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Contested Nation: Germany, 1871-1918 (level 5)


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor: Professor Jan Rueger
  • Assessment: two essays of 2500 words and a three-hour examination

Module description

Who did the Germans think they were? This course explores how processes of nation-building and state-building were negotiated on and between local, regional and national levels in the nineteenth century. It examines the conflicting ways in which nationality and other concepts of 'belonging' were constructed in cultural and political contexts.

Constitution and citizenship, boundaries, war and memory, monarchy and empire are central themes; similarly race, gender and religion. Since the 'German Question' was not least about demarcating 'domestic' and 'foreign' ('national' and 'international'), the course investigates the European context and problematises the writing of history in national terms.

While focusing on Imperial Germany, it takes the long nineteenth century as its wider frame and includes an outlook on twentieth-century Germany.