A negotiated assessment, which takes one of several forms: for example a 10-12,000 word dissertation, a historical project in partnership with an outside organisation, or a product resulting from a work placement scheme (e.g. a museum).
Unit choice 2 - Ancient History
You will choose at least two units from the following options. Typically Ancient History students will take all three.
The World of Graeco-Roman Egypt
This unit offers students one of the ancient world’s greatest civilizations, under the rule of another: Egypt in the Roman empire. Egypt’s history of great pyramids, temples and pharaohs lived on in its culture and politics and, by the time Augustus annexed it onto the Roman Empire in 31BCE, its population was more culturally and ethnically diverse than ever before. Egypt’s unique papyrological and archaeological sources provide a window through which we can observe social, economic, political and cultural processes up to the Coptic and monastic Christian communities -- from the 1stto the 5th centuries CE. We will study a range of papyri (translated into English), visual, monumental and literary evidence for everyday life and interaction between social groups and the Roman State. Through Roman Egypt you will explore central themes in ancient history: death, cultural interactions, the city, social status, sex and sexuality, economy, religion, magic and medicine, gender, the body, Christianity and monasticism. We will touch on the related disciplines of papyrology and Egyptology, incorporating visits to the Egypt collection at Manchester Museum and the papyrus collection at John Rylands Library, Deansgate – for tours and talks from colleagues working with the material at those sites.
Romans and Barbarians: The Roman Empire in Western Europe
This course explores the complex and fascinating world of Rome and its ‘barbarian’ neighbours from the early days of the Republic to the fall of the Roman Empire in the West. Looking at the politics, warfare, trade and social life of the Empire, both in Rome and the Western provinces as they were conquered and developed over four centuries.
Warrior Societies: War and Combat in Classical Greece
This course explores the harsh and violent societies of Classical Greece, focusing particularly on her two leading city-states, militaristic Sparta and democratic Athens, as well as the long and bloody wars they waged against each other for control of Greece and Asia Minor. We will learn how Greek warriors, who survived, indeed thrived, in one of the harshest geo-political environments known to history, fought, thought and lived. We’ll join them in combat against the Persians, against the Macedonians, against the Egyptians, and of course, against each other. We’ll see how war shaped Classical Greece, how it informed politics, gender relations, and religion. Finally, by the end of the course, we’ll discover how the Greek way of war, conceived in the crucible of classical Greece, remains very much alive, and how it continues to shape not only the organisation of modern Western armies, but also how they fight.
Apocalypse Now? The End of the World in the West 1640 Present
This unit examines the development of apocalyptic worldviews in Britain and the United States from the 1640s to the present, and their impact on politics, warfare, religion and popular culture.
History and the Politics of Belonging
The purpose of the unit is to enable you to understand and engage with debates about citizenship and belonging within modern society. You will consider a variety of theoretical approaches to the study of citizenship, investigate how identities of citizenship intersect with those of nation, race, class, and gender, and examine historical case studies that illuminate the practice of citizenship in Europe, the United States, and the wider world. You will also explore the potential ways immigration, multiculturalism, ideas of post-nationalism, globalisation and glocalization may be transforming our understanding of citizenship, especially by detaching the concept from an exclusive grounding in the nation-state.
The Motor Car and British Society
This unit considers the role of the motor car and associated industries in the major social, cultural and political changes in Britain in the twentieth century. It discusses how the motor car moved from reviled plaything of the rich to a mass produced banality. In doing so, there are likely to be five thematic blocks: motoring for the few in a changing society; making and driving cars; mass motoring; motoring and the built environment; pollution, environment and looking to the future.
Wars Without End: Civil Wars and Revolutions in the Twentieth Century
The unit will consist of chronologically-ordered case studies, with a broad scope addressing different geographical areas, and events related to the phenomena of civil war and revolution through 20th Century history. The syllabus will be flexible to allow for the future incorporation of new advancements in the area, but indicative content might include the Mexican and Cuban revolutions, Ireland 1916, the Russian, Spanish and Greek civil wars, the cultural revolution in China, the Prague Spring, Berlin 1989, revolutionary Iran. With a particular focus on the connections between civil war and revolution, the course will provide students with the opportunity to explore the possibilities of comparative history for a better and more nuanced understanding of the past. The unit will allow for the identification of similarities, differences and transnational connections among different events and nations.
