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HIS1104 : Public History

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Lauren Darwin
  • Lecturer: Dr Jen Kain, Dr Alison Atkinson-Phillips
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module will introduce students to ideas and practices of public history, and critically engage with some approaches. Students will begin to develop some of the key skills of public historians, especially in regards to communication and collaboration.

Outline Of Syllabus

•Introduction: What is public history? An international overview
•Publics and counter-publics and why they matter
•The past in the present: historical justice
•Approaches to Public History

      -History for the public: delivery and reception
      -History with the public: history from below and memory activism
      -History in public: heritage, memorialisation and commemoration

Case Studies working across the inter-connected themes of race, war, environment, gender and class.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00PIP
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion621:0062:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading451:0045:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Seminars PIP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops51:005:00Skills workshops related to assessment PIP
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study601:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time61:006:00Drop in sessions with Module Leader (online)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

LECTURES: enable students to gain a wider sense of historical argument and debate.

WORKSHOPS: Workshops will focus on key practical skills associated with Public History, including: critical analysis and different forms of public communication.

SURGERY TIME: Module leader designated drop in sessions.

SEMINARS: weekly seminars are an opportunity for students to consolidate their learning. They encourage independent study and promote improvements in oral presentation, interpersonal communication, problem-solving skills, research skills and adaptability.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation52M30Recorded individual presentation
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A502000 word essay
Written exercise2M20600 word blog post
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessment will be by (a) a blog post reflecting an example of public history (b) an individual presentation on an aspect of public history (c) a final essay problematising public history and its central questions.

This combination is designed to assess students' skills in presenting information to a public audience (both orally and in writing) in addition to the more traditional essay style format which will assess critical thinking, academic reasoning and execution.

Submitted work tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes, develops key skills in research, reading and writing.

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 only:
All semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be expected to complete the standard assessment for the module; 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.

Reading Lists