2nd Year History and Politics Module Review – OurWarwick

2nd Year History and Politics Module Review

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
Sam Percival | History and Politics (with Year Abroad) Contact Sam

Political Theory from Hobbes:

The only compulsory politics module for anybody studying politics, either a single or joint honours. It is an overview of a litany of dead white European men, as according to the politics department they are the only political philosophers that it is imperative that we study. These range from Hobbes and Locke to De Tocqueville and Marx. When I studied it in 2018-19, across a year’s worth of lectures, only 3 were not dead white Europeans, one week was on Franz Fannon and his postcolonial ideas, one on Mary Wollstonecraft and if she was the first feminist, and the third was on Hannah Ardent and the origins of Totalitarianism. For the 2020-21 academic year MLK has been added to the syllabus.

Assesment Method: Either a 3 hour exam or a 1.5 hour exam and a 3000 word essay weighted 50:50.

With the Black Lives Matter movement having captivated the world, and people on the streets all over this country demanding racial justice maybe its time for PAIS to decolonise its compulsory modules.

Overall rating 3/10 wouldn’t recommend but PAIS says you have to study it to get any politics related degree.

International Development:

A good introductory module into what International Development is, outlining the different schools of thought such as the Washington Consensus whilst also allowing an insight into different types of aid, from FDI to tied aid and micro financing.

Assessment Method: Either a 3 hour exam or a 1.5 hour exam and a 3000 word essay weighted 50:50. You are able to choose the essay title yourself if you wish, as long as it is related to the module, which meant that I wrote my extended essay titled “Critically asses the ‘migration crisis’ through the process of othering”. This was personally really interesting as it allowed me to mix my academic work with something I am passionate about and spend a lot of time working on.

Overall Rating: 8/10 Nice varied module with engaging content but 9am Friday lecture loses it a mark.

Science, Technology and Society:

This was a module that I didn’t get to pick but ended up being one of my favourites last year, showing that sometimes the quality of the teaching matters more than the content of the module. This module looks at scientific and technological advancements, and how they effected society. One example of this is the how the development of the steam engine in the UK allowed for more total control of India as the British army could transport troops at previously unthought of speeds. Further areas looked at include the development of anthropology, phrenology, Soviet science and some more early modern stuff that I must admit I paid a little less attention to.

Assessment Method: A 4500 word essay and two hour exam weighted 50:50. You are able to write your extended essay on a question of your choosing so I answered the snappily titled “Why has W.E.B Du Bois been ignored in the History of the development of Anthropology”.

Module Rating: 7/10 a nice module, requires quite a bit of reading a small level of pre-existing scientific knowledge.

The Social History of Cricket

This was a new module which unlike most second year modules is only one term long and taught exclusively through 2 hour seminars. It was really engaging using a wide variety of sources from scorecards, to old tv broadcasts, to more traditional academic sources. It looked at how cricket can be a door into studying Britain’s imperial history, 1960s race relations and Apartheid South Africa.

Assessment Method: Pick an object and curate a museum exhibit on it. This had to encompass an oral presentation (10 mins), a 200 word explanation aimed at children, a 1000 word magazine style piece and 2200 word academic piece.

Rating: 8/10 really interesting but a lot of work for a one term module, worked more on it than any other module even though 3 of them were full year modules.

America in Black and White: Contemporary US Race Relations in a Historical Context

This was another one term history module with two hour seminars. This is a unique module where you get to choose what you study, the first class was spent voting on what topics to study for the next 9 weeks. There were a variety of topics from beauty standards to sport and the police. Each week there 2-4 sources to read in preparation ranging from diaries to academic articles and netflix documentaries. It is the latter that has stuck with me the most, if you are interested in understanding the extend of structural racism in the USA today watch the 13th on netflix.

Assessment method: Class participation 20%, group podcast project 30% (ours was on the role of black art in modern pop culture), 2000 word blog(s) 50%.

Rating: 9/10 unique module, though its history would advise any politics studded to take it as well if interested in US racial relations, which seems to be quite a lot of the world at the moment.

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
Sam Percival | History and Politics (with Year Abroad) Contact Sam

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