HI5033 - Civilians and the Second World War

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What will I learn on this module?

In this module, you will learn about the civilian experiences of total warfare during the period of the Second World War (bearing in mind that exact dates of conflict and occupation vary from nation to nation). The class will take an international comparative approach, examining civilian experiences not just on the British ‘Home Front’ but also experiences in America, Germany, Japan, the Soviet Union as well the states under enemy occupation. The module will take a thematic rather than nation based approach to this area of study. Topics including bombardment, childhood, gender, work and labour, domestic life, internment, occupation, collaboration and resistance will all be explored internationally and comparatively. You will engage with a broad range of historical debates and concepts as well as engaging with a wide variety of primary materials including state propaganda, film, radio broadcasts, oral testimony, diaries, memoirs and archival material. This will equip you to think critically about both historiography and primary sources.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn on this module by attending lectures that present core concepts in the history of the civilian experience of the Second World War and the historiographical debates in the field. You will be expected to prepare for the weekly seminars by undertaking essential and recommended reading, and will build on your independent reading by presenting your ideas and arguments in seminar discussions with your peers. All learning materials, tasks and readings will be posted on the eLearning Portal (Blackboard) to enable participation within the seminar programme. You will participate in formative assessment activities and receive feedback, and will undertake both guided and independent learning. Summative assessment matches your learning against the learning outcomes for the module.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your academic development will be supported through engagement with your academic tutors, your peers and programme leaders. Academic support is provided through group/individual tutorials which allow specific issues to be addressed and to promote progress in academic development. The module tutor will be accessible within publicised office hours and via email. Your peers will provide you with a collaborative learning environment, and your programme leader will guide you through the requirements and expectations of your course. You will also be supported through individual engagement with the academic literature, lectures and resources available on the eLearning Portal. Formative feedback will be on-going throughout seminar activities and through assessment tasks.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Knowledge of civilian experiences of total warfare in the period of the Second World War
2. An understanding of the key ways historians have understood and conceptualised these experiences.
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. The transferable skills of analysis, interpretation and citation in written form as well as communication skills in presenting ideas and knowledge to others.
4. Demonstrate a capacity for close textual analysis and for communicating your thoughts via different forms of academic writing.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Think independently to judge between relevant historical arguments (including current historiographic positions) about the effect of total war upon the civilian population.

How will I be assessed?

Knowledge Exchange Project (50%) - Coursework based upon a student producing a means to communicate the results of historical research to a broader audience (e.g. a lesson plan, a poster, a newspaper article) and a critical evaluation of their chosen means of communication (MLOs 1-5)

Essay (50%) – 2,500-word essay using primary and secondary resources in response to questions set by module tutor (MLOs -1-5)


You will receive written feedback on your assignments and will also have the opportunity to see your module tutor for individual feedback tutorials. Feedback on your first summative assessment will allow you to improve on later ones.

Pre-requisite(s)

N/A

Co-requisite(s)

N/A

Module abstract

In this module, you will learn about the civilian experiences of total warfare during the period of the Second World War (bearing in mind that exact dates of conflict and occupation vary from nation to nation). The class will take an international comparative approach and will examine civilian experiences not just on the British ‘Home Front’ but also experiences in America, Germany Japan, the Soviet Union as well the states under enemy occupation. The module will take a thematic rather than nation based approach to this area of study. Topics including bombardment, childhood, gender, work and labour, domestic life, internment, occupation, collaboration and resistance will all be explored internationally and comparatively. You will engage with a broad range of historical debates and concepts as well as engaging with a wide variety of primary materials including state propaganda, film, radio broadcasts, oral testimony, diaries, memoirs and archival material.

Course info

UCAS Code T720

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

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