Chaplin to Churchill: Britain, 1914-1959
Area of Study
Taught In English
Prior successful study of introductory history at university level.
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits4
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units6
Hours & Credits
OverviewCourse ContentThis module explores the domestic history of Britain in its first half century of democracy.The module will range widely over leisure, society, politics and national identity. Therewill be particular emphasis on visual culture, from the social significance of film in the?dream palaces? of cinema, and film stars such as Charlie Chaplin, to the role of televisionin the affluent 1950s. We will consider debates about whether the 1920s and 1930s weremainly a time of economic depression and hunger marches, or actually an exciting,socially mobile ?Jazz Age? of dance, motoring, radio and suburbanisation. We will examinethe contrasting reputations and legacies of the two World Wars in British history.Politically, we probe the surprising strength of the Conservative Party in an age ofdemocracy, the fortunes of the British Union of Fascists, and Labour?s creation of awelfare state and National Health Service. The module will also introduce students to keyhistorical skills, and train them in a wide variety of primary sources from films andtelevision programmes to Cabinet documents. Skills will thus be taught in an engagingway, by embedding them in an actual historical period. Seminars will be highlyparticipatory, including debates, small group activities and a mock general election.Indicative Content:* Inter-war culture and leisure (e.g. dance, motoring, radio, the press)* Film and cinema: the dream palaces* 1950s? television and affluence* Inter-war Conservatism, Stanley Baldwin & British national identity* Race, immigration & Oswald Mosley* The Labour Party, the 1945 general election, the NHS & the welfare state* Biography: Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill* The domestic impact of the two World Wars* Flappers & debates about ?feminized? inter-war culturev Suburbanisation & class* Introduction to research, writing and oral communication skills, and to keyhistorical concepts, such as ?left? and ?right? in political history* Primary source analysis, including of films, television and Cabinet documents
Teaching: Lectures, workshops, seminars and field trips
STUDY OPTION 1: two 2,000 word essaysSTUDY OPTION 2: 2,000 word essaySTUDY OPTION 3: 2,000 word essayStudy Option 3 = Spring/summer
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
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Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.
Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.
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