Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 16 x 1 hour
Seminars / Tutorials 8 x 1 hour


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 1000 word book review  10%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2500 word essay  40%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   1 x 2 hour examination  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Evaluate competing arguments about broad patterns of memory of the Second World War
2. Critically discuss different theoretical perspectives on `collective memory?
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the salience and significance of war memory in different national contexts
4. Evaluate representations of the Second World War in a range of different media
5. Identify and discuss relationships between those representations and political, social and cultural processes
6. Critically discuss the relationships between war memory and national identity
7. Demonstrate an ability to apply different theoretical perspectives to representations of the Second World War
8. Evaluate the contemporary significance of representations of the Second World War

Brief description

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of contemporary debates around the `collective memory' of the Second World War. It will explore representations of the war in a range of different media, including historiography, film, literature, political rhetoric and practice, and memorials, and in different national contexts, from western and eastern Europe to the United States and Asia. It will analyze how those representations have served to ground diverse political and cultural projects, and in particular how `collective memory' of the war has been implicated in the negotiation of national identity. It will also consider how far and in what respects the war remains `meaningful' today.



1. The Long Second World War
2. Memory, Collective Memory, Counter Memory
3. The Vichy Syndrome
4. From Year Zero to the Historikerstreit
5. German Memory after Unification
6. Holocaust: Nuremberg to Schindler's List
7. Holocaust: Ubiquity and Denial
8. The Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union
9. Anti-Fascism and the Italian Republic
10. Great Britain: the People's War?
11. America's Greatest Generation?
12. Japan's Dark Valley
13. China's War of Resistance
14. Yugoslavia: from War to War
15. Divided Memory in Contemporary Europe
16. 1985 - 1995 - 2005 - ?

1. The Sorrow and the Pity
2. Crabwalk
3. Auschwitz-Birkenau
4. The Irving Trial
5. The Myth of the Blitz
6. The Enola Gay
7. Yugoslav Metaphor Wars
8. Saving Private Ryan


This module explores the `collective memory' of the Second World War in a wide range of national contexts and from a number of different theoretical perspectives. It will allow students to gain specialist knowledge of contemporary debates in the burgeoning field of the `collective memory' of war, and of the Second World War in particular.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to assert themselves to advantage. They will understand the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to the best advantage. They will learn to be clear in their writing and speaking and to be direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. Seminars will be run in groups where oral discussion and presentations will form the main medium of teaching and the emphasis throughout the module will be on student participation and communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context in which support and assistance is available from both the convenor and the fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources, compiling reading lists, and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their coursework and presentation topics. The need to conduct a seminar presentation and to meet coursework deadlines will focus students' attention on the need to manage their time and opportunity resources well.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources (such as Web of Science and OCLC). Students will also be expected to make use of the resources that will be available on the Blackboard VLE.
Personal Development and Career planning The discussions in particular will help to develop students' verbal and presentation skills. Learning about the process of planning coursework and a presentation, framing the parameters of the projects, honing and developing the projects and seeing them through to completion will contribute towards students' portfolios of transferable skills.
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one of the central goals of the module; the submission of coursework will require that students develop independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The need to research and prepare seminar presentations will also enable students to develop independent project skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and estimate an answer to the problem; consider extreme cases; reason logically; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems. A final examination will ensure that an assessment of students' ability to work alone can be undertaken.
Research skills The submission of coursework will reflect the independent research skills of students. The need to locate appropriate research resources and write up the results will also facilitate research skills. Research preparation for a seminar presentation will also enable students to develop independent project skills. A final examination will ensure that an assessment of students' ability to work alone can be undertaken.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: - Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the module - Ability to evaluate competing perspectives - Demonstrate subject specific research techniques - Apply a range of methodologies to complex historical and political problems
Team work Seminars will consist in part of small-group discussion where students will be obliged to discuss as a group the core issues related to seminar topics. Such class room debates and discussions are a vital component of the module.


This module is at CQFW Level 6