Module Catalogue 2024/25

HIS3328 : Imagined Futures (Inactive)

HIS3328 : Imagined Futures (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Luc Racaut
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



This module explores the history of the future, the time when in Europe, people began looking forward to the future, rather than back to a bygone golden age. This implies a shift from a circular conception of time to a linear one. Looking forward to the future, the idea of progress is currently in crisis not least due to pessimistic diagnosis of global warming. It is useful to think about the history of the future, its intellectual genesis in the Early Modern period (16th to 18th century) and what the future has meant for European cultures in the 19th and 20th century in order to understand current cultural developments. The module will explore scientific optimism as well as the emergence of utopias and dystopias as models for the development of modern society.

Outline Of Syllabus

The following is a guide only. Actual subjects may differ from those listed.

WEEK1 From cyclical to linear time: inventing the future

WEEK2 Mediaeval time: stasis?

WEEK3 The Renaissance: the future that time forgot.

WEEK4 The Scientific Revolution: all steam ahead.

WEEK5 Enlightenment: building the future.

WEEK6 19th c. The Golden Age of the future

WEEK7 1900-1945: Visions of a better world

WEEK8 1945-1970: Rockets, nukes and space travel

WEEK8 1970-1990: No Future?

WEEK9 Visions of the apocalypse to come

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

This module aims to:
1) Provide an opportunity to acquire a sound general knowledge of the subject, reading widely and
critically in the primary and secondary literature associated with it and to develop the capacity for
independent study.      
2) Provide an opportunity of investigating in some depth selected problems, including the appraisal of
selected source material and the critical examination of current historiography.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Development of capacity for independent study and critical judgement and of the ability to respond
promptly, cogently and clearly to new and unexpected questions arising from this study.
Development of associated skills in research, critical reading and reasoning, sustained discussion
and appropriate presentation of the results.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion501:0050:00Assessment preperation
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading591:0059:00set, recommended and further reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00Seminars. PiP
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion111:0011:00Weekly seminar preparation, delivered via Canvas.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study581:0058:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The structured guided learning hours mightcombine short (c.20 mins) pre-recorded lecture sessions explaining key context, concepts and historiographical issues with document-based exercises intended to reinforce understanding through direct engagement with the sources discussed. These activities will inform the structured research and reading activities, which will allow students to use the knowledge acquired through the learning materials to produce their own responses and ideas to the material. These ideas will then be presented and discussed in small group teaching, encouraging independent learning, discussion, and debate, while also guiding students on how to approach primary sources and historiography in a critical and effective manner.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination14401A7524hr take home exam of 2000 words length
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M25Essay/documentary commentary of 1,500 words (including footnotes but excluding bibliography)
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1M500 word documentary commentary, to prepare the submission of the assessment.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Exams test acquisition of a clear general knowledge of the subject plus the ability to think and analyse a problem quickly, to select from and to apply both the general knowledge and detailed knowledge of aspects of the subject to new questions, problem-solving skills, adaptability, the ability to work unaided and to write clearly and concisely.

Documentary commentary exercises and examinations test knowledge and understanding of the texts set for the module. The ability to compare and contrast related source texts on a common subject. The ability to expound and criticise a textual extract lucidly, succinctly and with relevance in a relatively brief space, and, in an exam, under pressure of time.

Work submitted during the delivery of the module forms a means of determining student progress.
Submitted work tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes, develops key skills in research, reading and writing.

This module can be made available to Erasmus students only with the agreement of the Head of Subject and of the Module Leader. This option must be discussed in person at the beginning of your exchange period. No restrictions apply to study-abroad, exchange and Loyola students.
All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree.
Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. This will take the form of an alternative assessment, as outlined in the formats below:

Modules assessed by Coursework and Exam:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be one essay in addition to the other coursework assessment (the length of the essay should be adjusted in order to comply with the assessment tariff); to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending the whole academic year or semester 2 are required to complete the standard assessment as set out in the MOF under all circumstances.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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