HST117: The Making of the Twentieth Century
20 credits (semester 2)
This course looks back at key developments in the political, social and cultural history of the twentieth century. Its aim is to broaden students´ views of twentieth-century history by highlighting the ways in which barbarism and civilising forces went hand in hand in forging twentieth-century history. Rather than proceeding purely chronologically, this module focuses on a series of key themes that have shaped twentieth-century history, such as, for example, globalisation and fragmentation; revolutions; the political, social and cultural history of war; and democracy and mass politics. Each topic is introduced by a series of four lectures given by a subject specialist. An accompanying seminar programme allows for the in-depth discussion of specific issues and case studies.
Teaching and Assessment
The course will be taught through twice-weekly lectures and compulsory weekly seminars. Further guidance is provided in the module course booklet, available through MOLE.
Information on assessment can be found at: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/history/current_students/undergraduate/assessment/level1
There is no single textbook for this course that deals with all the issues discussed. Eric Hobsbawm, Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century, 1914-1991 (London, Abacus, 2000) is probably the best one-volume introduction.
Two paperback volumes are recommended as introductory and reference works for the module:
- Richard W. Bulliet, Columbia History of the Twentieth Century (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998) (recommended)
- Michael Howard and William Roger Louis ed., The Oxford History of the Twentieth Century (Oxford, 2000) (recommended)
Other texts which might be of some use in studying the period include:
- Mark Mazower, Dark Continent (London, 1999)
- David Reynolds, One World Divisible: A Global History since 1945 (London, 2000)
- J. M. Roberts, A History of the Twentieth Century (London, 2000)
- Bernard Wasserstein, Barbarism and Civilization. A History of Europe in Our Time (Oxford, 2007)
Intended Learning Outcomes
Students who complete this module will have developed:
- A nuanced understanding of the broad forces that shaped the history of the twentieth century;
- Their ability to present material in weekly seminars and participate in informed debate with peers and tutor;
- Their ability to master basic research and writing skills in researching and writing informed, well-structured analytical essays on key topics;
- Their ability to use various forms of information technology for academic purposes;
- Their ability to analyse short extracts from primary documents and critically to evaluate secondary works on related topics;
- Their ability to write informed and cogent essays under pressure of time.