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History - Modules 2022/23

You are very welcome to the Department of History at Trinity.
This document outlines the modules in the Department at Junior and Senior Fresh level – the first and second years. More detailed information on individual modules is provided in the relevant module guides and on the Department web-site https://www.tcd.ie/history/undergraduate/single-honors.php. Many module guides will also be provided through Blackboard.

Depending on the requirements of your home University, or if you are majoring in History, there are limited spaces available on Sophister (third and fourth year) modules in the Department. Please contact the Erasmus coordinator directly to enquire about these: Professor Patrick Geoghegan, GEOGHANP@tcd.ie.

Module Code & Name ECTs credits Semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

HIU12021 Religion and Society c.1095-c.1517

10 ECTS credits Semester 1 n/a Coursework (essays and tutorial assignments) 2 lectures per week and 6 tutorials over the course of the term Prof. Ruth Karras

Description


At the beginning of the twelfth century western Christendom had a new optimism: a commercial and urban boom, new religious orders, new church buildings, the codification of religious law, a flourishing of religious art, a movement to “recover” the Holy Land. Between 1250 and 1500 war, plague and religious dissent had a profound impact on European life.

This module offers a thematic survey of religious practices and the impact of religion on society more generally in the central and later medieval west, where everyday life was carried on to a soundtrack of church bells and sermons, but where the culture allowed for a surprising amount of diversity of belief and practice as well. Lectures and tutorials focus on the practice and impact of religion in medieval society, on social structures (such as family and community) and on relations with other cultures.

Module Code & Name ECTs credits Semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

HIU12020 Kingship and Warfare: Ireland c.1000-1318

10 ECTS credits Semester 1 n/a Coursework (essays and tutorial assignments) 2 lectures per week and 6 tutorials over the course of the term Prof. Seán Duffy

Description


This module looks at three crucial centuries in the history of Ireland. It begins with the rise of Brian Boru from modest origins to become Ireland's most famous high king - a spectacular career that ended in the iconic battle of Clontarf in 1014. We explore how Irish society and kingship changed in the aftermath of Clontarf as a result of inter-provincial warfare and the changing role of the church. The second half of the module examines the causes and implications of the English (or Anglo-Norman) invasion of the late 1160s, perhaps the single most formative development in Irish secular affairs.

We study the interaction of cultures in its aftermath and the Irish opposition to English rule that saw the emergence of England's ongoing Irish problem through later centuries. The module closes with the most serious challenge to English power in medieval Ireland: the Scottish invasion (1315-18) led by Edward Bruce, brother of Robert Bruce king of Scots.

Module Code & Name ECTs credits Semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

HIU12022 Early Christian Ireland 400-1000

5 ECTS credits Semester 1 n/a Coursework (essays and tutorial assignments) 1 lecture per week and 4 tutorials over the course of the term Dr Benjamin Savill

Description


This module deals with what has traditionally been known as Ireland’s ‘Golden Age’. Having begun with a brief introduction to prehistoric Ireland, it covers in more detail the period from the arrival of Christianity in the fifth century to the eve of the first Viking attacks at the end of the eighth.

The focus is wide-ranging, from early Irish politics and the emergence of a high-kingship to St Patrick and the impact of Christianization, from Brehon law and the bonds of society to the study of landscape and settlement and early Irish farming, and from Hiberno-Latin and Gaelic literature to the visual art that culminated in the creation of the greatest masterpiece of the Golden Age, the Book of Kells.

Module Code & Name ECTs credits Semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

HIU12031 Life in Modern Ireland

10 ECTS credits Semester 1 n/a Coursework (essays and tutorial assignments) 2 lectures per week and 6 tutorials over the course of the term Dr Anne Dolan

Description


Reflecting the increased focus on social and cultural themes in Irish historiography, this course addresses the ways in which historians are tackling a broad range of societal questions. What characterised peoples’ family, working and social lives? How did people interact with the apparatus of the state and of religious bodies? How did the evolution of media affect daily life? What forces and ideas shaped the provision of education and welfare? What impact did emigration have on both host and home societies?

Key to the course is an understanding of what differentiated experiences; how did gender, class, geography and moral/status hierarchies of different kinds shape individual lives? It will also place the social history of Ireland in comparative and global contexts, in order to question ideas of Irish insularity and exceptionalism.

Module Code & Name ECTs credits Semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

HIU12028 War and Peace in modern Europe

10 ECTS credits Semester 1 n/a Coursework (essays and tutorial assignments) 2 lectures per week and 6 tutorials over the course of the term Dr Patrick Houlihan

Description


In this module, we discuss how Europe was defined through war, military occupations, civil conflicts, and peace agreements in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Drawing on examples of various— through often interrelated—conflicts, we discuss several major questions: How did international and civil conflicts shape European culture and politics? Why was the twentieth century so violent? How did Europe become divided into “right” and “left,” and “East” and “West”?

How are these conflicts and political extremes remembered or forgotten today? Comparing writings and films from across the continent, including Britain, Poland, Spain, Yugoslavia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Germany, we ask how the map of the continent has changed over the past century and whether it is possible to write a single history of Europe.

Module Code & Name ECTs credits Semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

HIU23003 Imagining History

5 ECTS credits Semester 1 n/a 100% coursework 7 one-hour lectures, 4 two-hour workshops, 3 two-hour film screenings over the course of the term Dr Simon Egan

Description


Most people, most of the time, never encounter the past through academic history books. Instead the past confronts them in images and interpretations that appear everywhere from museums to advertisements, movies to monuments. The imagining of history is such a prominent trend in popular culture that students need to be equipped to deconstruct representations of the past and to interrogate their own working assumptions about history imbibed from film and literature.

This module explores three examples of how historical events and themes have been imagined in the world outside of professional historical scholarship. Students will examine how these subjects have been ‘brought to life’ in film and literature. Students will also have the opportunity to consider wider questions and problems which link together the three subjects addressed in the module.

This is not a module designed to test the accuracy, in a narrow sense, of ‘historical fiction’ in literature and film. The aim is rather to enable students to examine the ways in which the past has been presented, interpreted and re-interpreted in various genres; to uncover the assumptions or agendas that shaped creative decisions and the responses of audiences to genuinely popular representations of the past; and to reflect critically upon the qualities that make for a great work of historical imagination or reconstruction, qualities which cannot easily be replicated by the conventional methods of historical inquiry.

Module Code & Name ECTs credits Semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

HIU12023 Ireland 1534-1815: a survey

10 ECTS credits Semester 2 n/a Coursework (essays and tutorial assignments) 2 lectures per week and 6 tutorials over the course of the term Professor Micheál Ó Siochrú, Dr. Patrick Walsh

Description


This module examines political, social and cultural developments in Ireland during the early modern period within a narrative and thematic framework, starting with Tudor political reform and continuing through to the Act of Union in 1800. The principal issues dealt with include the impact of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation; the wars/rebellions of the sixteenth century and the demise of Gaelic Ireland; 'colonization' and 'civilization' of Ireland by the English and the Scots; Confederate Ireland and the Wars of the Three Kingdoms; the Cromwellian and Restoration land settlements; the War of the Three Kings; the 'Protestant Ascendancy' and the Penal Era; the impact of the American and French revolutions; the rebellion of the United Irishmen; the formation of 'Irish' and 'British' national identities; Irish migration to continental Europe; Ireland and Empire.

Module Code & Name ECTs credits Semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

HIU12024 Europe 1500-1800: Power and Culture

10 ECTS credits Semester 2 n/a Coursework (essays and tutorial assignments) 2 lectures per week and 6 tutorials over the course of the term Dr. Graeme Murdock, Dr. Joseph Clarke

Description


This module explores the political and cultural history of Europe during the early modern period. It analyses the efforts of reformers to revive their churches and societies during the sixteenth century. It then examines the legacy of these reform movements, and considers how cultural divisions as well as competition for power led to prolonged periods of conflict within states and between states during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

This module then charts the emergence during the eighteenth century of new ways of thinking about private life and popular culture and of new ideas about science, society and the self of the Enlightenment. Finally, it explores how these ideas contributed to political crisis following the French Revolution.

