The Medievalists: the Middle Ages in 20th century Eastern and Central Europe HIST5154

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This cross-subject team taught course examines the impact of the middle ages on the complex politics, culture and society of eastern Europe in the 20th century through a variety of texts of different genres and media. This course will examine the justifications and dangers of a synthesised past. Ethnicity, nationalism, religion and gender all come under consideration.


5x2hr lectures; 5x1hr lectures; 5x1hr seminars over 10 weeks as scheduled in MyCampus. This is an optional course and may not run every year. Courses running each session are available in MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses





Essay: 2500 words (50%)

Essay: 2500 words (50%)

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Explore the way the past has been handled and manipulated through works of history, fiction and film, looking in particular at the fledgling European states of the Versailles settlement, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Yugoslavia.

■ Investigate the use of popular history in general and the middle ages in particular to establish national identity, to uphold and resist Communism after 1945 and to reaffirm differing visions of nationhood in the 1990s.

■ Analyse how national ideologies based on the past competed against other ideological narratives such as modernism and scientific progress.

■ Evaluate the use and abuse of history in the era of mass media.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Appraise the relationship between perceptions of the past and present in twentieth century Central and Eastern Europe (in particular, Germany, Russia, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and republics of former Yugoslavia).

■ Apply multi-disciplinary analytical approaches to texts of a variety of media to interpret techniques used to give a particular impression of national history.

■ Judge how contemporary cultural priorities affect the study of the past and how perceptions of history shape contemporary cultural discourse.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.