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Unit information: War and Society in 2014/15

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Unit name War and Society
Unit code HIST20035
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Cervantes
Open unit status Open




School/department Department of History (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The unit will explore how Western Society has responded to warfare. Themes such as the effects of warfare on society, politics and culture will be analysed through a selection of case studies in order to gauge the various effects of war on different groups, ranging from those who waged it, to those who fought in it, endured it, or needed to come to terms with its aftermath. The unit will thus provide an introduction to particular perspectives from which the history of the relationship between society, politics and culture can be approached, while enabling students to critique perspectives within the relevant secondary literature and to develop skills in primary source location and analysis.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will have developed 1. a wider historical knowledge of the interaction between war and social, political and cultural development; 2. a deeper awareness of how to approach a long term historical analysis; 3. the ability to set individual issues within their longer term historical context; 4. the ability to analyse and generalise about issues of continuity and change; 5. the ability to select pertinent evidence/data in order to illustrate/demonstrate more general historical points; 6. the ability to derive benefit from and contribute effectively to large group discussion; 7. the ability to identify a particular academic interpretation, evaluate it critically and form an individual viewpoint; 8. the acquisition of key writing, research, and presentation skills.

Teaching details

1 x 2-hour interactive lecture per week.

Assessment Details

One summative coursework essay of 3000 words (50%) and one unseen examination of two hours comprising 2 questions out of 8 (50%).

Reading and References

Brandon, L. (2012) Art and War. London: I.B. Tauris Hennessy, Peter (2002) The Secret State. London: Penguin. Morgan, K.O. (1999) The People’s Peace. Oxford: O.U.P. Parker, R.A.C. (1993) Chamberlain and Appeasement: British Policy and the Coming of the Second World War. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. Ramsden, J. (1996) The Age of Churchill and Eden, 1940-1957. London: Harper Collins. Reeves, Nicholas (1999) The Power of Film Propaganda. London: Cassell.