Cholera to Climate Change: Environment and Society in Modern Britain - HIST5101

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Canterbury
Spring Term 5 30 (15) Karen Jones checkmark-circle

Overview

This course is all about putting History 'in its place', in other words, examining the history of modern Britain through the analytical lens of environmental history and exploring the ways humans have used, adapted, and imagined various environments over time. Taking 1850 as its starting point, it looks at major transformations in British life – the social and ecological problems of the Victorian city; changing attitudes towards nature preservation; empire and ecological imperialism; war, chemicals and modernity; environmental revolutions and radical protest - to chart the ways in which successive generations interacted in meaningful ways with the spaces and other species around them. This is a story both of material changes and of cultural values – our interactions with and our imaginations of the modern world. Accordingly, themes of urbanisation, politics and environmental change; health, medicine and wellbeing; national identity, gender and cultural life will be explored through a series of case studies that take in such topics as ‘Miasma and Manure: Public health in 19th century London’ and ‘Ban the Bomb: the Cold War, nuclear technology and popular protest.’ The principal geographical focus is Britain, but the module also embraces a necessarily global outlook in covering such themes as international wildlife conservation; the world of nature on film; and debates about ecological crisis and global climate change.

Details

Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 33
Total Private Study: 267
Total Study Hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Essay (3,000 words) 30%
Blog Paper (2,000 words) 30%
Take-home Exercise (1,500 words) 20%
Oral Presentation (15-minutes, equivalent to 1,500 words) 20%

Reassessment methods
100% coursework

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.
The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages: https://kent.rl.talis.com/index.html

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Critically evaluate the value of environmental history as an area of study as well as communicating a sense of how it has developed as a discipline.
2 Demonstrate a critical awareness of the complicated relationships between humans and the rest of natural world over time, as well the importance of concepts such as agency, anthropogenic change and the social construction of nature.
3 Successfully deploy a wide range of disciplinary skills in order to assess, contextualise and critically reflect on the complex entanglements between environment and society in modern Britain.
4 Effectively communicate to both specialist and non-specialist audiences the ways in which environmental history offers a useful analytical lens to understanding the history of modern Britain.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Critically evaluate the value of environmental history as an area of study as well as communicating a sense of how it has developed as a discipline.
2 Demonstrate a critical awareness of the complicated relationships between humans and the rest of natural world over time, as well the importance of concepts such as agency, anthropogenic change and the social construction of nature.
3 Successfully deploy a wide range of disciplinary skills in order to assess, contextualise and critically reflect on the complex entanglements between environment and society in modern Britain.
4 Effectively communicate to both specialist and non-specialist audiences the ways in which environmental history offers a useful analytical lens to understanding the history of modern Britain.

Notes

  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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