Forgetting Fascism Remembering Communism: Memory in Modern Europe (HIH3549)

StaffProfessor James Mark - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15.00
NQF Level6
Pre-requisitesNormally 15 credits of History at level 1 or 2.
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module will examine how European countries have attempted to come to terms with their experience of Fascism and Communism. It will examine the way in which histories are remembered, remoulded or forgotten when one regime collapses and another takes it place. More specifically, it will examine how countries such as Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, Poland and Hungary have tried to deal with their Fascist and Communist pasts. It will look at how the memory of the past is constructed at many levels of society: through state commemorations, trials and funerals; through novels, films, buildings and everyday objects; and through the way that individuals, especially those who were involved in the previous regime, reinvent their own pasts.

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 understand and deploy complex political terminology in a comprehensible manner.
  • 5. Ability to handle profoundly different approaches to history in a deeply contested area.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Independent study and group work, including the presentation of material for group discussion, developed through the mode of learning.
  • 7. Ability to digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment.
  • 8. 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 Yourself After Communism; History on Trial: Perpetrators in Court, The Political Lives of Dead Bodies.

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 activities11Lectures (11x1hr)
Scheduled learning and teaching activities22Seminars (11x2hr)

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
Better of two essays252000 wordmark and written comments
Group seminar presentation25peer-assessed and moderated by the tutor
Exam502 hourprovided on request by module tutor

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)

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Available as distance learning?