Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Europe in early modern times c.1450 - c.1789

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION Over the course of 14 two-hours sessions, students will be given a coherent overview of the continuities and changes that Europeans experienced between c.1450s and c.1780s. The study-unit will commence with an introductory lecture which will tackle the range of intellectual labels that fall within this period, including but not limited to, 'early modern', 'Renaissance', 'Reformation', 'Counter-Reformation', and 'Enlightenment'. This will serve as a 'road-map' for students as it will provide the bearings necessary for them to meander through a rich and evocative time period. Lectures 2 to 7 will follow a chronological approach, whereby students will get a sense of how things changed between c.1450 and c.1789, taking in politics, religion, the economy, as well as contacts with the non-European world. Lectures 8 to 13 will be more theme-based, with each lecture focusing on a core aspect of the early modern period, ranging from Inquisition to the Russian Empire. Lecture 14 will then tie-up the study-unit and offer insights into the wholeness and the particularities of the time-frame covered.

Study-unit Aims

• To offer students insights into the history of Europe in early modern times from a variety of angles, including political developments, economic changes and religious issues;
• To make students aware of divergent points-of-view about history as a discipline and the early modern period in particular;
• To underscore the interaction between the different parts of Europe (and other areas of the globe) and the effects that this interaction had;
• To alert students about varying interpretations of the past.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• explain what the basic conceptual categories associated with the period c.1450-c.1789, are and what debates surround these;
• highlight and analyze key themes in the history of early modern Europe;
• describe developments in the history of early modern Europe from a variety of angles, including the non-European dimension.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• read critically and selectively and make sense of a range of secondary sources;
• navigate with confidence through online resources and understand how to distinguish between generic web sites and serious academic tools for the study of history;
• distinguish between primary and secondary sources;
• write an essay with a clear structure and logical presentation of arguments.

All of these skills are transferable and will prove useful to students in a variety of fields and career avenues.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

Main texts
• Koenigsberger, H.G., Mosse, George L., and Bowler, G.Q., Europe in the sixteenth century, (Longman, 1989) [Main Lib D220 .K64 1989]
• Pennington, D.H., Europe in the seventeenth century, (Longman, 1989) [Main Lib D240 .P46 1989]
• Anderson, M.S., Europe in the eighteenth century, 1713-1783, (Longman, 1987) [Main Lib D286 .A5 1987]
• Munck, Thomas, Seventeeth century Europe : state, conflict and the social order in Europe, 1598-1700, (Macmillan, 1990) [Main Lib D246 .M86]
• Cameron, Euan (ed.), Early modern Europe: An Oxford History, (OUP, 1999) [Main Library D228 .E27]
• Brady, Thomas A., Oberman, Heiko A., Tracy, James D. (eds.), Handbook of European history, 1400-1600: late Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation, 2 vols., (Brill, 1994-1996) [Main Lib D203 .H36]

Supplementary readings
• Eisenstein, Elizabeth L, The printing revolution in early modern Europe, (CUP, 1993) [Main Lib Z124 .E374] Eisenstein, Elizabeth L., The printing press as an agent of change : communications and cultural transformations in early-modern Europe, (CUP, 1979) [Main Lib, Short Loans Z124 .E37]
• Grafton, Anthony, and Blair, Ann (ed.), The transmission of culture in early modern Europe, (Penn, 1990) [Main Lib CB203 .T73]
• Burke, Peter, Popular culture in early modern Europe, (Ashgate, 2009) [Main Library CB358 .B87 2009]
• Diefendorf, Barbara B. and Hesse, Carla (eds.), Culture and identity in early modern Europe (1500-1800): essays in honor of Natalie Zemon Davies, (University of Michigan Press, 1993) [Main Lib D208 .C8]
• Burke, Peter (ed.), Economy and society in early modern Europe : essays from ’Annales’, (Routledge, 1972) [Main Lib HC240 .B8]
• Burke, Peter, What is cultural history?, (Polity, 2008) [Main Lib D13 .B87 2008]
• Elias, Norbert, The civilizing process : sociogenetic and psychogenetic investigations, (Blackwell, 2000) [Main Library CB83 .E413 2000]
• Koenigsberger, H.G., The Habsburgs and Europe, 1516-1660, (Cornell, Uni Press, 1971) [Main Lib D228 .K64]
• Kamen, Henry, Empire : how Spain became a world power, 1492-1763, (Perennial, 2004) [Main Lib DP164 .K36]

During the course of the lectures, students will be advised about, and provided with material for further reading, particularly through the VLE.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Essay SEM1 Yes 50%
Examination (1 Hour) SEM1 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Fleur Brincat
Emanuel Buttigieg
Adrian Scerri

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.