Module Catalogue 2022/23

HIS3346 : The Rising Generation: Youth, Age and Protest in Cold War Britain

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Laura Tisdall
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module considers how both conservatives and radicals used the language of age and life-stage to construct visions of the future between 1960 and 1989. How far can protest movements - second-wave feminism, black civil rights, gay liberation and CND - be understood as generational conflicts? And how does employing age, gender, class, race and sexuality as categories of historical analysis change the way that we do history?

This module aims to introduce students to important empirical and methodological questions about age, gender and sexuality, using a case study of Cold War Britain. It will consider the histories of 'muted groups' such as children, women, people of colour and LGBT people, but also demonstrate how the language used about such groups is used to structure power relations in society; for example, how groups and individuals are demeaned by being told 'that's childish' or 'you're acting like a girl'. The module will draw on a wide range of primary sources - for example, periodicals, photographs, maps, oral histories and self-narratives - and will be situated in the relevant historiography on post-war and Cold War Britain.

Particular attention will be paid to the following objectives:

•       How to use oral history and self-narrative sources.
•       How to use ‘secondary’ historiography when the main histories of a movement are written by contemporaries e.g. the historiography of second-wave feminism.
•       How to handle conflicting narratives about race, gender, sexuality and age critically, and how to use historical empathy to assess these sources.
•       How to analyse histories of particular phenomena using race, gender, age and sexuality as categories of historical analysis.

Outline Of Syllabus

A suggested list of seminar topics is as follows:

1.       Cold War Britain
2.       Class, trade unionism and the ‘New Left’
3. Race and immigration
4.       Black activism and Black Power
5.       ‘Second-wave’ feminism
6. CND and anti-nuclear activism
7. Childhood and the children's rights movement
8. Adolescence and student protest
9.       Lesbians and political separatism
10.       Gay men and AIDS
11. Trans, bisexual and gender non-conforming identities

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Knowledge and understanding of the way that concepts of childhood, adolescence and adulthood changed in the period c.1960 to c.1989 in Britain. Students will be able to describe a range of significant historiographical arguments about how these age-categories changed in this period, and assess how convincing these arguments are.

Knowledge and understanding of key protest movements in the period c.1960 to c.1989 in Britain. Students will know what these movements were and what their key goals consisted of, what the major conflicts were within these movements, and how they changed over time. They will be able to engage with major historiographical debates over the impact of these movements, and consider how thee movements affected each other.

Knowledge and understanding of competing visions of 'the future' in the period c.1960 to c.1989 in Britain. Students will explore how the term 'the future' was deployed in both mainstream and radical political discourses, how it framed discussions about the education, training and health of children and adolescents, and be able to describe how 'the future' was used differently by different historical actors in different contexts.

Knowledge and understanding of changing discourses around gender, sexuality, race, age and class in the period c.1960 to c.1989 in Britain. Students will be able to engage critically with both theoretical and historiographical literature on these identity categories. They will understand the key historiographical approaches and concerns within the histories of women/gender, people of colour/race, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age, and class, especially in the context of socialist and trade union activism.

Students will be able to evaluate historians' arguments on these topics, assessing how convincing they think they are, and supplement this analysis with their own primary source knowledge, drawn from our reading within and outside seminars. They will be able to appropriately situate their own arguments within the relevant primary and secondary literature.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Students will be able to:

- Understand new historical methodologies, such as what it means to use age and/or gender as 'a category of historical analysis.'
- Critically engage with primary sources on age, gender, class, race and sexuality, without imposing contemporary readings.
- Understand how ideas about age, gender, class, race and sexuality were used in competing visions of the future in post-war and Cold War Britain.
- Evaluate different historiographical interpretations of how ideas about gender, sexuality, class, race and age changed in this period.
- Have the ability to consider a range of conflicting interpretations and put forward their own view.
- Carry out independent research and critically analyse a range of different primary sources, from oral histories to visual sources to government reports.
- Be able to think about the histories of women, children, people of colour, adolescents and LGBT people as part of the wider post-war and Cold War history of the British state.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion561:0056:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials110:305:30Recorded online teaching materials of various kinds. Part of contact hours
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading551:0055:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00Synchronous PIP seminars.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study561:0056:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time110:305:30Asynchronous discussion on online discussion board.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The large % of independent study promotes self-directed learning and the effective use of primary and secondary literature. PIP seminar teaching encourages the close analysis of primary source material and the development of critical thinking and historical empathy. Online asynchronous discussions allow students to participate in class in a different way if they are less confident in PIP seminars. Recorded lecture materials provide scaffolding for student learning while preserving time in seminars for student discussion and analysis of primary sources and set reading, ensuring all students have a basic understanding of the topic and can participate in discussion.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A702500 word essay.
Portfolio1M30Essay Plan (500 words) and two other 250-word submissions.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation1MLength: 10 Minutes
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

This source-led course privileges close reading of the source material rather than memorisation for a timed examination. Therefore, the main assessments are coursework-based. This will allow the assessment of the intended knowledge outcomes by testing the students' understanding of the primary and secondary literature, and their ability to examine this literature critically and to situate their own argument within this existing work. Formative assessment, in the form of oral presentations, will allow students to develop their confidence both in public speaking and in posing questions to other students, skills which are important for the job market as well as for personal development

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. Where an exam is present, an alternative form of assessment will be set and where coursework is present, an alternative deadline will be set. Details of the alternative assessment will be provided by the module leader.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2022/23 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2023/24 entry will be published here in early-April 2023. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.