Critical Approaches to Maritime and Naval History (HISM002)
|Staff||Dr Laura Rowe - Lecturer|
Dr James Davey - Convenor
|Duration of Module||Term 1: 11 weeks;|
This module is designed to enhance students’ understanding of the main themes and approaches in the study of Maritime and Naval History from the traditional and classic approaches based on the study of geographical explorations and the expansion of individual European empires, to the more recent focus on the interactions and interconnectivity between different imperial and economic systems, and the crucial interaction between economic, political and strategic concerns. Starting with a focus on the British experience since the Middle Ages, it will move on to discuss other European realities, fostering the comparative study of both research methodologies and analysis of primary evidence in different realities and on different topics. Particular attention will be dedicated to how focusing on the sea can provide alternative interpretations of some of the most important issues of historical analysis such as the interaction of state institutions and private enterprise; the development of national and professional identities; defence concerns and economic growth; knowledge transfer; cultural identities and self-perception.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Understand and evaluate the main themes and approaches in the study of Maritime and Naval History
- 2. Possess detailed knowledge of the key historiographical and theoretical debates informing the study of Maritime and Naval History from the Middle Ages to the contemporary world.
- 3. Assess critically the role of primary sources in informing the study of Maritime and Naval History, and discuss the challenges of adopting a local, national or global approach.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 4. Demonstrate the ability to analyse and synthesise different types of historical material and evidence.
- 5. Demonstrate a critical understanding of key historical concepts and debates, and recognise the differences between different approaches and source types.
- 6. Develop practical research skills in the primary and secondary evidence.
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 7. Demonstrate capacity for independent critical research, study and thought, including developing the ability to construct and defend a sustained argument, both in written form and orally, using primary and secondary materials.
- 8. Work as an individual and with a tutor and peers in an independent, constructive and responsive way.
- 9. Apply key bibliographical skills to independent study.
Over the course of one term, potential seminar topics include (these will vary depending on staff expertise and student choice):
1) The Maritime-Naval Divide
2) War at Sea
3) The Sea in National Histories and Identities
4) Constitutions, Maritime and Naval Power
5) Global and World Histories of the Sea
6) Oceanic Perspectives
7) The Challenges of Technology
8) Maritime Trade
9) Maritime Labour History
10) Institutions: Fiscal-Military State and Logistics
11) Sea and Empires
12) The Cultural History of the Sea
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||22||11 x 2 hour seminars|
|Guided Independent Study||278||Independent Study|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Essay Plan||2-sides A4 maximum||1-9||Verbal and written feedback|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Book Review||33||2,000 words||1-9||Written and verbal feedback|
|Essay||67||4,000 words||1-9||Written and verbal feedback|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Book Review||Book Review||1-9||Referral/deferral period.|
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
- J. Glete, Warfare at Sea, 1500-1650: Maritime Conflicts and the Transformation of Europe, London-New York, 2000
- D. Redford ed., Maritime history and identity: the sea and culture in the modern world, London, 2014
- R.W. Unger ed., Shipping and Economic Growth 1350-1850, Leiden, 2011
- M. Fusaro and A. Polónia eds., Maritime History as Global History, St John’s, 2010
- J.H. Bentley, R. Bridenthal and K. Wigen eds., Seascapes: Maritime Histories, Littoral Cultures and Transoceanic Exchanges, Honolulu, 2007
- R. Morriss, The Foundations of British Maritime Ascendency 1755-1815. Resources, Logistics and the State,Cambridge, 2010
- L. Benton, A Search for Sovereignty. Law and Geography in European Empires 1400-1900, Cambridge, 2010
- M. Rediker, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Merchant Seamen, Pirates and the Anglo-American Maritime World, 1700-1750, Cambridge, 1987
- P. E. Steinberg, The Social Construction of the Ocean, Cambridge, 2001
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Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources
Available as distance learning?
Last revision date
Key words search
Maritime history, Naval history, sea, empires