Component

MA Public Opinion and Political Behaviour
BA History with Film Studies options

Year 2, Component 04

History option(s)
HR205-5-AU
Multicultural Britain: A History
(15 CREDITS)

Britain is a diverse, multicultural society. Yet traditional histories of Britain often ignore the fact that British society has been remade and its culture enriched by people from a wide variety of different cultures, communities and backgrounds. The module will examine how 'race' became a defining concept for understanding British society, how mass immigration transformed concept of Britishness, and how Black, Asian and other ethnic minorities had to fight in order to exercise their rights as British citizens. It will also examine the history of Europeans in Britain throughout the twentieth century, from anxieties about Jewish immigration in the 1900s, to uncertain welcome afforded to refugees and migrant workers in the 1930s and 1940s, and finally to contemporary debates about the EU and 'Brexit'. This is a module that focuses on the agency and experience of the people in Multicultural Britain as much as on their interactions with power, while never downplaying the enormous impact of racism and xenophobia. It highlights the diverse range of cultural experiences which make up the fabric of British history. Finally, it makes clear that understanding the history of multiculturalism also requires an understanding of its intersections with race, gender, and sexuality. Multiculturalism in Britain has not gone uncontested, but it is made Britain what it is today.

HR214-5-SP
The Social and Cultural History of the First World War
(15 CREDITS)

The First World War was one of the most significant thresholds in modern history. It changed European politics and societies profoundly, and had social and cultural repercussions on a global scale. This module looks beyond the traditional foci of 1914-1918, because the war was not only fought on the Western front, but also in Eastern Europe where it fomented civil wars and wars between newly established nation states. There, fighting came to an end only in the early 1920s and often gave birth to Fascism and Totalitarianism. Since the First World War was the first "industrial" or "total" war, the module will go beyond traditional military and political factors, rather addressing the new culture of war and politics and emphasising questions of social, economic, and cultural change.

HR220-5-SP
The Making of Modern Brazil (Twentieth Century)
(15 CREDITS)

Brazil is a land of contrasts. It’s a country with extreme social inequality as well as having an amazing capacity to integrate different cultures. Today it is asserting itself as a key player in international politics. You’ll receive an introduction to the political and social history of the Brazilian Republic from the overthrow of the Empire (1889) to the democratic transition following the military dictatorship (1964-85). The main focus of this module will be on the social movements in this period.

HR222-5-SP
Public History Project
(15 CREDITS)

This module gives you a unique opportunity to apply your historical knowledge and research skills to help Colchester Castle Museum connect their collections with the communities that they serve. You will work with Colchester & Ipswich Museum Service’s curatorial team and get a unique behind the scenes look at the work of an important museum. This will give you a valuable insight into the way in which heritage organisations share the material culture of the past with the public of today. We will examine the ways in which curators use objects to tell stories in exhibitions and permanent displays and think critically about the way this has changed over time. You will work as a team to create a virtual exhibition using objects and images from the Colchester Museums collection, including countless things that have never been seen by the public. Working to a theme set by the curators, you will each choose an object from the collection, and use your primary source analysis and research skills to interpret it. Your individual objects and interpretations will be combined into an interactive online exhibition.

HR226-5-AU
China: The Long Twentieth Century
(15 CREDITS)

This module is a gateway to introduce you to an interdisciplinary approach to China and Chinese history, and you’ll examine significant and complex issues in its modern history. We examine materials that deal with the historical, political, social, and artistic aspects of famous sites and phenomenon, such as Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall and the Yellow River, in order to understand modern China at its politico-cultural core, in its relations with the outside world, its symbolic function in the new global order, as well as its path to modernisation.

HR229-5-SP
Resistance and Rebellion in the World of Atlantic Slavery
(15 CREDITS)

Where there was slavery, there was resistance. In most cases, the resistance was covert, but instances of open rebellion were surprisingly common. In this module you’ll examine the phenomenon of slave resistance in the Atlantic World from ca. 1522 (the first recorded rebellion by enslaved Africans in the Americas) to 1888, when slavery was finally abolished in Brazil.

HR230-5-AU
Pandemics: Lessons from History
(15 CREDITS)

This module is an urgent response to a contemporary crisis: the COVID pandemic that has affected all of us. It focuses upon six great pandemics – bubonic plague (the so-called 'Black Death'), small pox, cholera, the Great Flu, HIV/Aids – exploring their histories, how they were responded to, and how they shaped the societies that fell victim to them. The module implicitly considers the COVID pandemic through which we are living and places it within the framework developed by the module. Throughout, you are required to explore how pandemics are an unforgiving searchlight into the nature of the societies that they strike, exposing weaknesses and strengths, the nature of divisions, as well as manifold political, economic, social and cultural phenomena. Some of these have been disturbingly constant: for example, the blaming and persecution of out-groups (Jews during the Black Death, gays and African minorities during the AIDS epidemic); or the use of the crises to engineer restructurings and policies desired by the powerful. Other phenomena disclose a more hopeful pattern: forms of cooperation, solidarity and action which take different forms in different societies and periods, but which all point towards a desire to ensure collective survival and understanding.

HR251-5-SP
Life in the Three Kingdoms: Societies and cultures in early modern Britain and Ireland
(15 CREDITS)

The early modern British Isles were home to four, or even five, nations, six languages, and peoples with vastly differing cultures. You examine the clashes between these different cultures and their hostile perceptions of each other, the different languages and why some survived whilst others disappeared, the conceptions of honour and status, the different ways of maintaining law and order, and the basic social unit of the early modern British Isles: the family.

HR270-5-AU
Sex, War and Class at the Movies: 1930-1960
(15 CREDITS)

You explore the relationship between cinema and society in Britain from the interwar depression, through the Second World War and the onset of affluence and mass-consumerism in the 1950s and 60s, to the rise of Thatcherism and the collapse of the 'post-war settlement'. You examine classes and cultures in relation to the lived history of the period, in order to track what they both reveal and conceal about the historical processes which transformed Britain during the 20th century.

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