The World in Question: the Social, Political and Psychological Legacies of the Enlightenment

The details
Interdisciplinary Studies Centre (ISC)
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
24 May 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA LQV0 Liberal Arts (Including Foundation Year),
BA Q900 Liberal Arts (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA QV00 Liberal Arts (Including Year Abroad),
BA V900 Liberal Arts,
BA V901 Liberal Arts (Including Placement Year),
BA LL36 Social Anthropology,
BA LL3P Social Anthropology (Including Year Abroad),
BA LL6P Social Anthropology (Including Placement Year),
BA L903 Global Studies,
BA L904 Global Studies (including year abroad),
BA L905 Global Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA L908 Global Studies (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA P525 Journalism and Liberal Arts,
BA P526 Journalism and Liberal Arts (Including Placement Year),
BA P527 Journalism and Liberal Arts (Including Year Abroad),
BA LL37 Social Anthropology with Human Rights,
BA LL38 Social Anthropology with Human Rights (Including Year Abroad),
BA LL39 Social Anthropology with Human Rights (Including Placement Year),
BA LR04 Global Studies and Modern Languages (Including Year Abroad),
BA L910 Global Studies with Politics,
BA L911 Global Studies with Politics (Including year abroad),
BA L912 Global Studies with Politics (Including Placement Year),
BA L913 Global Studies with Politics (Including Foundation Year),
BA L914 Global Studies with Human Rights,
BA L916 Global Studies with Human Rights (Including Foundation Year),
BA L917 Global Studies with Human Rights (Including Placement Year),
BA L918 Global Studies with Human Rights (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

CS201 provides an interdisciplinary examination of historical and contemporary issues arising from the Enlightenment and its 19th century offspring, industrialism and capitalism. It explores social, political and existential issues that took new forms in the 20th and 21st centuries. It addresses three broad themes: Empire, the Self, and Nature. We start by examining Empire and look at the connections between Enlightenment thought and European expansion, colonialism and cultural domination.

In Part 2, The Self, we move on to look at how new conceptions of 'the self' have been shaped by social, cultural and economic processes. Finally, we consider the changing conceptions of Nature that have arisen from the imposition of capitalist and industrial ways of life on most of the planet. The emphasis is on both on the forces that have caused so much ecological destruction and attempts to maintain and reclaim connections with nature.

Module aims

The aims of this module are: To introduce students to the social, cultural, and economic legacies of the Enlightenment To foster understanding about the continuities and discontinuities between historical and contemporary processes To provide students with varied insights into the politics of empire, changing conceptions of the self, and the ecological impacts of industrialism and capitalism. To encourage students to engage in interdisciplinary thinking, drawing on approaches from different academic fields

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module students should have: A broad understanding of the Enlightenment industrialism and capitalism The capacity to summarise and engage critically with set texts The ability to discuss and debate the module topics The ability to construct arguments drawing on approaches and evidence presented in lectures and classes.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Weekly lecture, plus a weekly seminar that will include staff presentations and class discussion. This module is co-taught by academic staff from Art History, Essex Business School (EBS), History, Interdisciplinary Studies Centre (ISC), Law, LiFTs, Philosophy and Sociology.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Assignment 1 (2500 words) Autumn Term 40%
Coursework Reading Week Assignment (1500 words) 20%
Exam 180 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main)
Overall assessment
Module supervisor and teaching staff
A range of staff from across the university will contribute to the module.
Interdisciplinary Studies Centre General Office - 6.130; Email: istudies@essex.ac.uk.



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 42 hours, 39 (92.9%) hours available to students:
3 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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