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Technology, Modernity and the Nation: Britain and Germany, 1880 to 1930


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor: Professor Jan Rueger
  • Assessment: one essay of 5000-5500 words (100%)

Module description

We will examine the cultural responses to and political uses of technological innovation in Britain and Germany. The emergence, in particular, of modern machines such as zeppelins, planes and battleships triggered debates and provoked ideas and images that are central for an understanding of the two countries in the modern age. The symbolic value of new technology, its relevance for ideas of modernity, as well as the construction of national and imperial identities, are the focus of the course.

We will introduce you to the major themes and debates that characterise the historiography of the two countries in this period; we bring together political and cultural readings of technology, and encourage you to explore comparative strategies in your own research.