History Thematic Course: Gender, War and Empire in the Twentieth Century

Module code: V1453
Level 6
30 credits in spring semester
Teaching method: Seminar, Lecture
Assessment modes: Coursework

This module offers a comparative and trans-national investigation into how armed conflict dramatizes broader changes relating to gender and race. In particular, it addresses how far the two world wars transformed the relationship between men and women, and between Europe and the non-European world.

Using the rubric of ‘empire’, you de-centre and de-familiarize prevailing narratives of 1914–1918 and 1939–1945 – not least those concerned with women’s emancipation. Broad questions are approached through focused case studies, for example:

  • masculinity, ‘whiteness’ and shell shock
  • sexual freedom and objectification in the wartime ‘pin-up’
  • Islam and the British empire 1914–1945
  • Japanese imperialism and Asian nationalism, 1931–1945.

Module learning outcomes

  • Evaluate a historical question thematically.
  • Compare and contrast a situation in different social and historical settings using a variety of source materials, and locate their analysis and conceptual awareness within an overall understanding of historical chronology.
  • Successfully produce a 4,000 word essay, which tests the above skills and requires more sustained analysis than in any previous exercise.