A Queer History of the Twentieth Century
This unit asks: how have the experiences, interpretations and self-understandings of gays and lesbians changed since 1900?
By placing queer sexualities in their relevant social and political context, this unit offers an excellent example of how historical change operates in both a 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' manner. You will learn that queer history, and more widely, histories of sexuality and gender, is no niche matter, but a field that can open windows onto central issues of twentieth century history. For example, we will consider: the consequences of urbanisation and rising affluence; the role of World War on community formation; the appeal of nationalism; the changing roles of science and medicine; how sexual 'deviance' came to be associated with both communism and fascism; the relationship between commerce and politics; the rise of human rights, and the impact of globalisation.
A Womens History of North America: From Pocahontas to Present Day
This unit studies a women's history of North America from colonial times up to present day. It will explore the diversity of women's lives in the context of key events, issues and themes such as slavery, war and social reform movements.
War, Welfare and Depression: Social Change in Britain, 1921-1951
This course explores social, cultural and political change during one of the most pivotal moments in the history of modern Britain. You will begin in the great depression, an age of austerity where unemployment, poverty and political turbulence dominated, yet also where many were more affluent than they had ever been. As well as considering this paradox, you will look at the inter-war economy, living standards, health, and the social and psychological consequences of depression. You will then spend a large part of the course examining the impact of the Second World War domestically, in particular, the social and cultural changes it brought about. The course concludes with an examination of post-war British society. You will consider the issues of planning a post-war world, assessing both physical and social reconstruction and the introduction of the welfare state.
Revolutions in Britain and France, 1660-1815
This unit will compare these two revolutionary events, as well as the period in between known as the Enlightenment, in an effort to understand how and why European society went through such rapid and sometimes violent change, and how it might still affect our world today. The first half of this unit looks in detail at the development of contrasting forms of government in England and France: the myths and realities of absolutism under Louis XIV, and the rise of limited monarchy and political parties under the late Stuarts. The second half of the unit focuses on reactions to these changes in both Britain and France, including the convulsions of the middle of the century that led to both countries losing influence in North America. The final weeks will be devoted to the French Revolution itself, the shift from a moderate to a radical revolution, the creation of the First Republic, the reactions of the British establishment, and the emergence of the dictatorship of Napoleon Bonaparte.
A Special Relationship? The United States and Britain in the Twentieth Century
Commentators have often observed that the United States and Great Britain have a `Special Relationship', but what do they mean by this and has it ever been true during the twentieth century? The period witnessed seismic shifts in the balance of world power and dramatic change in the relative position of the United States and Great Britain to each other and to other nations. The course tracks the course of diplomatic, political and military relations between the two countries from the rapprochement of the late nineteenth century, through the period of the two Worlds Wars, to the Cold War and beyond.
The Crusades 1095-1291
This unit explores the origins, growth and diversity of the crusading movement and the concomitant rise and success of the Levantine Jihad. For nearly two centuries after the preaching of the First Crusade, an innumerable range of people journeyed to, and settled in Syria and Palestine with the main aim of protecting the sacred shrines of Christianity from the `infidel'. Faith, pilgrimage and the sacrality of Jerusalem were key aspects of the ideology of the crusading movement, as were notions of Holy and Just Wars, yet power politics and the desire for land and wealth played their part. From kings and emperors to `marginalised' groups such as women, children and the poor went on crusade in vast, unknowable numbers. Muslims, Jews, and Eastern and Western Christians found themselves in closer contact with each other. The result was a movement that was at the very centre of the medieval world, that not only touched the lives of the ancestors of everyone of European descent, but that also saw a number of diverse worlds and communities interacting with each other and forming new and fascinating types of relationships that throw a great deal of light on the modern day relations between eastern and western societies.
