New courses



The Department of International History will be introducing the following new courses in 2019-2020. They are available for selection starting in September 2019.

Undergraduate courses

Professor Marc David Baer

HY247 - The History of Modern Turkey, 1789 to the Present

Dr Marc David Baer

The history of modern Turkey provides the student an important opportunity to examine a crucial nation bridging Europe and the Middle East, through the lenses of democracy and dictatorship, globalisation and nationalism, revolution and reform, and tolerance and genocide. This course explores late Ottoman and Turkish Republican history from 1789 to the present. The following topics are studied: Global change and the Ottoman ‘New Order’, 1789-1807; the reforms of Mahmut II and the Tanzimat; reform and repression in the Hamidian era, 1876-1908; Salonica as window onto Ottoman transformations; the revolution of 1908; the Committee of Union and Progress and the Balkan Wars, 1908-1913; Talat Pasha, World War I, and the Armenian genocide; the collapse of the empire; Greco-Turkish wars, 1918-1922; Mustafa Kemal and the new Republic, 1923; the revolutionary changes wrought by Kemalism, 1923-1945; Turkey and World War II; transition to democracy, 1945-1950; democratising reforms, 1950-1960; the three coups of 1961, 1970, and 1980; political Islam in Turkey since the 1970s; the Turkish diaspora in Europe; the Kurdish issue since the 1980s; opening up to the world, 1983-1991; and Recep Tayyib Erdogan: new Atatürk, new caliph.

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HY331 - Henry Kissinger and the Global 1970s

Dr Roham Alvandi

Henry Kissinger might be the most controversial American statesman of the twentieth century. More than forty years since he left office, he remains the focus of intense popular and scholarly debate concerning the uses of American power during the Cold War. This course offers an introduction to these controversies in the study of ‘America and the World’ in the 1970s. The course begins by examining how Kissinger’s ideas about foreign policy evolved during his early life in wartime Germany and his career as a foreign policy intellectual at Harvard University. The majority of the course is then concerned with the central controversies of Kissinger’s time in office as national security adviser and secretary of state between 1969 and 1976. Each week students will examine Kissinger’s role in shaping and implementing American foreign policy in a particular theatre of the global Cold War, focusing on the major crises and conflicts of the decade. Students read and reflect on extracts from Kissinger’s memoirs as a primary source each week, in conjunction with the latest historical research on that topic. They are asked to engage with ongoing historiographical debates about Kissinger’s record and legacy and to form their own judgements, based on their reading of primary and secondary sources. Finally, students are asked to reflect on Kissinger’s writings on international relations since leaving office and to ask what, if anything, we have to learn from him.

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HY332 - Interwar worlds: the cultural consequences of the First World War

Dr Dina Gusejnova

A political catastrophe of global proportions, the First World War also had a transformative impact on cultural life worldwide throughout the interwar period. Trenchcoats, jazz, shellshock, avantgarde, aerial photography, radio news, spotlights – these wartime notions also represent a profound impact on cultural practices in the postwar era. This course will examine how technological, social, and political changes brought about cultural change in postwar societies, principally focusing on the transnational and global circulation of commodities, ideas, population groups, and cultural fashions between Europe and the world. Technological advancements spurned by military needs, such as radio, telephony, and photography, became available to postwar populations on a new scale. The representation of war atrocities and their impact on the human psyche created a need for new, hybrid, multilingual, and multimedia communication. Wartime disruption and change to education continued to have an impact on schools and universities in the postwar years, intensifying the global circulation of ideas. The increase in contact between previously disconnected communities, mediated as well as direct in places like prisoner of war camps, increased the exposure to different ideas, sights and sound, leading to the emergence of increasingly global cultural fashions such as jazz. Nonetheless, this globalisation of culture also went hand in hand with the growth of new forms of racist caricature and the drawing of new frontiers. The role of international and humanitarian organisations such as the Red Cross or YMCA in wartime changed the relationship between states and societies by introducing a transnational dimension to cultural provision, yet it is noteworthy that this new internationalism was neither disinterested nor did it lie ‘beyond’ ideology.

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Postgraduate courses


HY482 - National Socialism. Old theories and new research approaches

Professor Ulrich Herbert

Between 1945 and approximately the year 2000, the history of the National Socialist regime was a subject of enormous explosiveness and actuality, which paradoxically continued to grow as time went on; not only in Germany, but almost worldwide. The need to explain and to understand what happened in those twelve years was immense, and still is. In Germany, people's understanding of the present has been moulded, indeed even grounded, by those events: the legitimation of the SED's rule in the GDR for instance was based above all on a specific interpretation of the National Socialist regime. The revolt of the Sixty-Eighters in West Germany was to a considerable extent an act of self-distancing from the generation of their parents who were burdened with the National Socialist past, and as such it was the product of a particular understanding of National Socialism. At present, the Federal Republic's raison d'état is based essentially on an understanding of National Socialism and its crimes which itself continues to change. Thus the history of research into the National Socialist regime should be understood not only as a gradual extension, deepening and expansion of our empirical knowledge of the period but also as a succession of sometimes very diverse perspectives and interpretations. This course occupies itself with interpretations, theories and debates which attempt to place the National Socialist regime in a historical context and to explain its history. The different approaches will be examined in their chronological sequence and their degree of plausibility, explanatory power and breadth of application will be analysed.

Anna Cant

 HY483 - Land and Conflict in Latin America since 1750

Dr Anna Cant

Extending from the late Spanish colonial era, through the wars of independence and up to present-day social conflicts, this course will focus on land. How has land been conceptualised and fought over? How have different social groups developed relationships with the land? In what ways have conflicts over land shaped Latin American politics? Students will be encouraged to take an interdisciplinary approach to these questions, drawing on new research in geography, anthropology and political science, as well as various strands of history. Despite the great diversity of the Latin American continent, land is a constant reference point and one that lends itself to rich comparative study. Topics will include the global and local politics of the colonial hacienda system, anti-colonial indigenous rebellions, scientific exploration and population displacement, peasant movements, land reform, Cold War development policies and ongoing social protests over land and resource extraction.