HUMN 1039 Modern European History and Politics

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102000

Coordinator Margarite Poulos Opens in new window

Description This subject introduces students to the major events and ideas that have shaped Europe in the late modern period. There is a strong focus on the dramatic events of the twentieth century following the demise of empire, and the subsequent rise of competing nationalisms and radical politics. The subject is concerned equally with the cultural and social contexts in which these events occurred. Students will study the diverse ways in which historians have approached the history of the twentieth century from the study of high politics to the focus on daily life. Methodological questions that will be addressed include the relative role of individual agency and of structural constraints in explaining historical change. The subject will encourage students to evaluate the period as a whole, drawing on scholarship which engages the modernity - democracy - violence nexus.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline History

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 1 subject

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Describe the major themes of modern European politics culture and society;
  2. Discuss the impact of war, dictatorship and revolution on everyday life and the reconstruction of Europe since the demise of multi-ethnic empires and the rise of nationalism;
  3. Place the specific themes within a broader European and global context;
  4. Interpret and critically engage with historical scholarship and evidence;
  5. Identify the variety of ways in which historians approach the past.

Subject Content

This subject may include the following themes:
- Modernity and violence
- nations, nationalism, identity
- colonialism and decolonisation
- Conflict-World Wars, revolutions, revolts, resistance
- Transatlantic relations
- The new Europe
- Genocide
- Fascism, Nazism, Stalinism, totalitarianism
- protest and dissent East and West
- gender, race, class, religion
- national Communisms
- Liberalism
- Cold War
- European integration/ disintegration


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Tutorial Portfolio 1,500 words 30 N Individual
Essay 2,000 words 50 N Individual
Take-home Exam 48 hours given 20 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Hobsbawm, Eric, The Age of Extremes: a history of the world 1914-1991 (London: Vintage, 1994
  • Mazower, Mark, Dark Continent: Europe's Twentieth Century (London: Penguin, 1999).

Teaching Periods




Subject Contact Margarite Poulos Opens in new window

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Penrith (Kingswood)


Subject Contact Eduardo Ugarte Opens in new window

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Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Margarite Poulos Opens in new window

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