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School of History

HST5702 - Lifting the Iron Curtain: Everyday Life on Cold War Europe, 1945-1991

Module code: HST5702

Credits: 15
Semester: 1

Module Convenor: Dr Natalya Chernyshova

This module approaches European and Cold War history from below. What did it mean to live in divided Europe? Despite many differences between post-war socialist and capitalist societies, there were also surprising commonalities. This module invites students to take a fresh and intimate look at Europe in the second half of the twentieth century. We will explore such topics as consumerism and the home, fashions and leisure, family and relationships, gender and sex, generations and youth on both sides of the Iron Curtain. We will pay attention to the margins of communist and capitalist societies: e.g., ethnic and sexual minorities, youth subcultures, and single mothers. The stories of daily life will lead us to ask questions about Cold War politics, colonialism, class, race, gender, modernity, and economic and social change, as well as consider how the reverberations of the Cold War everyday have continued to shape the continent beyond 1991.

Assessment: Coursework 30% Coursework 70%
Level: 5

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