Module LXE-1700:
History in Context

Module Facts

School:Modern Languages and Cultures
Credits:20 (or 10 ECTS credits)
Level:1
When:Semester 1
Taught in:English
Organiser:Dr Gillian Jein

Overall aims and purpose

• To situate key events in European and Asian history so as to give students an understanding of foundational moments in the making of modernity. • To develop students’ awareness of the interconnectedness of national histories, and their ability to contextualise nation-based events in terms of the development of modern/contemporary culture, mentalities and value systems. • To give students the broad historical context through which they can begin to situate cultural representations studied in second and final year. • To equip students with critical reading and analytical skills. • To encourage students to read in their target language as appropriate to their chosen programme of study and linguistic level.

Course content

A grounding in historical knowledge is important for understanding the contexts in which texts, events, and ideas emerge. This module will introduce you to key events in European and Asian History, providing you with an understanding of some foundational moments in the making of the modern world. Through this module, you will develop their awareness of the interconnected nature of national histories. Furthermore, this module will develop your ability to contextualise nation-based events in terms of the development of modern and contemporary culture, mentalities and value systems. The module is structured around five interrelated blocks:

Block One: French Revolutions These lectures will invite students to explore why the French Revolution mattered, and how its legacy still matters over two centuries later. Since 1789, few countries in the world have not experienced a revolution, and in many cases the upheavals in late eighteenth century France have provided inspiration as well as warning. From the Declaration of the Rights of Man, to the Terror and its aftermaths, students will gain an insight into the birth pangs of modernity.

Block Two: From Italian Unification to Fascism These sessions will provide students with an insight into the major historical events that contributed to the unification of Italy in 1861, and to the rise of Fascism in the 1920s. After examining the complex nature of nationalism and nation-building in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Italy, the emphasis will be placed on how narratives of an Italian national identity continued to shape the political debate in the fascist regime under Benito Mussolini.

Block Three: End of Spanish Empire & Spanish Civil War These lectures will examine two key historical events that have shaped Spanish contemporary history. Firstly, the necessary re-assessment of Spanish national identity after the loss of the remaining overseas colonies in the 1898 Spanish-American war. The tensions generated by the end of the empire would eventually result in the military coup of 1936 that led to the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), which will be the second key historical event to be studied.

Block Four: From National Socialism to the Cold War These sessions will begin by exploring the National Socialist dictatorship in Germany and the events of the Second World War, before assessing their impact on the subsequent shape of the world and examining the divisions of the Cold War. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the USSR mark the end of this period, and the beginning of a new world order. The seminars will examine examples of propaganda from both national socialist Germany and socialist East Germany, and discuss representations and media reports from both sides of the Cold War.

Block Five: Xinhai Revolution – The Founding of the Republic of China and The May Fourth Movement The first lecture in this series will help students to understand and reflect on Chinese civilisation and the Founding of the Republic of China through Chinese Revolution. The second session will explore a massive scale student protest, the May Fourth Movement (1919), which functions as a point of reference for China and is seen as a catalyst for the founding of the Chinese Communist Party.

Assessment Criteria

excellent

A- and above: For the award of the highest grade, students should demonstrate a detailed comprehension of the various topics studied, with a nuanced understanding of the correlations and interrelations highlighted, having also analysed and evaluated key sources thoroughly and sensitively. They will demonstrate a firm knowledge of the key historical events covered in the lecture series and have an in-depth understanding of the implications of these events for the evolution of European and Asian societies and cultures.

good

C- to B+: For the award of higher grades, students should demonstrate a sold comprehension of the various topics studied, with clear understanding of the correlations and interrelations highlighted, having also analysed and evaluated key sources. They will demonstrate a solid factual knowledge of the key historical events covered in the lecture series, and a good understanding of the implications of these events for the evolution of European and Asian societies and cultures.

threshold

D- to D+ : For the award of credit, students should demonstrate a satisfactory comprehension of the various topics studied, with some understanding of the correlations and interrelations highlighted. They will demonstrate a some factual knowledge of the key historical events covered in the lecture series, with limited understanding of the implications of these events for the evolution of European and Asian societies and cultures.

