History: The Age of Extremes

Dr Mark Patton
Victoria Hall / Online
A: Tuesdays 10.30am - 12.30pm Hall / B: Fridays 2.30pm - 4.30pm Online

Europe and the Mediterranean World in the American Century, 1914-33

Who the course is for: The course is for anyone with an interest in the history and culture of Europe and the Mediterranean World in the early decades of the 20th Century. There are no prerequisites, and no prior knowledge is assumed.

Key contents: The course will explore aspects of the early Twentieth Century across Europe and the Mediterranean World, with themes including the origins, conduct, and impact of the First World War, the birth of the Turkish and Irish Republics, the struggle for women’s suffrage in Europe (Autumn Term); the Modernist and Futurist movements in art, architecture, music, and literature, the birth of psychology & psychiatry, the impact of the Great Depression, and the rise of Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, and Franco (Spring Term). The early history of recorded sound, radio, and film will be considered in the Summer Term. Subject to COVID restrictions, the course will include visits to the Imperial War Museum, Tate Modern, and Tate Britain.

How the course is being taught: The course will be taught through lectures (illustrated by PowerPoint Slides, and by readings from relevant primary sources), and class discussions.

Advance preparation: Students might like to read the following texts in advance of, or during the course:

  1. Clark (2013), The Sleepwalkers: How Europe went to War in 1914.Penguin.
  2. Fukuyama (1992), The End of History and the Last Man.Free Press.
  3. Hobsbawm (1994), The Age of Extremes:The Short Twentieth Century, 1914-1991.Abacus.
  4. MacMillan (2014), The War that Ended Peace: How Europe abandoned Peace for the First World War.Profile.

None of these are essential to the course: they are simply introductions to some of the themes that we will be exploring.

A: 14 September - 07 December 2021 (Half term Tuesday 26 October)
B: 17 September - 10 December 2021 (Half term Friday 29 October)
Non-Members: £163 (12 weeks)
Members: £132 (12 weeks)
Concessions: £10 (contact the office for details)