Module Convenors: Dr James Davis, Professor Catherine Clinton, Dr Danny Kowalsky & Dr Anthony Stanonis
This ambitious module seeks to engage students with important debates about historical truth and ‘contested pasts’. Students will learn to engage with and discuss potentially sensitive issues, such as the crusades, slavery, and genocide, in a respectful and thoughtful manner. They will explore the assumptions made about these notable historical topics and develop a more sophisticated and empathetic approach to the debates. A significant aspect of the module will explore how such history is presented to the public through such media as museum exhibitions, websites, and documentaries. Students will examine the potential opportunities and problems involved with presenting controversial historical topics to a popular audience. In researching and presenting their ideas, they will be encouraged to develop their teamwork and communication skills.
The first part of the module will be based around a series of lectures and two-hour tutorials, in which certain themes and topics will be discussed. In addition, primary source material (in translation) and examples of ‘public history’ will be provided for the weekly tutorial so that specific historical issues can be examined in depth. Discussions will be based around lectures, specified reading, online tutorial journals, primary sources and examples of public history. It is important that all students read the specified texts before each tutorial. The second part of the module will provide an opportunity for students, in groups, to develop a ‘public history’ project proposal and a formal presentation. You will also be exploring broader issues regarding the concept and reception of history.
Two 1-hour lectures per week; one 2-hour tutorial per week.