HI6015 - Where Have All the Good Times Gone? Crisis and Change in Western Europe, 1965-1987

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What will I learn on this module?

The module covers a period of massive upheavals. Economic growth, the vibrancy of pop culture and the rise of student radicalism mean that the 1960s are widely perceived as an era of dynamism and vitality. By contrast, the 1970s seemed to be a time of ‘diminished expectations’ (Tony Judt). Economic stagnation went together with social tensions; meanwhile, radical activists were disappointed that a wholesale transformation of society and not occurred. You will study these developments and also be able to trace them well into the 1980s. The module familiarises you with the latest research on these three decades.

Four countries are the main focus for this module: West Germany, France, Italy and Britain. Yet, you will also get the chance to study events in other countries (e.g. Spain, Portugal and Greece) and be encouraged to consider broader international patterns (e.g. regarding the Cold War, immigration, youth culture, the international links of political activists, debates about the environment).

The module addresses various crises: from ‘divided memories’ regarding the legacies of war and fascism to youth rebellions; from left-wing terrorism to fears of a nuclear Armageddon. While this may sound bleak, another strand considers more positive changes: an increasing willingness to question authority, the cultural explosion of the Sixties as well as the fall of dictatorships in southern Europe. As a whole, the module familiarises you with a range of important political debates while also drawing attention to films, music and social movements.

How will I learn on this module?

The module breaks down into two major sections. The first part (‘Contexts’) addresses various issues surrounding culture and (national) identity. It thus provides you with the foundation for the second part (‘Changes’), which examines the efforts of groups and individuals that sought to effect social, cultural and political change at the national or international level.

The teaching is organised in two weekly blocks. The first session comprises an interactive lecture and a reflective exercise (involving group discussion). The second session is a seminar, based on the discussion of core readings as well as the analysis of key sources. Alongside textual sources, you will also be able to draw on visual and musical material. You will be expected to prepare for the weekly seminars by undertaking essential and recommended reading. You 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). You will be responsible for your own guided and independent learning but will receive feedback and further support from the module tutor. 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 the module tutor, engagement with your peers and through your programme leader. Your module tutor will offer tutorials, both for the preparation of your assignments and for feedback. In addition, you will be able to see the module tutor (for instance during the publicised feedback and consultation hours) and to raise questions 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. Feedback will be ongoing 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. Demonstrate a detailed understanding of key developments in Western Europe’s recent history.
2. Display in-depth knowledge of particular cultural, social or political phenomena (e.g. questions of national identity, challenges to the existing political order, different forms of cultural expression).
3. Show an ability to analyse developments in individual countries but also to organise a comparison involving two (or more) nations.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
4. Display mastery of various transferable skills (e.g. the synthesis of current scholarship, analysis and interpretation of evidence, the communication of your findings, citation).

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Demonstrate an awareness of historical issues that continue to have relevance in the contemporary world.

How will I be assessed?

You will write two 3,000-word essays that answer questions set by the tutor. Each of which will make up 50% of your mark (MLOs 1, 2, 4, 5). The first essay usually focuses on one specific country and deals with the material covered in the first part of the module. The second essay requires you to address and compare developments in at least two countries (MLO 3).

You will have the opportunity to present your work in the seminars and will receive formative feedback from your lecturer in classroom discussions, debates, and tutorial sessions. Formative assessment through your lecturer will be written and verbal, and you will also receive feedback through engagement with your peers. Feedback on your first summative assessment will allow you to improve on later ones.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code V100

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

Fee Information

Module Information

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