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Unit information: Dealing with Defeat: the English and the Norman Conquest, since 1066 (Level H Reflective History) in 2018/19

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Unit name Dealing with Defeat: the English and the Norman Conquest, since 1066 (Level H Reflective History)
Unit code HIST30088
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Smith
Open unit status Not open




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


This unit will help students to reflect on the skills they have acquired during the course of their degree, and to think about how these skills can be applied. It does so by examining how English historians and artists from 1066 to the present have considered the Norman Conquest. The unit aims to help students develop their own views on this subject, through a rigorous analysis of the literature, and sustained use of primary sources. Throughout the unit, there will be an emphasis on the process of historical analysis, and students will be strongly encouraged to formulate and defend their own viewpoints.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to demonstrate:

(1) An advanced understanding of the trends in English historical thought about the Norman Conquest since 1066.

(2) An advanced understanding of the varied motivations of those who wrote about the subject.

(3) Skills to critically evaluate primary sources and scholarly theories related to interpretations of the Norman Conquest at a standard appropriate to level H/6.

(4) Skills in the researching and presentation of complex material at a standard appropriate to level H/6.

Teaching details

1 x two-hour seminar weekly

Assessment Details

2-hour exam (100%). [ILOs 1-4].

Reading and References

M. Bull, Thinking Medieval: An Introduction to the Study of the Middle Ages

J.W. Burrow, A Liberal Descent: Victorian Historians and the English Past (Cambridge, 1981)

J. Gillingham, The English in the Twelfth Century: Imperialism, National Identity and Political Values (Woodbridge, 2003)

H.A. MacDougall, Racial Myth in English History: Trojans, Teutons, and Anglo-Saxons (Montreal, 1982)

C.A. Simmons, Reversing the Conquest: History and Myth in Nineteenth-Century British Literature (New Brunswick, 1990)