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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: HIS3002 Module Title: EFFECTS OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR
Module Provider: English Short Name: HG03X
Level: HE3 Module Co-ordinator: UNDERWOOD H Mrs (English)
Number of credits: 20 Number of ECTS credits: 10
Module Availability
Assessment Pattern
Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)
Qualifying Condition(s)
Essay (100% of total assessment)
1 written essay of 2500 - 3000 words

The assessment is designed to ensure that the students meet the learning outcomes for this module and demonstrate an assured capacity for independent learning.
Formal assessment on this module provides the student with the opportunity to produce an interdisciplinary essay, which can demonstrate the ability to analyse and synthesise the materials used within it, without guidance. Short critical pieces given as formative assignments will provide opportunity and feedback for the student to reflect on their own learning.
Module Overview
This interdisciplinary module at level 3 lays the basis for the cultural study of the twentieth century. The thematic approach allows the student to grapple with complex theoretical issues such as patriotism. It fulfils the requirements of a level 3 module as students are expected to demonstrate a high level of analysis and synthesis in their approach.
60 credits at Level 2.
Module Aims
  • To introduce the student to people’s experience of World War I and to approach the period from an historical, literary and artistic perspective.
  • To develop a rounded cultural view of the period with a detailed appreciation of the effects of war, leading to a greater understanding of the consequences.
  • To explore the specific type of stimulus war can provide, and the development of the concept of the modern, which runs through all aspects of the module.
  • To develop a questioning overview of the period: Was there, in fact, a pre-war golden age? Could the war be seen as part of a struggle for empire and markets? Did it provide a watershed for industrial developments, women’s rights and cultural progress?
  • To encourage the student to synthesise and analyse significant materials in relation to the main themes of the module.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:
Knowledge and Understanding
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the causes and consequences of the First World War along with an awareness of the contextual development of literature and art, especially of the modernist movement.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and critical awareness of current scholarship in the subject.
Cognitive/ Intellectual Skills
  • Make use of a wide range of materials, both primary and secondary (including visual representation and literature) and to analyse their impact and validity using self-motivated methods of enquiry.
  • Use the outcomes of their research to develop their own conclusions without significant guidance.
  • Present in a professional manner the findings of their research.
Key/Transferable/Practical Skills
  • Analyse and synthesise material across a range of topic.
  • Solve problems within the context of their work.
  • Manage time-related tasks and meet deadlines.
In order to achieve the threshold standard for the award of credits for this module, the student must meet the following criteria related to the learning outcomes described above:
  • Must demonstrate some knowledge and understanding of the period and its culture as demonstrated in art and literature
  • Must show some understanding and knowledge of current scholarship
  • Show evidence of an ability to synthesise and analyse the material
  • Show some evidence in their written presentation of an awareness of academic formats
Module Content
The module will be split into three sections on the history, art and literature surrounding World War I plus an interdisciplinary day visit and concluding session.
The causes of the war will be considered, looking at the general position of Britain and the other European states as a backdrop to the effects of the war itself. 
Economic consequences of the war will be analysed. The changes that occurred in the standard of living, the effect of national debt and the changing attitude to Empire will be addressed here along with the changes in international relationships that occurred after the War.
Social consequences will be evaluated with a particular emphasis on the impact of war on notions of gender, death and remembrance, and the concept of ‘speeding up’ after a wartime period.
‘Never such innocence again’ MCMXIV (17 May 1960). A consideration of Philip Larkin’s poem will introduce the literary component of this module (a copy is provided in the course pack).  
A reading of a selection of ‘Georgian’ poems included in the course pack, will introduce the class to representative poetry of the immediate pre-war period and the general vein of poetic and public sentiment of the time.
The War - the pain and loss it involved - will be explored through a selection from the Penguin book of First War Poetry. Authors studied will include Siegfried Sassoon, Ivor Gurney, Isaac Rosenberg, Edward Thomas and Wilfred Owen as well as some of the French and German poets represented in translation.
Changing and emerging ideas will be considered with reference to the War years. In particular, the course will look at the beginnings of what we now call Modernism especially at the early work of one of its most important representatives, T. S. Eliot. This will include ‘The Waste Land’ (1922) which some have seen as expressive of the post-war condition and the emergence of distinctively modern ways of thinking.
Students will explore the effects of the War on the Modernist movement and the effects of modern and Modernist thinking on culture in the first war period. The module will also look at the career of another influential figure of the years 1910-1930, Ford Madox Ford, using some extracts from the Ford reader.
The art section contrasts ‘academic’ or traditionalist and ‘avant-garde’ war art in Britain. It examines official war art commissions and explores the paradox that much key avant-garde war art was produced to official commission. The section includes an examination of works exhibited at the Royal Academy in London, and an examination of their reception through contemporary reviews (photocopies provided). Other artists studied will include Sargent, Orpen, Clausen and Sims. In a study of modernist and individualist responses to the War artists examined include Paul Nash, Nevinson, Wyndham Lewis and Stanley Spencer. We will make a particular study of Spencer’s Burghclere Chapel. The art section concludes with an examination of the War Memorial. The class will examine the visual rhetoric of public sculpture and other projects commissioned to commemorate the war. Sculptors and architects studied will include Lutyens, Gill and Charles Sargeant Jagger.
Methods of Teaching/Learning
12 x 2 hour sessions (or equivalent)

