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HIS2300 : 1968: A Global Moment?

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Matt Perry
  • Lecturer: Dr Sarah Campbell, Dr Ellie Armon Azoulay
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


In 1968, in various parts of the globe, seemingly stable governments and regimes were shaken by a wave of protest movements that ostensibly shared more than mere timing. It was a year of seismic social and political change globally. From the anti-Vietnam war and civil rights movements in the United States, student protests and revolutions across Europe, the rise of the New Left, and the emergence of second-wave feminism, the ‘1968 moment’ is central to understanding the second half of the twentieth century. This module will highlight the similarities and differences in the 1968 experience across four key case studies: France, Germany, United States, and Northern Ireland. It will take a thematic approach, intersecting macro- and micro-level analysis and case studies. It will encourage students to consider the ‘1968 years’ as a significant moment between postwar austerity and the Thatcher-Reagan years, and examine whether there is a common 1968 experience or conflicting ideals. By considering the trajectories of activists across the four case studies, including transnational links between them, the module will develop students’ skills in comparative history and their awareness of memory as a historical source.

Outline Of Syllabus

This syllabus may be subject to variation:

1 Global 68 an introductory lecture
Race and ethnicity
2 Martin Luther King’s murder, Black Power and 1968
3 Catholics and the Orange State in 1968
4 Immigrant workers and student internationalism in the May Events
5 The American 68: the absence of labour protest?
6 Housing, jobs and class demands in the Northern Irish Civil Rights movement
7 The May-June strike movement: 10 million workers against 10 years of Gaullism
8 The US women’s movement
9 Republicanism, civil rights and women’s liberation
10 May 68, sexual freedom and the origins of French women’s and gay liberation movements
11 Did 68 change the world?

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion661:0066:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials32:006:00film viewing and reflection, counting towards contact hours
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading661:0066:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops112:0022:00weekly document and reading workshop
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery61:006:00Documentary, module content and assessment guidance. Necessary scaffolding for the assessment.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study341:0034:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

WORKSHOPS encourage independent study and promote improvements in oral presentation, interpersonal communication, problem-solving skills, research skills and adaptability.

LECTURES enable students to gain a wider sense of historical argument and debate and how such debates operate, which also allows them to develop comparisons between different historiographical debates.

SURGERY TIME: Staff will make themselves available in their offices for four hours over the course of the module to see students individually on issues concerning them, although we expect this will focus on preparation for assessments.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M50Comparative essay 2000-word based on a primary source: The Courier in 1968
Essay1A502000 words (incl footnotes but not bibliography)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Work submitted during the delivery of the module forms a means of determining the student’s progress. Summative assessment tests knowledge outcomes and develops skills in research and reading.

Students will be expected to prepare for the lectures and seminars by doing specific reading, completing specific tasks and preparing group presentations. Details of this will be provided in the handbook and in seminars.

Summative assessment

Written exercise: a global and transnational source (due week 8)
•       students write an analysis of the Global 68 critically using The Courier (the Newcastle University Students' Union newspaper) as source material.

Essay: ‘Connected themes’ essay: a comparative essay structured around the themes and documents of the course, due in the assessment period.


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.

Modules assessed by Exam only:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be two 2,000 word written exercises; 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.

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