and period.
Course description This course examines the history of masculinity in Britain during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Students will be introduced to key concepts and debates within the history of masculinity and gender and will consider how different sources and approaches have led historians to draw very different conclusions about the nature of British masculinity in different periods. By exploring two of these periods together, this course will identify the changes and continuities in how masculinity was idealised, critiqued, formed and experienced in Britain.

Using a wide range of sources, from conduct books, novels and private correspondence to caricatures and clothing, the course is divided into four key themes that will consider: the types and ideals of masculinity within societal discourses; how performances and concepts of manhood altered throughout men's life cycles; the relationship between different cultural trends and masculinity; and how cultures and experiences of masculinity were shaped by intersecting factors such as social status, race, and sexuality. Overall, the course will demonstrate how to interrogate primary sources through the lens of gender, and the importance of gender as a category of analysis when investigating the social, cultural and political histories of a country and period.

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: derogatory attitudes relating to sex, gender, sexuality, class, religion, nationality, and race; sexual, domestic and gender-related violence. 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. Students are welcome to approach the course organiser if they have concerns about a particular topic, if they wish to.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass in 40 credits of third level historical courses or equivalent.

Students should only be enrolled on this course with approval from the History Honours Programme Administrator.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 44, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 345 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 50% Coursework; 50% Exam:

Coursework: 4,000 word essay (25%)
Coursework: 4,000 word primary source analysis portfolio (25%)
Exam: 3 hour paper (50%)
Feedback Students will receive feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours for this course or by appointment.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)3:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)3:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate a detailed understanding of eighteenth-and nineteenth-century British masculinity and an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon scholarship relating to eighteenth-and nineteenth-century British masculinity;
  2. recognise and appraise key conceptual and methodological questions in the history of masculinity and gender;
  3. understand, critically evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. develop and sustain scholarly arguments, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. make formal presentations, led and contribute to discussions in relation to course topics.
Reading List
Initial Reading list:

Begiato, Joanne. Manliness in Britain, 1760-1900: Bodies, emotion, and material culture. Manchester University Press, 2020.

Carter, Philip. Men and the emergence of polite society, Britain, 1660-1800. Longman Group, 2001.

Cohen, Michèle. Fashioning Masculinity: National identity and language in the eighteenth century. Routledge, 2002.

Davidoff, Leonore, and Catherine Hall. Family Fortunes: Men and Women of the English Middle Class 1780-1850. Hutchinson, 1987.

Dawson, Graham. Soldier Heroes: British Adventure, Empire and the Imagining of Masculinities: British Adventure, Empire and the Imagining of Masculinity. Routledge, 1994.

French, Henry, and Mark Rothery.Man's Estate: Landed Gentry Masculinities, 1660-1900. Oxford University Press, 2012.

Griffin, Ben. 'Hegemonic masculinity as a historical problem'. Gender & History 30:2 (2018): 377-400.

Harvey, Karen and Alexandra Shepard. 'What have historians done with masculinity? Reflections on five centuries of British history, circa 1500-1950'. Journal of British Studies 44.2 (2005): 274-280.

Hitchcock, Tim, and Michèle Cohen (ed.), English Masculinities, 1660-1800. Pearson, 1999.

Mangan, J. A. Athleticism in the Victorian and Edwardian Public School. Cambridge University Press, 1981.

Norton, Ricto. 'Recovering gay history from the Old Bailey.' London Journal, 30.1 (2005): 39-54.

Roper, Michael and John Tosh (ed.). Manful Assertions: Masculinities in Britain Since 1800. Routledge, 1991.

Tosh, John.A Man's Place: Masculinity and the Middle-Class Home in Victorian England. Yale University Press, 1999.

Whale, John. "Daniel Mendoza's Contests of Identity: Masculinity, Ethnicity and Nation in Georgian Prize-fighting." Romanticism14.3 (2008): 259-271.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills On completion of the course, the students will attain skills in the following graduate attributes: critical awareness, particularly in relation to continuity and change over an extended time span; the ability to clearly, critically and tolerantly communicate, in verbal and written format; time management.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Tatyana Zhukova
Tel: (0131 6)50 4620
Course secretaryMr George Bottrell-Campbell
Tel: (0131 6)50 8349
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