Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)

Module HIST2351: Memory and conflict in Europe since 1918

Department: History

HIST2351: Memory and conflict in Europe since 1918

Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap 48 Location Durham


  • A pass mark in at least ONE level one module in History.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To introduce students to the key concepts of memory studies and to a critical understanding of the relationship between history and memory.
  • To apply these concepts to an appropriate historical context and content in late modern Europe.
  • To develop an understanding of the politics of history and memory in late modern Europe.
  • To contribute towards the achievement of the Department's generic aims for study at Level 2.


  • Twentieth Century Europe has been marked by memory battles. This module will explore these memory cultures from the interwar period through to the post-war period and to post-communism.
  • It will examine European politics, memory, and history during the period in question in a transnational and comparative manner.
  • It will investigate some of the most significant contestations over history and memory with a strong yet not exclusive focus on Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Students will be guided through important conceptual work on memory and noteworthy instances of memory conflicts and claims, such as identity formation in the new states of interwar Europe, notions of victimhood after World War Two, and politicized memory in post-communist east-central Europe.
  • It will therefore provide a critical overview of European identity formation in the Twentieth Century.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Knowledge and understanding of the theories and concepts of memory studies. • Knowledge and understanding of relevant historical context and content in late modern Europe. • Critical use of concepts in historical research.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Building on and developing skills gained at Level 1 • Deepening and extending historical understanding through focused, concentrated modules • Developing precision, depth of understanding, and conceptual awareness.
Key Skills:
  • The ability to employ sophisticated reading skills to gather, sift, process, synthesise and critically evaluate information from a variety of sources (print, digital, material, aural, visual, audio-visual etc.)
  • The ability to communicate ideas and information orally and in writing, devise and sustain coherent and cogent arguments
  • The ability to write and think under pressure, manage time and work to deadlines
  • The ability to make effective use of information and communications technology.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Student learning is facilitated by a combination of the following teaching methods:
  • lectures to set the foundations for further study and to provide the basis for the acquisition of subject specific knowledge. Lectures provide a broad framework which defines individual module content, introducing students to themes, debates and interpretations. In this environment, students are given the opportunity to develop skills in listening, selective note-taking and reflection;
  • seminars to allow students to present and critically reflect upon the acquired subject-specific knowledge, methodologies and theories, and to identify and debate a range of issues and differing opinions. The seminar is the forum in which students are given the opportunity to communicate ideas, jointly exploring themes and arguments. Seminars are structured to develop understanding and designed to maximise student participation related to prior independent preparation. Seminars give students the opportunity to develop oral communication skills, encourage critical and tolerant approaches to reasoned argument and historical discussion, build the students' ability to marshal historical evidence, and facilitate the development of the ability to summarise historical arguments, think in a rapidly changing environment and communicate in a persuasive and articulate manner, whilst recognising the value of working with others and, occasionally, towards shared goals.
  • Assessment:
  • Unseen Examinations test students' ability to work under pressure under timed conditions, to prepare for examinations and direct their own programme of revision and learning, and develop key time management skills. The unseen examination gives students the opportunity to develop relevant life skills such as the ability to produce coherent, reasoned and supported arguments under pressure. Students will be examined on subject specific knowledge;
  • Summative essays remain a central component of assessment in history, due to the integrative high-order skills they develop. Essays allow students the opportunity to recognise, represent and critically reflect upon ideas, concepts and problems; students can demonstrate awareness of, and the ability to use and evaluate, a diverse range of resources and identify, represent and debate a range of subject-specific issues and opinions. Through the essay, students can synthesise information, adopt critical appraisals and develop reasoned argument based on individual research; they should be able to communicate ideas in writing, with clarity and coherence; and to show the ability to integrate and critically assess material from a wide range of sources.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 17 17 in Term 2, 1 in Term 3 1 hour 17
Seminars 7 7 in Term 2 1 hour 7
Preparation and Reading 176
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 1 3000 words, not including footnotes and bibliography 100%
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 75%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Unseen Examination 2 hours 100%

Formative Assessment:

.Seminar participation and mock exam preparation.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University