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History of Germany, from Bismarck to the Berlin Republic (HI290)

Module convenor: Colin Storer

Lectures: Mondays 3-4 (A0.23)

Seminars: Tuesdays 10-11 (FAB 1.11), 2-3 (FAB 3.33) and 3-4 (FAB 4.73)

Aims and AssessmentLink opens in a new window

MoodleLink opens in a new window

Reading ListLink opens in a new window

Module Overview:

Today we are used to thinking of Germany as a peaceful, prosperous and stable democracy, at the heart of Europe politically and economically as well as geographically. But for much of its modern history the picture was very different. A comparative latecomer to statehood, in the 170 years of its existence as a nation-state Germany experienced a dramatic transformation from a maverick to a model state which took in war, dictatorship, occupation and division, as well as rapid industrial development (twice), a dynamic civil society and intense cultural and intellectual experimentation.

This 30 CATS optional second year undergraduate module examines the history of Germany from Unification in 1871 to the Berlin Republic which came into being after reunification in 1990. Students will consider the political, social and cultural history of modern Germany from a variety of historical perspectives in order to understand why in Germany the past is so important to an understanding of the present. We will look at the rise and fall of political ideas and regimes, economic developments, issues of citizenship and ethnicity, attitudes towards gender and sexuality, and how all these affected the lives of ordinary Germans. Along the way, students will have the opportunity to conduct their own research and write a piece of Germany's history.

Student Feedback:
  • "Exceptional lectures, delivered knowledgeably and in a way which both gives a great appreciation of the wider context as well as a great introduction into the topic itself"
  • "Engaging seminars which provoked interesting conversations between my peers and myself."
  • "Organisation of the module is also of a high quality and standard and the moodle pages are well-updated and informative to make sure it is easy to stay on track each week."
  • "I think this class' seminar out of all my courses encouraged the most learning and self-exploration."
  • "I've found it great, all aspects have been enjoyable"
  • "Quality of seminars excellent, discussion is by far the most engaging and enriching of any module I've been in."
  • "Excellent teaching. By far the best seminar out of all my modules in terms of delivery, structure and scope for debate."
  • "The lectures are almost perfect"
  • "Well organised lecture and seminar programme that is clearly way ahead of the rest of the department in terms of quality and efficiency."
  • "I’m learning topics that I have never encountered but they are explained in such a way that I can easily understand and engage."
  • "The reading is also appropriate and not too lengthy. It is a reasonable amount to do per week in comparison with other modules."

Please note that the module code for this module was previously 'HI136', but was amended to 'HI290' in the summer of 2015 for the start of the 2015/16 academic year.