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Thinkers on the Edge: Hope, Discontent and the Making of the Modern World - MHIS304

This unit will seek to understand how ideas that became articles of faith in the modern world often emerged as hope-filled arguments for change. Through a close engagement with key thinkers that shaped the project of modernity and their contexts we will seek to examine how thinkers saw the world around them and why they sought to change it. Each week includes one lecture on the writings and thought of a key thinker and one lecture on their historical context. Students will read and discuss, for example, Darwin in the context of Victorian Britain; Freud in Fin-de-Siecle Vienna; or Mao in Communist China. We will ask how these intellectual heavyweights saw their world? What problems were they trying to address? Were there ideas a success? How and why did their ideas remain important in the so-called intellectual canon? In considering this last question, we will critically engage with the necessarily political process through which certain thinkers are remembered and others forgotten in the contested histories of modernity.

Credit Points: 3
When Offered:

2018 - Next offered in 2018

Staff Contact(s): Dr Leigh Boucher

39cp at 100 level or above or (6cp in HIST or MHIS or POL units at 200 level including 3cp in HIST or MHIS) Prerequisite Information


Unit Designation(s):
Unit Type:
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations

Faculty of Arts

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
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