Learning outcomes

  1. Students will gain introductory knowledge of key historical events and how they impacted the world.

  2. Students will read texts in their target language of study.

  3. Students will develop their awareness of the interconnected nature of national histories.

  4. Students will gain an awareness of historical contexts which will enable them to situate cultural representations studied in second and final year.

  5. Students will be introduced to the skills of critical reading and analysis.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Written assignment, including essay Commentary 1 30
Written assignment, including essay Commentary 2 30
EXAM Exam 40

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study 178
Lecture

One lecture per week that will introduce students to the topic.

11
Seminar

Students will work on analysing primary sources related to the topic of the lecture for that week.

11

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  1. Students will have the ability to relate key historical data to the development of modern European and Asian cultures. The will develop an understanding of the interrelations between Europe, Asia and the rest of the world. (Benchmark statement: 5.7, 5.14)
  2. The ability to situate key events in European and Asian history and an understanding of foundational moments in the making of modernity. (Benchmark statement: 5.7, 5.10, 5.14)
  3. An awareness of the interconnectedness of national histories, and their ability to contextualise nation-based events in terms of the development of modern/contemporary culture, mentalities and value systems. (Benchmark statement 5.7, 5.10, 5.14)
  4. A firm knowledge of historical context through which they can begin to situate cultural representations studied in second and final year. (Benchmark statement: 5.10; 5.15)

Resources

Resource implications for students

These books are all available in the library

Talis Reading list

http://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/lxe-1700.html

Reading list

Alter, P., 2000. The German question and Europe: a history, London: Arnold. Balfour, Sebastian (1997) The End of the Spanish Empire, Oxford: Clarendon Press. Briggs, A., Clavin, P. & Briggs, A., 2003. Modern Europe, 1789-present 2nd ed., London: Pearson/Longman. Available at: http://bangor.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=1741873. Chow, Kai-wing, Tze-ki Hon, Hung-yok Ip, and Don C. Price, (2008) (eds.) Beyond the May Fourth Paradigm: In Search of Chinese Modernity. Lanham, MD: Lexington. Clark, M., 1984. Modern Italy, 1871-1982, London: Longman. Cobban, A., 1963. A history of modern France, Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books. Dillon, Michael (2009). Contemporary China: an introduction. London: Routledge Duggan, C., 2000 (2nd edition). A concise history of Italy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Fulbrook, M., 1997. German history since 1800, London: Arnold. Ginsborg, P., 1990. A history of contemporary Italy: society and politics, 1943-1988, London, England: Penguin Books. Graham, Helen (2002) The Spanish republic at war, 1936-1939, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Graham, Helen (2005) The Spanish Civil War: a very short introduction, Oxford; Oxford University Press. Hayes, P., 1992. Themes in modern European history, 1890-1945, London: Routledge. Available at: http://bangor.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=178383. Lamberton Harper, John, The Cold War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011) Mazower, M., 1999. Dark continent: Europe’s twentieth century, London: Penguin. Miller, Frederic P. & Agnes F. Vandome, John McBrewster, (2009). Xinhai Revolution. VDM Publishing House

Mitter, Rana (2008). Modern China: a very short introduction. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press Orwell, George (1938, c2013) Homage to Catalonia, London & New York: Penguin Classics. Pilbeam, P.M., 1995. Themes in modern European history, 1780-1830, London: Routledge. Available at: http://bangor.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=178384. Polley, M., 2000. A-Z of modern Europe since 1789, London: Routledge. Available at: http://bangor.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=140442. Price, R., 2014. A concise history of France Third edition., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Romero Salvadó, F.J., 1999. Twentieth-century Spain: politics and society in Spain, 1898-1998, New York: St. Martin’s Press. Russell, Jesse & Ronald Cohn, (2012). Xinhai Revolution. VSD publisher

Shubert, A. & Alvarez Junco, J., 2000. Spanish history since 1808, London: Arnold. Waller, B., 1992. Themes in modern European history, 1830-90, London: Routledge. Available at: http://bangor.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=169128. Wilkinson, Endymion Porter, (2015). Chinese history: a new manual. Massachusetts: Harvard University Asia Centre. Wright, G., 1995. France in modern times: from the Enlightenment to the present 5th ed., New York: W.W. Norton. Zhang, Dewang Xinbian (2009). wusi yundongshi. Harbin, China: Heilongjiang renmin chubanshe.

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: