The University of Southampton
Courses

GERM1003 German History, Politics and Society

Module Overview

The course offers an outline of German history that begins in the post-unification era and takes successive backward views that track developments into the 19th century.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• introduce students to German history as social history and Alltagsgeschichte; • consider historical change, movements and ideas that span the period from the 19th century to the present; • provide a multifaceted view of history and society that includes a range of sources (literary, film, documentary); • introduce students to some basic German terms for historical and political phenomena.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the emergence of the modern German state at the end of the 19th century;
  • the impact of war and the Holocaust on divided and then reunified Germany;
  • how the social and political fractures of Germany’s history are recorded and represented in historical and cultural forms;
  • how the larger historical context shapes ordinary lives in different ways.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • communicate information, ideas, arguments and evaluation effectively, both in oral and written form;
  • engage in collaborative work within a limited time-scale;
  • describe, evaluate and apply some key theoretical concepts;
  • make connections between different disciplinary practices for analysis (we use a trans- disciplinary range of texts and audiovisual material);
  • practise your reading and analysis in a critical, self-reflexive way.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • make use of an enhanced range of linguistic skills in German;
  • identify the social and political significance of a historical or cultural source;
  • write in an informed and analytical way on a case study of German history.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • work with and compare a range of historical and cultural sources;
  • recognize the ways in which particular historical events have gained significance in the German cultural sphere.

Syllabus

The course offers an outline of German history that begins in the post-unification era and takes successive backward views that track developments into the 19th century. Rather than taking the present for granted, this alternative perspective of history incorporates the present as a site from where we take a particular look into the past. This provides scope for interesting and important questions about the links between past and present. This is particularly salient in relation to contemporary German society, which constantly insists on the need to ‘come to terms with the past’. In order to illuminate the connection between the social, political and historical we will pay particular attention to how larger public worlds and political processes are received by ordinary people and reflected in their everyday lives. Most of our examples will be taken from the changing social worlds of family, youth and education. Students will be able to expand their linguistic experience through exposure to primary German sources, audio-visual material and secondary literature, comparing historical and literary representations of social and political experience.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • lectures; • seminar discussion; • collaborative presentations and tasks. Learning activities include • independent study/research; • preparing and delivering oral presentations; • written work; • accessing online resources.

TypeHours
Independent Study126
Teaching24
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Mark Allinson (2002). Germany and Austria. 1814-2000. Modern History for Modern Languages. 

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback ? feedback on presentations and written work; ? discussing essay drafts.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Book review  (500 words) 30%
Essay  (2000 words) 50%
Seminar presentation 20%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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