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LN307 Propaganda and persuasion in Modern Europe

Module Code: LN307
Module Name: Propaganda and Persuasion in Modern Europe (1933-1975)
Module Coordinator: Dr Leticia Villamediana González
Term 1
Module Credits: 15

Module Description

This module examines the role played by propaganda in modern Europe from 1930 to 1975. In particular, we will examine how propaganda has been created, disseminated and received in Spain, Germany, Italy and France. Through close textual and film analysis of a range of different materials - from film to posters and from radio programmes to cartoons and caricatures - we will explore the ways in which propaganda has shaped modern Europe in the twentieth century and continues to shape Europe today. With a teaching team comprised of scholars of modern Spain, Germany, Italy and France, this is a module which offers a broad overview of the impact of propaganda on a range of countries and populations.

This module is especially well-suited to students interested in modern European politics and history or who wish to develop their textual analysis skills. There are no pre-requisites for the module and the module is open to students from any degree combination across the School of Modern Languages and Cultures and also to students from other departments.

All seminars and lectures will engage with material in the target language AND in translation to ensure the material is accessible to students from across the School.

Student comments and feedback

'I really enjoyed looking at contexts that I hadn’t studied before. I’d definitely recommend this module if you want a wide range of content as you change country every two weeks!'

'This is one of the best organised modules I have studied yet. The lectures are informative and concise with all key and essential accompanied with relevant and engaging secondary sources. The provision of these materials makes the research for this module essay enjoyable providing genuine motivation to succeed'.

Course Outline**

Week 1. Introduction to propaganda in Modern Europe

Weeks 2 & 3. Propaganda in France and the Francophone World I (1933-1954)

Week 4. The Visual Front: Propaganda in Spain during the Civil War (1936-1939)

Week 5. Propaganda during Franco's Dictatorship (1939-1975)

Week 6. Reading Week

Week 7. Propaganda and the making of the Nazi state.

Week 8. German Atrocity Propaganda and the road to World War II*

Week 9. Propaganda in Italy. The cult of the Duce in Fascist Italy (1922 - 1945)

Week 10. Propaganda in Italy: the ‘cult of youth’ from Risorgimento to Fascism (1922-1945)

*In week 8 there will be some discussion of the graphic depiction of violence in some German propaganda.

**Course outline subject to change pending staffing.

Assessment Method 2024-25:

  • 1 x 10 minute individual video presentation of a poster (20%)
  • 1 x 3000-3250-word essay (80%)

Propaganda Poster

Module tutors:

Dr Leticia Villamediana Gonzalez

Dr David Lees

Dr Antonia Hofstätter

Dr Anna Lanfranchi