Forgetting Fascism, Remembering Communism: Memory in Modern Europe (HIH2011A)

StaffDr Raluca Grosescu - Lecturer
Dr Nelly Bekus - Lecturer
Dr Ljubica Spaskovska - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF LevelL5
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

For the most part we will use focussed (and often national) case studies, to a) historicise this process: to understand how Europeans came to believe it necessary to remember their ‘difficult pasts’ and b) to explore the competition and contestation over which ‘difficult pasts’ were the most important, how these should be remembered, and – in some cases – whether these pasts should be remembered at all.

This module aims to help you develop your skills in researching, interpreting, and analysing both primary and secondary material. It provides you with an opportunity to explore broadly the rich and fascinating ‘history of memory’ of modern Europe, and it helps you to develop the depth of understanding you will require to study more specialised areas of history. 

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. A detailed knowledge of the main themes in the subject, together with a very close knowledge of the areas selected for essay and presentation work.
  • 2. Ability to trace the changing nature of, and approaches to, memory in modern Europe.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Ability to analyse the key developments in a complex and alien political and social environment.
  • 4. Ability to handle profoundly different approaches to history in a deeply contested area.
  • 5. Ability to understand and deploy complex political terminology in a comprehensible manner

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Independent study and group work, including the presentation of material for group discussion, developed through the mode of learning.
  • 6. Ability to digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment.
  • 7. Ability to present arguments orally, and to work in a group.

Syllabus plan

Topics will include: Forgetting Nazism; Holocaust Amnesia, Holocaust Memory; Remembering Resistance; Film and Memory; Willing Executioners?: Ordinary Germans and the Memory of Nazism; Recreating Identities: Reinventing Oneself After Communism; History on Trial: Perpetrators in Court; The Political Lives of Dead Bodies; Communist Nostalgia.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities22Lectures (22x1hr)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities22Seminars (11x2hr)
Guided independent study22Web-based activities located on ELE – preparation for seminars and presentations
Guided independent study234Reading and preparation for seminars and presentations

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay plan 500 words1-7Verbal and written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay303000 words1-6Verbal and written
Group presentation2025 minutes1-7Peer-assessed and moderated by tutor
Exam502 hours1-6Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay3000 words’ essay1-6Referral/deferral period
Group presentationScript as for individual presentation, equivalent to 10 minutes1-7Referral/deferral period
Exam2 hours1-7Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

The re-assessment consists of a 3,000 word essay and 2-hour exam, as in the original assessment, but replaces participation in the group presentation with a written script that could be delivered in such a presentation and which is the equivalent of 10 minutes of speech.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Bill Niven, Facing the Nazi past: united Germany and the legacy of the Third Reich (Routledge, 2001) Peter Novick, The Holocaust and collective memory: the American experience (Bloomsbury, 2000) Robert G. Moeller, War Stories: The Search for a Usable past in the Federal Republic of Germany (University of California Press, 2001)

Katherine Verdery, The Political Lives Of Dead Bodies: Reburial And Postsocialist Change (Columbia University Press, 1999)

Kathleen E. Smith, Remembering Stalin's Victims (Cornell University Press, 1996)

Jan Werner Muller (ed.), Memory and Power in Post-War Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2002)

Maria Todorova and Zsuzsa Gille (eds.), Post-Communist Nostalgia (Berghahn, 2012).

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Key words search

Fascism; Communism; Eastern Europe