HS3T58-The Sixties: Politics and Culture in a Divided World

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

Module Convenor: Dr Matt Broad

Email: m.broad@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

Topics involve the study of specific periods, subjects or types of history. This topic aims to examine one of the twentieth century's most exciting but also historiographically debated decades, the 1960s.

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
acquire a detailed knowledge of the events through extensive reading in specialised literature
locate and assemble information on the subject by independent research
appraise critically the primary sources and historical interpretations of the subject
organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing, both under timed conditions and in assessed essays.

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.

Outline content:
The module will be taught over ten seminars which discuss the politics surrounding some of the major events of the Cold War, such as nuclear fear, the space race and America's protracted war in Indochina, as well as their representations in the media and popular culture. The module places a premium on considering the transnational politics of the so-called 'New Social Movements'. A temporal focus will be the year 1968 in comparative perspective (in the US, France and Czechoslovakia), as a culmination of the politics of the New Left and the failed attempts at reform in the eastern bloc. We shall also consider the hopes and failures of the counterculture, as well as the historiographiclal debates which have divided historians almost more than any other.
1. Bomb Culture: From the Cuban Missile Crisis to the Peace Movement
2. The Space Race: Science Fact versus Science Fiction
3. Beijing '66: Cultural Revolution and Maoism East and West
4. Vietnam: Winning and Losing Hearts and Minds
5. Chicago '68: The American New Left from Civil Rights to Civil Disobedience
6. Paris '68: Street Fighting and Street Theatre in the 'May Events'
7. Prague '68: Socialism with a Human Face and the Brezhnev Doctrine
8. Sex: First-Wave Feminism and the End of Censorship
9. Drugs: A Revolution in the Head?
10. Rock 'n' Roll: Music and Politics from Dylan to behind the Iron Curtain

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Seminars for which students must carry out full preparatory reading and research. Seminars rely on structured group discussion and may also include: seminar papers by students; discussion of evidence; team-based exercises and debates; study visit to a relevant location. Students are expected to carry out self-directed revision in the Summer term. 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 not more than 2,500 words, to be submitted via Blackboard and in hard copy to the History office, by 12 noon on the Friday of week 8 of the 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 3 examinations.

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

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Students who fail Part Three are permitted one further attempt at a resit in each module they have failed. Students who fail Part Three will no longer be eligible for an Honours Degree but, assuming the necessary threshold after the resit (normally an overall average of 35% or above) is achieved, students will obtain a Pass Degree. Where a re-sit is permitted, students will be assessed on the failed element(s) ONLY in August. These will be capped at a maximum mark of 40%. Any element(s) already passed will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Failed coursework must be re-submitted by 12 noon, on the last Friday of August.

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

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