Module Code & Name ECTs credits Semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

HIU12026 American history: a survey

10 ECTS credits Semester 2 n/a 30% essay, 60% take-home examination, 10% tutorial work. 2 lectures per week and 6 seminars over the course of the term Dr. Daniel Geary

Description


An introduction to the main events of American history from the beginnings of English colonization in the early seventeenth century to the present, this module is divided chronologically in two parts.

Among topics covered are the colonial period; the establishment of American independence; the U.S. constitution; slavery; the Civil War; industrialization, urbanisation and the problems of a multi-ethnic society. Changes in American popular culture are considered, as are the emergence of the US as a world power and American foreign policy.

Module Code & Name ECTs credits Semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

HIU12027 Imperialism to globalism: Europe and the world 1860-1970

10 ECTS credits Semester 2 n/a 30% essay, 60% take-home examination, 10% tutorial work. 2 lectures per week and 6 seminars over the course of the term Dr. Robert Armstrong, Dr. Isabella Jackson

Description


Global integration is not only a fact of modern life, but of modern history writing. The interconnectedness of distant societies and states, and powerful forces making for social, cultural and economic interaction have prompted significant scholarly assessment.

This module investigates some of the events and processes which have led to a more integrated world order between the mid- nineteenth century and the later twentieth century. For most of that period much of the world was carved up between a number of inter-continental empires centred in Europe. How those empires grew, exerted control and in due course retreated will be the particular focus of the module. But other processes, too, will be considered, as will be the evolution of such ideologies as imperialism or Communism and whether such ideologies impacted upon changing global power relationships.

The module is designed on a comparative model, though course reading will be provided in English, and while broadly chronological in approach will focus on a wide range of themes in cultural, economic and political history.

Module Code & Name ECTs credits Semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

HIU12030 The Hundred Years War c.1337-1453

5 ECTS credits Semester 2 n/a 40% coursework, 60% take-home examination. 1 lecture per week and 4 seminars over the course of the term Dr. David Ditchburn, Dr. Simon Egan

Description


The Hundred Years War was in reality a series of wars, on both land and sea, arising primarily from the political and dynastic conflicts of the kings of England and France. It was fought mainly in France but also engulfed Brittany, Scotland, the Iberian kingdoms, the Netherlands and other countries. The first part of the wars is retailed in considerable detail by the contemporary chronicler, Jean Froissart, whose powerful portrait of warfare and political rivalry is set against a backdrop of chivalric endeavour and glory.

The module takes its lead from Froissart’s vivid chronicles. Tutorials are focussed exclusively on various aspects of his chronicles and students will be expected to write an essay on Froissart’s work. Lectures concentrate on key themes associated with Froissart’s world, such as kingship, chivalry and warfare, diplomacy and popular revolt.


Module Code & Name ECTs credits Semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

HIU12032 Climate and Environment in the Premodern World

5 ECTS credits Semester 2 n/a Coursework (essays and tutorial assignments) 1 lecture per week and 4 tutorials over the course of the term Dr. Poul Holm

Description


The history of climate and environment are rapidly evolving fields of study that aim (1) to reconstruct environmental and climate conditions over past centuries and millennia and (2) understand how societies perceived and responded to changing environmental conditions and events such as natural disasters and extreme weather. These aims can be best achieved by combining evidence from both natural and human archives.

In this module we will examine how natural archives such as tree-rings and sediment cores can be used to reveal climate and environmental variations in the past. We will then examine how this information can be combined with evidence from human archives, including written and archaeological records, to understand the social impacts of environmental change. In doing so, we will draw upon case studies from the ancient, medieval, and early modern eras.

The case studies will bring us from ancient Egypt and Babylonia to the ancient American Southwest, and from there to Medieval Ireland, and into the oceanic realm. In these places we will examine the role of pre-modern societies in transforming the face of the earth, and how humans perceived and coped with a changing environment.