19th Century Europe image

Division and unity

This new course will cover a broad range of interconnected topics - each week will focus on a new aspect of the politics, economics, society and culture of nineteenth-century Europe.

Our starting point will be the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, events which reverberated throughout the rest of the century. The course will end when Europe was once again divided by conflict in the form of the First World War - we will trace the gradually developing trends, events and tensions which contributed to the outbreak of this global upheaval.

In contrast to these periods of conflict, we will also explore key changes which occurred in this period that unified Europe; examples might include the Industrial Revolution, scientific discovery and innovation, and improved medical expertise and treatment.

An investigation into the growth of imperialism and nationalism will be key to understanding this period, and we will examine the rise of the Austro-Hungarian, British, Russian and German Empires.

Other topics from this period which may form the basis of one or more sessions will be the extraordinary developments and advances in art, literature, photography, music, sport, travel and electricity.

Not just a series of lectures, this multi-media course will include group discussions and object identification tasks. These discussions will be stimulated by literary and archival sources, images of historic objects, photographs and video clips. Visits to local institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum could be included, subject to interest. Students will be encouraged to complete some independent reading, in order to contribute to discussions and focus on topics which interest them the most.

Questions regarding the content and teaching of the above course should be addressed directly to Dr Nicola Pickering, nicola.pickering@oxon.org.

Enrolment infos

Imperial College undergraduates and postgraduates may, if they wish, acquire 2 ECTS credits after successfully completing their Evening Class. To qualify, a student must attend the classes regularly and pass a test at the end of the second term. Students will be invited to apply in the second term to take the test.