Strand Convenor: Dr Todd Weir.
Once largely relegated to church history, religion has emerged as a central concern for today’s historians, who see religion as a key element in the formation of national identities and modern social structures, in the history of ideas, and in the development of civil and international conflicts. Reflecting, in part, the importance of religion to the history of Ireland, the study of religion has long remained a focal point of historical research at Queen’s. MA students who join this strand will have the opportunity to work with scholars whose engagement with the religious dimension of identities and conflicts stretches from the medieval period to the present and from Africa, through Europe, to North America.
This MA consists of five modules:
1. Research Methods (MHY7020) Semester 1 (Sept-Dec)
This module offers an introduction to bibliographic research, archival usage, the handling of primary and secondary sources, methods of documenting research results and practical writing and editing skills, preparatory to the Dissertation. It also includes introduction to the more specialised methodologies associated with oral history, statistics and material culture. Training will be offered in using sources specific to your MA strand (British/American/British Intelligence History), and you will be encouraged to attend research seminars within the School to support this training, such as the American History Symposia and the annual 'Spyfest' conference. This module is assessed through a number of practical coursework exercises.
2. Historiography, with focus on Religion, Identity and Conflict (MHY7035) Semester 1 (Sept-Dec)
This is a two-part introduction to themes in global and area-specific historical theory and practice.
The first part, taught in common with all other Modern MA History, introduces you to developments in contemporary international historiographies, and includes topics such as memory and orality, new cultural histories, postcolonialism and postmodernism.
In the second part the strand, students will focus on recent historiographical developments in the subject of Religion, Identity and Culture in Ireland, the UK, America and elsewhere in the world - looking at Max Weber, secularization, gobalisation, etc.
This module is assessed through two research essays of c 3,000 words.
3. Topics in Religion, Identity and Conflict (MHY7080) Semester 2 (Jan-June)
This module explores the role played by religion in various forms and modes of historical conflict and identity, from the rise of Reformation to the global age, in Europe and the World. It looks at how religious convictions have intersected and interacted with the historical dynamic, how it fostered social, cultural, and political discord as well as acted as a mediator and a mitigater for peace. Topics include the Meddieval Jewry, the Varieties of Reformation, Puritanism and Evangelicalism, Religious globalisation, Catholic missionaries, conversion, and American evangelicalism.a
The module is assessed through research essays and/or skills assessments.
4. Historical Documents and Sources (MHY7025) Semester 2 (Jan-June)
In this module students will be introduced to techniques of calendaring, indexing and locating primary-source documents. Students may produce either a calendar of previously uncatalogued documents, a finding aid to primary sources on a defined theme available locally, or a database drawn from primary sources. Training will be provided by QUB Special Collections and the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, but relevant materials might also be utilised from other libraries and depositories.
American History strand students are encouraged to undertake a project based on the primary sources for US history held at Queen's. Students will have access to a significant range of press sources and a collection of documents relating to the history of the modern American south. You will be encouraged to select a set of documents related to your proposed dissertation topic for this exercise.
Assessment is by calendar, finding aid or database, in all cases prefaced by a 5,000 word introductory essay. You will be encouraged to deposit your finished (and corrected) work for public consultation at the relevant archive or library.
An individually negotiated topic (MHY7011) may be made available by agreement with the course co-ordinator to accommodate students with research interests outside these areas.
Public History Internship (MHY7077) Semester 2 (Jan-June)
This module is provided as an alternative to MHY7025 (Historical Documents and Sources). Students studying for an MA in Modern or Irish History will be offered an opportunity to undertake an internship in public history in a local cultural institution during semester 2. This aims to allow students relate their academic studies to a practical setting and to give them some experience of a work-place environment. More details >>
5. Dissertation (MHY7010: Double module)
The MA or strand co-ordinator will encourage you to identify your dissertation proposal and arrange a suitable supervisor to advise on research and writing. The dissertation must not exceed 20,000 words in total length, be drawn from primary sources, and have a suitable scholarly apparatus. Full-time students must submit their dissertation by mid September. Dissertations will be supervised by academic staff with research interests related to your chosen MA strand. Candidates who pass the assessment for the four taught modules but who fail to submit a dissertation, or who submit an unsatisfactory dissertation, may be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma.
Part-time students take MHY7035 (semester 1) and MHY7080 (semester 2) in their first year; MHY7020 (semester 1) and MHY7025/MHY7077 (semester 2) in their second year, and submit their dissertation (MHY7010) by 1 May in their third year (a total study period of 31 months).
Applicants are requested to specify which of these strands they intend to follow in the 'Additional Information' section of the Postgraduate Application form for MA Modern History.
"The Religion, Identity and conflict strand is excellent. The incorporation of a rigorous examination of a number of study areas, along with robust and edifying teaching, allowed for an immensely rewarding and enormously enjoyable experience. By the conclusion of each topic we were in its enthral. The programme provided an enriching and stimulating investigation of the key areas covered, but also promoted the cultivation of a plethora of key historical skills that are applicable to both further academic study, as well as the world of work. The staff are considerably welcoming and take a clear interest in the academic advancement of their students. I had high expectations entering this course, but they were by far exceeded. I highly recommend this exceptional Modern History strand."
- Gareth Burnett, class of 2012-13