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School of History

HST6735 – Reinventing Ourselves: Psychology, Sex and Chemistry in Modern Britain

The changing ideas of the self in twentieth century Britain.

Module code: HST6735

Credits: 30
Semester: YEAR

Module Convenor: Dr Rhodri Hayward

Historians and philosophers have claimed that a massive transformation in our idea of the self took place in the twentieth century. Novel concepts developed in psychology, physiology, endocrinology, psychiatry, sexology, ethology and psychoanalysis promoted a new sense of the complexity and tractability of identity in the British population. Students analyse how the subject matter is approached from these different disciplines, learn to interrogate claims made in psychological and life sciences, and critically evaluate how perspectives from medical sociology can be incorporated into the history of medicine. Focusing on the middle decades of the twentieth century, this QMUL Model module surveys the vast range of materials individuals drew upon in constructing their identities and the new political and social relationships that these made possible.  

This module MUST be taken in conjunction with HST6700 History Research Dissertation.

Assessment: Essay 1 (2,000 words) [25%], Essay 2 (2,000 words) [25%] and Exam [50%]
Level: 6