HS2P86-Period in Modern History: Warrior Nation: Prussia and Germany, 1740-1945

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:5
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Prof Patrick Major

Email: p.major@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

Aims:
Periods involve the study of substantial chronological periods. They aim to acquaint students with the causes and consequences of continuity and change over the long term in the political, social, economic and cultural systems under study. Periods are distinguished as Medieval, Early Modern or Modern.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:

  • identify and explain the main issues and events studied
  • appraise critically the primary sources and historical interpretations of the subject
  • think comparatively about aspects of British, European or American history over a substantial period
  • assess the nature of social, economic, political and cultural change
  • organise material and articulate arguments effectively in different kinds of written exercises and orally
  • locate and assemble bibliographic and other information by independent research, using IT as appropriate

Additional outcomes:
The module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and the student’s effectiveness in group situations. Students will also develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources and databases.

Outline content:
This module traces the expansion of Prussia from the Seven Years’ War of the mid-eighteenth century, the partition of Poland, through the wars of liberation against Napoleon, culminating at Waterloo, and on to Berlin’s push under Bismarck towards German unification in the 1860s. Was the Prusso-German military, and its pioneering General Staff – feared by some, admired by others – a modernising or backward force? Was Imperial German society, where duelling persisted into the twentieth century, militaristic? How did popular culture present the nation in the age of great power rivalry with Britain? The module also explores the metamorphosis of German nationalism from an emancipatory, liberal force in the earlier nineteenth century, to a doctrine of racialised xenophobia and imperialism. The heart of the module explores the practices of German expansionism in two world wars, comparing the experiences of the fighting and home fronts, from the mass slaughter of Verdun to the barricades of Berlin; from the Nazi war of annihilation on the eastern front to the aerial destruction of Hamburg and Dresden. The module places a particular focus on how monuments and films have dealt with Germany’s problematic legacy of war.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Seminars, requiring preparatory reading and investigation, may include informal and interactive presentations by the module teacher; structured group discussion; short seminar papers by students; occasional tutorials; team-based simulation exercises and debates; examination of primary and secondary sources, as appropriate. Staff will be available for consultation as necessary


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 30
Project Supervision 1
Guided independent study 169
       
Total hours by term 200.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 67
Written assignment including essay 33

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will write ONE essay of 2,500 words, to be submitted electronically via Blackboard and in hard copy to the History office by 12 noon on the Monday of week 8 of term.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One two-hour paper requiring two answers to be taken at the time of the Part 2 examinations.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Where a re-sit is permitted, students will be assessed on the failed element(s) only in August. Any element(s) already passed will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Any element which is re-sat in August is capped at 40%. Failed coursework must be re-submitted by 12 noon, on the last Friday of August.

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

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