Hidden Histories: Class, Race and Gender in Britain, c. 1640s-Present
Undergraduate: Level 4
Sunday 15 January 2023
Friday 24 March 2023
12 May 2022
Requisites for this module
Why do we grow up knowing some histories, and not others? The histories taught in schools and discussed in the public realm often tell us about the past experiences of dominant groups – and the fact that these histories are so prominent also tells us that those groups still hold power. Approaching the past from the perspective of those 'hidden from history', this module uncovers ideas and experiences often overlooked in traditional accounts of modern Britain.
Hidden Histories begins in the revolutionary years of the mid-seventeenth century to examine how radicals questioned dominant ideas about democratic rights and property ownership. It traces the influence of these radicals through to Chartism and Owenism, movements forged in the crucible of industrial capitalism in the nineteenth century. These revolutionaries and radical movements highlighted power imbalances between men and women, in the family and the private sphere as well as in the public. As Britain reached the height of its imperial power, hierarchies of "race", class, and gender increasingly structured elite discourse. In exploring how the working class, women, and migrants created their own vibrant cultures, the module emphasises histories of protest, resistance, and liberation – and shows that these hidden histories are essential to understanding modern Britain.
To help students to understand:
1. Arguments about the relationship between history-writing and power;
2. The shaping role of class, “race”, and gender in modern British history;
3. The history of radical ideas and practices in Britain, and how they have been modified and transformed in different contexts;
4. Some of the sources of evidence, and ways of reading them, that allow historians to access the history of marginalised groups;
5. Some of the ways in which the history of modern Britain has been profoundly shaped by the struggles and creativity of ordinary people.
1. Students will have awareness of the importance of class, “race”, and gender in shaping the history of modern Britain.
2. Students will be able to use more critically key concepts, including class, “race”, and gender, in modern British history.
3. Students will have enhanced their abilities to critically examine primary sources.
4. Students will have enhanced their abilities to engage critically with relevant historiographies, including social history and history from below.
5. Students will be able to better present their findings orally in seminar discussions, and in writing as part of their assessment.
For introductory reading, see:
Hannah Barker and Elaine Chalus (eds), Gender in Eighteenth-Century England: Roles, Representations and Responsibilities (London, 2016).
Christopher Hill, The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas in the English Revolution (London, 1972).
Julia Laite, Common Prostitutes and Ordinary Citizens: Commercial Sex in London, 1885-1960 (Basingstoke, 2011).
Jonathan Moss, Women, Workplace Protest and Political Identity in England, 1968-85 (Manchester, 2021).
Ross McKibbin, Classes and Cultures: England, 1918-1951 (Oxford, 1998).
Katrina Navickas, Protest and the Politics of Space and Place, 1789-1848 (Manchester, 2015).
Clair Wills, Lovers and Strangers: An Immigrant History of Post-War Britain (London, 2018).
This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
|Coursework / exam
||Formative primary source analysis (500 words)
||Primary source analysis (1000 words)
||Essay (2000 words)
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Lucy Noakes, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Belinda Waterman, Department of History, 01206 872313
No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 44 hours, 44 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).
* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.
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