At the end of the course, the student:
• is able to recall and connect the names of historical figures and movements as well as the dates of important events in British history between 1500 and the present;
• is able to explain how such individuals, movements and events have contributed to collective identity formation and continue to influence the construction of such identities in contemporary Britain;
• is able to interpret historical and contemporary instances of the construction of 'Britishness' in the arts and media;
• is able to elucidate how cultural identities in present-day British society are constructed on the basis of geographical divides, class, gender and sexuality, religious background, ethnicity and age.
These lectures provide an introduction to British history, culture and society from 1500 to the present day. In the first part of the course, we will survey the most important historical figures, movements and events during those years, and consider how these have influenced British politics and society and have to come to shape collective identities. In the second part of the course, we will discuss various themes (such as regional identity, class, gender, multiculturalism, religion, subcultures and age) that will allow us to investigate contemporary British culture and society more generally. By engaging recent scholarly attempts at defining and conceptualising 'Britishness', we will also reflect on how important the past and the idea of history itself are to our understanding of British culture and society.