The Teaching and Learning Strategy is designed to ensure that students are able to display the knowledge and skills outlined in the learning outcomes for this module. Strategies adopted will encourage students to interact in classroom and group discussion and to reflect on their own learning. Close analysis of a variety of primary and secondary source materials in all three disciplines will develop critical understanding of key issues. This prescribed interdisciplinary module will be taught by a small team of subject specialists who will remain in close contact for the duration of the module to ensure that the overall teaching strategy is coherent throughout.
The Teaching and Learning Method will include a mixture of lecture, group work and self-directed learning. Visual aids such as slides, DVDs, and facsimile contemporary materials will also accompany some sessions. Interdisciplinary sessions on specified themes are included in this module to develop further students’ interdisciplinary skills in preparation for their formal assessment.
Selected Texts/Journals
Essential Texts
Constantine, S. et al eds (1995) The First World War in British History, Arnold 
DeGroot, G.J.(1996) Blighty: British society in the era of the Great War, Longman
Eliot, T.S. (2000) Selected Poems, Faber
Ford, F. M. (1986) A Ford Madox Ford Reader, Carcanet
Harrison, C. (1981) English Art and Modernism 1900 - 1939, London, Allen Lane
Robb, G.(2002) British Culture and the First World War, Palgrave
Silkin, J. (ed) (1996) The Penguin Book of First World Poetry
Other sources (primary and secondary) will be introduced to students at appropriate points in the module.
Recommended Reading
Causey, A. (1980) Paul Nash, Oxford, Clarendon Press
Francis, R. (1981) ‘War Memorials’ in Nairne, Sandy and Serota, Nicholas eds. British Sculpture in the Twentieth Century. Whitechapel Art Gallery, (Catalogue)
Ferguson, J. (1980) The Arts in Britain in World War I
Michel, W. (1971) Wyndham Lewis: Painting and Drawing, with an essay by Hugh Kenner, London
Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1980: Stanley Spencer, R. A. Catalogue of the exhibition by Richard Carline, Andrew Causey and Keith Bell, Royal Academy of Arts, Weidenfield & Nicholson, 1980
Sillars, S. (1987) Arts and Survival in First World War Britain
Viney, N. (1991) Images of Wartime. British Art and Artists of World War I. Paintings from the Collection of the Imperial War Museum, Newton Abbott, David & Charle
Bergonzi, B. (1996) Heroes’ Twilight, Carcanet
Blunden, E. (1928; 1982) Undertones of War, London, Penguin
Graves, R. (1928; 1957) Goodbye to All That, London, Penguin
Gross, J. (1992) The Modernist movement, London, Harper Collins
Lucas, J. (2001), Ivor Gurney, London, Northcote House/British Council
Nicholls, P. (1995) Modernisms: A Literary Guide. London, Macmillan
Sassoon, S. (1937; 1972) The Complete Memoirs of George Sherston, London, Faber
Stallworthy, J. (1974) Wilfred Owen, Oxford University Press
Tamplin, R. (1988) T.S. Eliot, London, Longman
Bourke, J. (1999) Dismembering the Male: Men's Bodies, Britain and the Great War, London, Reaktion
Cecil, H. & P Liddle (eds) (1996) Facing Armageddon The First World War Experience, London, Leo Cooper
Dewey, P. (1995) War & Progress Britain 1914-1945, London, Longman
Ferguson, N. (1998) The Pity of War, London, Penguin
Gilbert M. (1994) The First World War, London, Weidenfeld & Nicholson
Hynes, S. (1990) A War Imagined: the First World War and English Culture, London, Bodley Head
Johnson, P. (1994) Twentieth Century Britain, London, Longman
Marwick, A. (1991) The Deluge: British Society and the First World War, 2nd ed. London, Macmillan
Masterman, C.F.G. (1923) England after war, Hodder [to be used a primary text] – Students will study extracts provided by the Tutor
Tate, T. (1998) Modernising, History and the First World War, Manchester, Manchester University Press
Trentmann, F. (2008) Free Trade Nation, Oxford, OUP
Turner, L C F. (1983) The Origins of the First World War, London, Arnold
Winter, J M. (1986) The Great War and the British People, Basingstoke, MacMillan
Other Indicative Reading
Light, A. (1991) Forever England: Femininity, literature and conservatism between the Wars, Routledge
Ross, R H. (1967) The Georgian Revolt: Rise and Fall of the Poetic Ideal 1910 - 22, London, Faber & Faber
Vincent, D. (1991) Poor Citizens: The State & the Poor in Twentieth-Century Britain, London, Longman
Winter, J M. (1995) Sites of Meaning, Sites of Mourning the Great War in European Cultural History, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press

Last Updated

19 August 2008