Age of Extremes - The 20th Century in Europe
"It is the mission of the twentieth century to clarify the irrational." - Maurice Merleau-Ponty
Information at a Glance
- Evening Class
- Wednesdays 18:00 - 20:00
- 20 weeks: October to March
- Fees from £210
- Tutor: Dr Sheila Lecoeur
- Location: Imperial College, South Kensington Campus
The aim of this course is to offer an introduction to the main historical events of the last century in Europe, and how they interconnect. The focus is on the Second World War, its causes and consequences. We will examine aspects of the rise of socialism and communism and the impact of the Russian Revolution, and ask how were the aftershocks of the Russian Revolution linked to the advent of Fascism and Nazism?
We will also look at why the causes of the First World War still a matter of debate, and our tutor will encourage us to investigate and discuss the links between these important historical events and their consequences.
Aspects of the Second World War, especially the way it affected peoples’ lives during and after the conflict, will be analysed and discussed, and we will look at the relationship between the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union, and consider its aftermath.
Our discussions will be illustrated by relevant films and part of each class will be devoted to viewing clips from the most striking film footage about the period. Students will be encouraged to read up on the debates so as to be able to participate in class and to work out for themselves how historical events are connected.
|**** CHRISTMAS BREAK ****|
Provisional reading list for the Autumn term
- Eric Hobsbawn, Age of Extremes: The short Twentieth Century (Abacus, 1994)
- Mark Mazower, Dark Continent: Europe’s Twentieth Century (Allen Lane, 1998)
- Mark Mazower, Hitler’s Empire: Nazi Rule in Occupied Europe (Allen Lane, 2008)
- Konrad H. Jarausch, Out of Ashes: A New History of Europe in the Twentieth Century (2015) Timothy Snyder, Tony Judt, Thinking the Twentieth Century Ian Kershaw, To Hell and Back: Europe, 1914-1949 (2015)
Reference books for defining history:
- E.H. Carr, What is History? (Penguin, frequent reprints)
- Eugen Weber, Peasants into Frenchmen
Definition of social history:
Background to the 20th century:
- James Joll, Europe since 1870 (Pelican, many reprints) NB See Chapter 6: The Industrial Society and its Critics
Socialism and Communism:
- Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto
- Edmund Wilson, To The Finland Station: A Study in the Writing and Acting of History (2004 )
- John Reed ,Ten Days That Shook the World (2007)
- Ruis, Marx for Beginners (Unwin/ Writers and Readers paperbacks, frequently reprinted)
First World War:
- G.J. Meyer, A World Undone (2006)
- Gerard J. DeGroot, Blighty: British Society in the Era of the Great War. (Longman, 1996.)
- Christopher Clark, The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 (2014)
- Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms (Re Caporetto 1917)
- Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front (1996) Robert Graves, Goodbye to All That (Penguin Modern Classics 2000)Pat Barker, Regeneration (Trilogy about the war. Viking Press 1991)
Nationalism, proto fascism and Nazism:
- Ian Kershaw, The 'Hitler Myth': Image and Reality in the Third Reich (2001)
The Wall Street crash and its consequences in Europe:
- George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London
The League of Nations:
- Susan Pederson, The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire (Oxford 2015)
- Interwar Period. Culture, Society and Politics
The Second World War:
- AJP Taylor, The Origins of the Second World War 1961
- NB See core references above.
- Paul Dowswell, The Usborne Introduction to The Second World War: (Internet-linked 29 Apr 2005)
- Fiction: Irene Nemirovsky, Suite Francaise (Vintage, 2007) See film.
The consequences of war:
- Tony Judt, Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945
- David Kynaston, A World to Build. Austerity Britiain 1945-48 (Bloomsbury, 2008)
- Collaboration and the pursuit of war criminals:
- Robert O. Paxton, Vichy France. Old Guard and New Order 1940-44. (1975)
- Julian Jackson, France: The Dark Years, 1940-1944 (2003)
- Visual sources Pierre Sorlin, European Cinemas, European Societies, 1939-1990 (Studies in Film, Television and the Media) 1991
Dr Sheila Lecoeur has specialised in Italian studies and is currently Coordinator of Italian in the Centre for Languages, Communication and Culture.
Sheila is also a social historian of Europe in the 20th century, with a particular interest in the history of fascism and the Second World War. Sheila has engaged in historical research and has produced a documentary film about Greece in World War II for television. Her book on the Italian occupation of Greece, ‘Mussolini’s Greek island’, has also been translated into Greek. She is currently working on a second documentary film on the present crisis in Greece.
Course Fees and Rate Categories
|Hours||Weeks||Internal rate||Associate rate||Standard rate|
|40||20||£230 (Early Bird rate: £210*)||£305 (Early Bird rate: £280*)
||£395 (Early Bird rate: £360*)|
|* Early Bird fee rate is valid for enrolments made via the website between 1 August and 30 September only | All fee rates quoted are for the whole course.|
- Applies to current Imperial College students and staff (incl. Imperial NHS Trust, Imperial Innovations, ancillary & service staff employed on long-term contracts at Imperial College by third-party contractors).
- Current Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication (CLCC) staff, current CLCC PhD students, Science Communication (Sci Comm) postgraduate students, and students enrolled on an Imperial College 'Language for Science' degree programme should email evening email@example.com before completing the online enrolment form.
- Students (non-Imperial College)
- Alumni of Imperial College and predecessor colleges and institutes
- City & Guilds College Association members
- Members of Friends of Imperial College
- Friends of the South London Botanical Institute
- Members of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
- Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council staff
- Harrods staff
- Historic Royal Palaces staff
- Natural History Museum staff
- Science Museum staff
- Victoria and Albert Museum staff
- Royal Geographical Society staff
- Royal College of Art and Royal College of Music tutors and other staff
- Santander Bank staff (Imperial College Walkway branch only)
- Austrian Cultural Forum staff
- Staff of Exhibition Road Cultural Group (Discover South Kensington) organisations
- Lycee Charles de Gaulle staff
- Tutors and other staff of other universities and higher education institutions
- Tutors and other staff of institution members of the Association of Colleges
- Residents of postcodes SW3, SW5, SW7, SW10 and W8
- Applicable to all who do not qualify for any of the above rates (Internal or Associate Rate).
It is possible to enrol on many CLCC Evening Class and Lunchtime Learning programmes after the course has started, subject entirely to agreement by the tutor delivering the course. If you want to join a course late do bear in mind there might be work you will need to catch up on, particularly in language courses.
Applicable terms & conditions
Please read the Evening Classes & Lunchtime Learning terms and conditions [pdf] before enrolling on any course.
|Hours||Weeks||Autumn term||Spring term||Summer term|
|40||20||14 Oct - 12 Dec 2019 (9 weeks)*||6 Jan - 19 Mar 2020 (11 weeks)||n/a|
|* Followed by the Christmas break|
Web enrolment starts 1 August
Enrolment & payment are through the Imperial College eStore. Please use above booking link noting below instructions:
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|What is sent||When is it sent||What does it contain|
|1. Payment confirmation||Instantaneously following submission of your online application||
|2. Enrolment confirmation||Sent in due course but likely not before the end of September. Please treat your payment confirmation as confirmation that your applicant details and payment have been received||
|3. Programme information||Usually sent Friday late afternoon the week before term starts||
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Certificate of Attendance
Although no credits are offered for this very part-time course, an attendance certificate is presented to students who attend at least 80% (16) of the taught classroom sessions.
Questions regarding the content and teaching of the above course should be addressed to the tutor, Dr Sheila Lecoeur, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have enjoyed this course, why not look at other arts and humanities evening class courses at Imperial College. This includes courses on the history of western art from ancient Greece to the nineteenth century, Understanding Modern and Design, the history of film and cinema and Greek and Roman mythology in art. We also run practical courses in art and photography and creative writing classes, and a growing programme of science based evening classes.