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The Weimar Republic, 1918-1933 (HI2J7-15)

Germany’s Weimar Republic (1918-1933) has fascinated historians, writers, artists and musicians for much of the past century. Often characterised as a doomed democratic experiment between an authoritarian empire and a fascist dictatorship, it has been portrayed as an unloved polity beset by economic crisis and political extremism, a weak democracy powerless to defend itself from those who would destroy it. Yet it was also a period of progressive social change and cultural ferment, a ‘laboratory for modernity’ that saw the development of a modern mass culture, welfare state and consumer society.

This 15 CATS undergraduate second-year optional module will consider the political, economic, social and cultural history of Weimar Germany and the ways in which these have been understood by historians. Students will be encouraged to engage with a range of sources and historiographical approaches to the study of the Weimar era with the aim of the developing their understanding of the period and its place in the history of twentieth-century Europe.

Module convenor: Colin Storer

Lectures: Mondays 10-11 (R3.41)

Seminars: Mondays 11-12 (FAB2.34) and 1-2 (FAB 3.30)

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  • "The variety of topics we covered, and the inclusion of various different groups of people in Weimar Germany, made the module interesting and engaging."
  • "Delivery of lectures and seminars was done in an engaging and entertaining way"
  • "the reading list was very rich ... as it combined the current historiographical and texts/sources from the period"
  • "The engaging format of the lectures really drew me in and made me interested to learn more. … I made sure to attend every lecture because the information was presented in such an interesting way that I felt I would be missing out had I missed it."
  • "The seminars were very engaging and encouraged participation within both small and large groups, which made discussions accessible and comfortable."
  • "The lectures have been engaging and highly informative - a good introduction to establishing a wider knowledge base on each weeks topic. Seminars have also provided a beneficial learning environment."
  • "The lectures … are very informative and always effortlessly tie exactly into seminar discussions. They can always be used in conjunction to the seminar readings, which helps me get a better understanding of the module."