Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Power, Culture and Identity in International History
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 2 hour seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,000 word essay  40%
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,500 word essay  60%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the defining characteristics of international history.
2. Discuss how generic issues of historical philosophy, theory and method manifest themselves within the sub-discipline.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of international history's traditional core preoccupations, especially war and diplomacy.
4. Analyse the roots, nature and significance of 'the cultural turn' in international history
5. Evaluate the historical impact of race, class, gender, religion and national identity on foreign policy making processes.
6. Evaluate the historical significance of imperialist and postcolonial processes in international relations.
7. Critically evaluate the historical significance of transnational and global processes in international relations.
8. Demonstrate an understanding of the main practical issues involved in researching and writing international history.


1: What is International History?
2: War and Diplomacy I: The Origins of the First World War
3: War and Diplomacy II: Appeasement and the Origins of the Second World War
4: Culture
5: Race, Class, Gender and Religion
6: National Identity
7: The Imperial and the Postcolonial
8: Transnationalism and Global History
9: Doing International History I: Archives and Sources
10: Doing International History II: Methods and Skills

Brief description

This module provides a wide-ranging overview of contemporary practice in international history, with particular emphasis placed on cultural approaches. It first discusses the parameters of the field and how these have changed over time, together with some generic issues in historiography and theory. The module then explores a range of thematic approaches, drawing illustrative examples from a broad range of chronological and geographical contexts. It concludes with analysis of the practical issues involved in researching and writing international history.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
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. They will learn to be clear and 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. Fellow students will be encouraged to question the paper-giver to critique their approach or to suggest areas for the development of the chosen topic; in turn each will discuss the contributions and ideas of the other.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context of assistance from both the convener 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 essay and presentation topics. The need to conduct a seminar presentation and to meet essay 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 materials through electronic information sources.
Personal Development and Career planning The discussions in particular will help to develop students¿ verbal and presentation skills. Learning about the process of planning essays and a presentation, framing their parameters, honing and developing them and seeing them through to completion will contribute towards the students¿ portfolio of transferable skills.
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one of the central goals of the module; both the essays will require that the student develops problem solving 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; construct theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills The submission of the essays will reflect the independent research skills of the student. The need to locate appropriate research resources and write up the results will also facilitate research skills.
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 the abilities to: Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the module 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 7