French MA

The Medievalists: the Middle Ages in 20th century Eastern and Central Europe HIST4246

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course examines the impact of the middle ages on the politics, culture and society of eastern and central Europe in the 20th century through a variety of texts. The course will examine the justifications and dangers of a synthesised past.


15x1hr lectures; 5x1hr seminars over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in History and may not run every year. The options which are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Excluded Courses





Essay (3,000 words) - 50%

Examination (90 Minutes) - 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Examine 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.

■ Study 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.

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

■ Discuss 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:

■ Produce a clear account of 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).

■ Analyse texts in detail and comment on techniques used to give a particular impression of national history.

■ Contribute to discussion of 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.