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School of History

HIST0627 - Crisis and Future in 19th Century European Thought A

Module code: HIST0627

Credits: 15
Semester: Both

Module Convenor: Adela Halo

The course explores concepts of crisis and future in European thought during the long nineteenth century. The age of revolution started as an era widely associated with the liberation and emancipation of humankind, with technological progress, national aspirations and constitutional promises. How then do we explain that since the second half of the nineteenth century, and in particular during the Fin-de-sicle, concepts such as 'alienation', 'degeneration' and 'decay' started dominating European thought? We might find an answer to this question in the ways people related their pasts to future expectations. Throughout Europe, the experience of modernity led to changes in the semantics of historical time. The past had lost its power to explain the present and as a consequence, it became difficult to predict the future. A profound consciousness of crisis marked the new concepts of historical time, permeating the philosophical, political and scientific discourse of nineteenth-century Europe.

Assessment: Essay (4,000 words) 100%

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