EU History imageThis course whose full title is Highlights of post-war European History offers an introduction to European history since 1945 with an emphasis on the major events which changed attitudes and behaviour in the late 20th century. The historical context of two world wars will underpin understanding of subsequent events. What new ideas and innovations whether creative, scientific or social shaped our lives in the last half century? Why did Europe feel it necessary to form an economic and political entity in the EU and how successful has it been? How has the technological revolution changed the way we behave and think?

As in the preceding course: ‘Europe’s Twentieth Century’, students will be encouraged to join in a lively debate and express their thoughts on how we look at history. We will also reflect on how we remember the past and what tools can be used to enhance our understanding of history.

Tony Judt’s book: ‘Postwar. A History of Europe since 1945’ will provide a good source of reference for this course.

Each session will be accompanied by clips from documentary and feature films which illustrate the subject of discussion and bring the period to life.

This course is designed as an 8-week course meeting ONCE per week on Wednesdays, 6-8pm.

Course programme
Week 1
The creative revolution of the 1960s and 70s in art, film and education. Women and Children’s rights and child welfare.
Week 2
Civil unrest and the Red Brigades in Italy. The Cyprus crisis and the military dictatorship of 1967-74 in Greece. The ‘troubles’ in northern Ireland. Spain under and after Franco.
Week 3
The break-up of the USSR and life in Eastern Europe before and after the fall of the Iron Curtain
Week 4
Civil war in Yugoslavia and Balkan instability. The expansion of the EU.
Week 5
Monetarism, neo-conservatism and the impact on state welfare commitments, media and academic freedoms.
Week 6
How have new ways of communicating and the globalisation of information changed our lives? Europe’s place on the international scene and its contribution to world stability.
Week 7 
The role of memory: how we remember, record memory and commemorate the past. Interdisciplinary/postmodern understanding of how we behave and see ourselves.
Week 8 

Debate: Summing up the role of history and the dangers of forgetting the past.

Course schedule
 

Questions regarding the content and teaching of the above course should be addressed to the tutor, Dr Sheila Lecoeur, s.lecoeur@imperial.ac.uk.

For course enrolment information please visit our enrolment pages.