Chaplin to Churchill: Britain, 1914-1959

Kingston University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Chaplin to Churchill: Britain, 1914-1959

  • Host University

    Kingston University

  • Location

    London, England

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Prior successful study of introductory history at university level.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Content
    This 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. There
    will 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 television
    in the affluent 1950s. We will consider debates about whether the 1920s and 1930s were
    mainly a time of economic depression and hunger marches, or actually an exciting,
    socially mobile ?Jazz Age? of dance, motoring, radio and suburbanisation. We will examine
    the 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 of
    democracy, the fortunes of the British Union of Fascists, and Labour?s creation of a
    welfare state and National Health Service. The module will also introduce students to key
    historical skills, and train them in a wide variety of primary sources from films and
    television programmes to Cabinet documents. Skills will thus be taught in an engaging
    way, by embedding them in an actual historical period. Seminars will be highly
    participatory, 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 culture
    v Suburbanisation & class
    * Introduction to research, writing and oral communication skills, and to key
    historical 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 essays
    STUDY OPTION 2: 2,000 word essay
    STUDY OPTION 3: 2,000 word essay
    Study Option 3 = Spring/summer

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

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.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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