Uses of the Past (HIH2002)

30 credits

In this module you will explore how people in the past used history to explain their present, and how people today use history. You will look at the ways in which the past has been constructed, including the roles people have played, the impact of different cultures, and how things have changed over time. You will explore the authority that different cultures have given to the past, what makes a past ‘authentic’ and ‘powerful’, how notions of good or bad history changed over time, and you will assess why people have turned to the past in order to make sense of their worlds. You will compare past and present uses of history across different cultures, and the way in which history is used by different states and rulers, and in education, entertainment and public commemoration. Finally, you will look at how groups have attempted to make sense of their past using a range of sources: for example, chronicles, paintings, films, genealogies, statues and memorials.