Special Subject: Paying for the Past: Reparations and Restitution in Global Context Part B (V1478B)

15 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

How to address past injustices is one of the key questions of the day. Frequently, victims of historical harm and their descendants ask for material and symbolic compensation as well as a say in how today’s societies narrate and frame these past events. Research on compensation for victims of historical injustice has become increasingly important to both politics and to historians, often representing conflicting assessments of the epistemological significance of the concept of reparation and restitution. While for some settling disturbing issues of the past through reparations is a means of creating a future of common values, for others the actual trend toward reparation is seen as a symptom for the loss of universalistic ideals that foster particularism and potential frictions. Focusing on different case studies (Germany, South Africa, United States, among others) we will explore the multifaceted political and social meanings of coming to terms with an unwanted past.


100%: Seminar


50%: Coursework (Essay)
50%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2022/23. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: