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Enlightenment, Revolution and Terror

  • Module code: HS6002
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: Year 6
  • Credits: 30.00
  • Pre-requisites: successful completion of required modules at level 5
  • Co-requisites: none

Summary

This research-led module is devoted to a study of two of the most important phenomena to bring about the shift between the early modern and the modern world. The first of these is the body of transformative ideas about science and the nature of human society known as the Enlightenment. The second is the  French Revolution, which brought down the old regime in Europe and laid out the foundations of the modern political world. A key part of the module will address the relationship between ideas and revolution. The module will also increase the students' depth of knowledge of key issues in ideas, including the scientific revolution, the rise of the novel, the role of gender in eighteenth-century politics and society; and shifting attitudes towards race and slavery.

Aims

  • This module will deepen students’ knowledge and understanding of the complex ideas and events of this key period in history.
  • The Enlightenment and the French Revolution had an impact on many levels; so students will have opportunities to pursue political, social, economic and cultural issues in this period.
  • Historical debates and how to interpret them will be a major feature of the module. Students will have opportunities to examine a variety of debates: these include; conflicting interpretations of the origins of the Revolution; the reasons for the Terror; and the relationship between ideas and Revolution. 
  • Students will deepen their skill in the reading, understanding and analysis of source documents.
  • Students will improve their oral and written communication skills, enabling them to engage confidently with a public audience by means of oral presentations. 

Learning outcomes

  • On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
  • demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of key features in the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, and the relationship between them;
  • demonstrate their ability to understand and critically evaluate historical debates on interpretations and significance of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution;
  • demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the wider transformations in politics, culture, society and economics, brought about as a consequence of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution;
  • demonstrate their ability to communicate the results of their historical enquiries with increased skill and confidence, both in written and oral forms.

Curriculum content

  • The Enlightenment: Ideas, Debates and Parameters.
  • The Scientific Revolution.
  • The world of the philosophies and the Encyclopedia.
  • The geographical distribution of the Enlightenment.
  • Changing ideas about the nature and role of women.
  • Beyond Europe: cultural encounters, issues in race and slavery.
  • Changing ideas about politics in the eighteenth century.
  • The ideas and influence of Rousseau.
  • The rise of the novel and the culture of print.
  • The relationship between Enlightenment and Revolution.
  • Old regime society.
  • The origins of the French Revolution.
  • The political transformation of 1789.
  • Revolutionary culture.
  • The debate over political, legal and social rights.
  • The impact of the Revolution on slavery and the West Indies.
  • The leaders of the French Revolution.
  • The causes and circumstances of the Terror in the French Revolution.
  • Reactions to the French Revolution in England and Ireland.
  • The French Revolution and war in Europe.
  • The fall of the Jacobin Republic.
  • Napoleon: Revolutionary or Tyrant?
  • 1815 and the Restoration

Teaching and learning strategy

Weekly lectures will focus on the topics to be addressed and provide students with an overview.  Weekly seminars will give a structured opportunity for students to discuss ideas raised in the lectures and from their own reading around the topic. Students will engage in a variety of focussed tasks in the seminars, including: individual presentations, reading and discussing source materials; debates, and small workshops.There will be a particular focus on in-depth preparation and analysis of primary source documents in workshops.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching 20 one hour lectures 20 one hour seminars 2 one hour workshop tutorials to provide guidance for writing assessments 20 20 2
Guided independent study Reading and preparing assessments 258
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

Summative assessment is through two essays, each 2,000 words in length. Essay One will be due at mid-point of the module. Essay Two will be due at the end point of the module. Each essay counts for 50% of the final mark.

Summative assessment tests students’ comprehension of major historical themes, ability to critically analyse primary sources, and understanding of the causes, characteristics and significance of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. Formative assessment, which figures throughout the module, together with feedback and feed-forward, enables students to check their knowledge and understanding and to monitor their progress through means such as class participation, oral presentations, class debates, documentary source analysis and reviews of historical literature.

 

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
Students should be able to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of key features in the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, and the relationship between them. Assessed formatively through oral presentations, class participation, class debates, documentary analysis and reviews of historical literature. Assessed summatively through essays.
Students should be able to demonstrate their ability to understand and critically evaluate historical debates on interpretations and significance of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. Assessed formatively through oral presentations, class participation, class debates, documentary analysis and reviews of historical literature. Assessed summatively through essays.
Students should be able to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the wider transformations in politics, culture, society and economics, brought about as a consequence of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. Assessed formatively through oral presentations, class participation, class debates, documentary analysis and reviews of historical literature. Assessed summatively through essays.
Students should be able to demonstrate their ability to communicate the results of their historical enquiries with increased skill and confidence, both in written and oral forms. Oral skills to be assessed formatively by presentations, documentary source analysis and review of historical literature. Written skills to be assessed summatively through essays.

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
CWK Essay 2000 words 50
CWK Essay 2000 words 50
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS a requirement that the major category of assessment is passed in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Campbell, PR (ed.) (2005). The Origins of the French Revolution. Palgrave.

Doyle, W (1989). The Oxford History of the French Revolution. Oxford University Press.

Hanson, PR (2009). Contesting the French Revolution. Wiley-Blackwell.

McPhee, Peter, The French Revolution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).

Outram, Dorinda, The Enlightenment (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005)

Bibliography recommended reading

Blum, C (1986). Rousseau and the Republic of Virtue. Cornell University Press.

Campbell, PR, Kaiser, TE and Linton, M (eds.) (2007). Conspiracy in the French Revolution. Manchester University Press.

Darnton, R (1997). The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France. Fontana.

Hesse, C (2001) The Other Enlightenment: How French Women Became Modern. Princeton University Press.

Hufton, O (1992). Women and the Limits of Citizenship in the French Revolution. University of Toronto Press.

Kramnick, I (ed.) (1996). The Enlightenment Reader. Penguin.

Linton, M (2001). The Politics of Virtue in Enlighenment France. Palgrave.

Linton, M (2013) Choosing Terror: Virtue, Friendship and Authenticity in the French Revolution. Oxford University Press.

Munck, T (2000) The Enlightenment: A Comparative Social History. Hodder-Arnold. 

Popkin, JD (2010). You Are All Free: The Haitian Revolution and the Abolition of Slavery. Cambridge University Press.

Reynolds, Siân (2012). Marriage and Revolution: Monsieur and Madame Roland. Oxford University Press.

Rosenfeld, Sophia (2009). 'Thinking About Feeling, 1789-1799’, French Historical Studies, 32 (4) pp. 697-706.

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