The History of Now (V1367)

15 credits, Level 4

Spring teaching

Historical memory is constantly contested, and this is no less true in today's society. Our understanding of 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. Whether we are searching for roots and causes, or of continuities and differences, or just of lessons learned but then forgotten, history retains a central role in the way we understand today's world.

This module asks what we can learn about the present through our analysis of the past, and vice versa. The module will 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.

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


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay, Group presentation)

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 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: