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BA History and French / Course details
Year of entry: 2021
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Course unit details:
From Catastrophe to Crusade: Europe in the Aftermath of the Vikings
|Unit level||Level 2|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
A long-standing historiographical narrative presents a model of a Europe which moved from the brink of collapse in c.900 to a transformed and expansive society by c.1100. But is this trajectory so straightforward? Certainly, Europe was prey to invasions from Vikings and other groups in c.900, and some medieval commentators framed this within a climate of religiously-enthused doom. Likewise, by c.1100, Latin Christian Europe was clearly expanding its frontiers at the expense of the Eastern Christian and the Islamic worlds, and was also undergoing significant cultural shifts. Across the course, we will explore and question the apparent transformation of Europe, asking how far was it really on the verge of catastrophe; to what extent and why did the region experience significant transitions from the tenth to the twelfth century; and how did this generate such diverse outcomes as the crusading movement and an apparent cultural Renaissance within Europe itself.
This module is only available to students on History-owned programmes; History joint honours programmes owned by other subject areas; and CLAH-owned programmes. Available to students on an Erasmus programme, subject to VSO approval.
- To enable students to understand how Europe changed over the course of the period 800-1100.
- To understand how historians have constructed conflicting versions of historical change.
- To analyse processes of historical change in the light of contemporary source materials.
- To prepare students for further specialization in medieval history at level 3.
Knowledge and understanding
- Understand how Europe changed in this period.
- Understand why historians have differed in their interpretation of the Viking impact and its aftermath
- Understand how Europe recovered and how a rising tide of religious enthusiasm and increasing economic activity led to a violent encounter between Latin Christendom and Islam known as the Crusades.
- Evaluate different historical and historiographical viewpoints.
- Read, interpret, and analyse a range of primary source materials.
- Know how to approach the unfamiliar in order to further understand cultural difference.
- Essay writing
- Formulate critically analytical interpretation
- Autonomous research
- Search for and retrieve information from a variety of sources.
- Harmonize material of different genres and from different cultural backgrounds
Transferable skills and personal qualities
- Work collaboratively as part of a team
- Present arguments and interpretations in written and verbal forms
- Organise and present information clearly and concisely
- Empathize with the unfamiliar and appreciate cultures far removed from modern forms
- Critical thinking and analysis
- Students can expect to develop an important set of skills which will be highly valued in the workplace: ¿ Convey complex ideas concisely via written and verbal communication skills ¿ Collaboration in team settings ¿ Acting autonomously and take leadership and responsibility (through independent learning, seminar preparation and contribution, assessment activities) ¿ Critical thinking and analysis ¿ Data handling
Formative or Summative
Oral feedback in seminar discussions and also via communication through online discussion boards
Written feedback on coursework submissions via Turnitin
Additional one-to-one feedback (during office hour or by appointment)
- Elisabeth van Houts, The Normans in Europe (Manchester, 2000)
- Simon Franklin and Jonathan Shepard, The Emergence of Rus 750-1200 (London, 1996)
- Nicholas Higham and Martin Ryan, The Anglo-Saxon World (New Haven, 2013)
- R. I. Moore, The First European Revolution, c. 970–1215 (Oxford, 2000)
- Carole Hillenbrand, The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives (Edinburgh, 1999)
- Jonathan Riley-Smith, The First Crusade and the Idea of Crusading (London, 2009)
- Leonie Hicks, The Normans: A Short History (London, 2016)
- Robert Bartlett, The Making of Europe (London, 1993)
- Pauline Stafford, Unification and Conquest. A Political and Social History of England in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries (London, 1989)
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Charles Insley||Unit coordinator|