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Module

HIS1104 : Public History

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Graham Smith
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

Particular attention will be paid to the following aims:

•       Evaluation of the significance of public history and public understandings of the past
•       Introducing the historiography of, and key elements in the history of the public history
•       Exploring examples of public history products and the media of public history
•       Introducing students to public history theory
•       Developing an understanding of the opportunities and challenges of using primary and secondary sources in public history
•       Develop students’ capacity to work in groups
•       Understanding how public historians communicate history
•       Developing students’ capacity for independent learning and research

Outline Of Syllabus

In this module you will gain an understanding of how historians and others make use of the past in the present, and the responsibilities this involves, including in shaping public understandings of history. You will look at the uses of history in today’s world and consider your own role in making and consuming history.

Through case studies, you will evaluate the influence of both historians' interpretations and the history presented through different media and in a variety of public spaces. You will hear from a number of historians, from Newcastle and beyond, who will present with authority and from experience about the intersection of their research with the public domain.

You will also be able to reflect and discuss the different and changing meanings that are ascribed to history, through a public history perspective. In doing so, an indicative list of possible topics includes:

1.       Thinking about public history: theories, techniques practices and jobs
2.       ‘Is the War Over Yet?’ Conflict and peace in First World War commemoration – the case of Ireland
3.       The history of India and (de)colonisation on television and cinema
4.       Museum wars: the Enola Gay exhibition and the Glasgow ghost-shirt
5.       Mediating memory, history, methods and post-memory
6.       The challenges of the public reception of histories of fascism
7.       Radio: Voices of authority?
8.       Writing for Fascism? Holocaust denial and the history book
9.       Podcasting and blogging the past
10.       Skills workshop 1: History matters: Choosing a blog topic
11.       How do we know what publics think about their pasts? An international perspective
12.       Black arm band histories: Settler and postcolonial histories
13.       Horrible Histories: Television history for children
14.       Immersive history: video games and technologies of historical experience
15.       Skills workshop 2: writing a blog post
16.       Skills workshop 3: presenting the blog post on-line

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion661:0066:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:002 individual 1 hour lectures per week, weeks 1-10
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading661:0066:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:006:00Weeks 2, 4, 7-10; last four to include assessed presentations
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops32:006:00Latter half of semester
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00Surgeries with seminar leaders on assessments
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study321:0032:00N/A
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

SEMINARS encourage independent study and promote improvements in oral presentation, interpersonal communication, problem-solving skills, research skills and adaptability.

LECTURES enable students to gain a wider sense of historical argument and debate and how such debates operate, which also allows them to develop comparisons between different historiographical debates.

WORKSHOPS: Workshops will focus on the key practical skills associated with the study of History, including: note-taking, academic reading, summarising, writing bibliographies, essay planning and writing, document analysis.

SURGERY TIME: Staff will make themselves available in their offices for four hours over the course of the module to see students individually on issues concerning them, although we expect this will focus on preparation for assessments.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation102M50Independent 10 minute presentation. Topic to be chosen from those covered in lectures.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2A50Group work; see explanation below.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessment will be by (a) an oral presentation on an aspect of public history from the above list, (b) group work - an outline of a topic blog that includes a rationale why the topic would of interest to the public, and a blog post of your own choice that explores an aspect of the group topic and is written to appeal to the public – the post should include at least one primary source and one public history method or technique.

Formative exercises may also be set for this module. They will be un-assessed, but will be discussed in the seminars and will feed into the assessed work.

Submitted work tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes, develops key skills in research, reading and writing.

All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree.
Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. This will take the form of an alternative assessment, as outlined in the formats below:

Modules assessed by Coursework and Exam:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be one essay in addition to the other coursework assessment (the length of the essay should be adjusted in order to comply with the assessment tariff); to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Exam only:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be two 2,000 word written exercises; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Coursework only:
All semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be expected to complete the standard assessment for the module; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending the whole academic year or semester 2 are required to complete the standard assessment as set out in the MOF under all circumstances.

Reading Lists

Timetable