The Wars of the Roses
This course looks at the civil war in England between the houses of York and Lancaster from c.1455-1485, and the rise of the Tudor claimant to the throne, the future Henry VII. Charting the rise and fall of the Lancastrians, the origins and impacts of the wars and the contribution of women to the Wars.
Latin American Politics
This unit offers both a historical background to, and analysis of, contemporary Latin American politics. The unit is in 2 sections -the first offers discussion of the institutions, processes and key factors which influence Latin American politics and the second offers in-depth analysis of individual Latin American countries.
Prohibition to the Swinging Sixties: American Society and Culture 1918-1969
You will focus on the social and cultural history of the United States since the First World War, especially 1918-1969, based on in-depth analysis of primary sources. You will cover topics like the Ku Klux Klan; prohibition and the link to crime and the rise of the gangster; the Great Crash of 1929; urban America; music from jazz to psychedelic rock; campaigns for rights for blacks, Native Americans and women; and US involvement in the Second World War, Korea and the Vietnam War.
Holocaust: The Destruction of European Jewry
A study of Nazi persecution of the Jews between 1933 and 1945, it includes the decision-making process, the switch to genocide, the mentality of the killers, Jewish responses and the role of rescuers.
Youth in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
This unit covers an introduction to the history of youth in Britain, from 1800 to the 1990s. A range of topics are explored through case studies, key readings and primary materials. It will introduce students to various historiographical debates and the theoretical problems of defining youth and adolescence. Themes explored include images of youth and changing ideas of adolescence; Victorian and Edwardian youth culture; courtship and sexual relationships; gender differences; schooling; uniformed youth movements; moral panics; gangs and delinquency; the inter-war expansion of leisure culture and growth of the commercial youth market; post-war sub-cultures and popular music; youth culture and Americanization; debates over the emergence of the first 'teenagers'; the generation gap; youth rebellion and counter-cultures; 'race', ethnicity and youth; changing media representations; the lengthening of adolescence.
Tudor England: 1485-1603
This unit combines a detailed study of Tudor history through a range of primary sources. You will cover a range of key themes and developments in Tudor England, while gaining an appreciation of the primary sources upon which recent historiography is based. You will use a number of primary documents, provided by the tutor, to explore a number of key topics including: Henry VII and the end of the wars of the roses; Henrician Reformation; acephalous politics; nation building in Tudor England; the gloriana cult; renaissance 'self-fashioning'; Mary I and the Spanish empire.
The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union, 1917-1991
This unit examines the Bolshevik Revolution, the creation and development of soviet socialism and the collapse of the USSR. It covers topics such as Lenin and the Bolsheviks, the October-November 1917 revolution, the creation of the soviet state, the USSR as a revolutionary society, the debates and power struggles in the 1920s, Stalin and Stalinism, De-Stalinisation, Soviet society, Neo-Stalinism and Stagnation, Gorbachev and Perestroika, explaining the end of the USSR.
Edwardian Britain and the First World War
This unit examines the state of Edwardian society and politics. This is followed by a study of the Great War itself and the various ways in which it impacted on Britain.
Cold War Mentalities
The unit explores the 'home fronts' of the Cold War in the 1950s showing how the conflict impacted on society, culture and mentalities. It seeks to explore the ways in which the Cold War made an impact on society, popular culture, gender and sexuality in both East and West.
The Cold War, 1945-1991
This unit examines the causes, nature and impact of the Cold War between the two superpowers, the USA and the USSR, from the end of World War II to the collapse of the USSR. Topics include: the origins of the Cold War; the Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam conferences, the Atomic bomb and the arms race; the two superpowers and their allies; the Korean War; the Cuban Missile Crisis; Ostpolitik and Détente; the New (Second) Cold War; Superpower rivalry in the 1970s and 1980s; Reagan and the Evil Empire; Gorbachev and his New Thinking on foreign policy; the end of the Cold War.
British India, 1757-1947: a Conquest and its Consequences
A study of the history of British India (1757 to 1947) including Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Burma (Myanmar) in the context of the British Empire, covering both major events in a chronological order and selected important general themes.