The History of Now

Module code: V1367
Level 4
15 credits in spring semester
Teaching method: Seminar, Lecture
Assessment modes: Coursework

This module introduces first-year students to applied historiography. 

Historical memory is constantly contested, and this is no less true in today's society. Any research and debate on events and movements that attract public attention – from economic cycles to social trends and global conflicts – always relies heavily on a study of past events. In search either of roots and causes, or of continuities and differences, or just of lessons learned but then forgotten, history maintains a central role in the way we understand today's world. 

This module asks what can we learn about the present through our analysis of the past, and vice versa. The module will thus focus on the historical study of themes central to contemporary debates, analysing a range of their connections with the past and the different historiographical interpretations through which they can be explored. 

The module will also act as an introduction to historical methods and approaches. The module is structured around the key elements of historical research: primary research skills and methodology, historiography and analysis. These are applied to a variety of historical events and questions in order to help you come in contact with a variety of periods, sources, and schools of thought.

The focus is less on 'what is history?' and more on 'what is history for?'. By the end of the module you will thus have developed both a firm historical perspective on current affairs, and an awareness of historical methods and your own approach to history.

Module learning outcomes

  • Develop and refine his/her historical skills through working co-operatively to produce a group research project.
  • Develop key historical skills through working on the Skills portfolio.
  • Develop the art of communicating his/her research findings and constructing a coherent argument in a range of forums: in the essay, within the research group, within the seminar group, through the group presentation and in the skills portfolio.
  • Locate his/her own work within the wider context of historical practice.