HST6052: Stories of Activism in Sheffield, 1960 to the Present
15 credits (semester 2)
Module Leader: Dr Adrian Bingham
This module will enable students to explore modern political and social activism by studying specific campaigns in Sheffield. Students will get the opportunity both to examine local campaign materials (being collected in a new archive) and to hear the stories of activists themselves by conducting an oral history interview. Potential areas of study include trade unionism, employment and labour rights; women’s issues, environmentalism, community-building; and peace, refugees and human rights. Students will learn how to analyse local activism using perspectives from the broader literature on democratic culture and social movements.
This module will enable students to develop a critical understanding of modern political activism by examining a local case study. Students will deepen their knowledge of public history – learning, in particular, about oral history – and develop their skills of primary source analysis. They will learn to evaluate the historiography on political activism and social movements. Seminars will provide a forum for students to make and defend their arguments orally.
The module will be taught in five two-hour classes. The initial seminars will focus on methodological and theoretical discussions of political activism and oral history, and later ones will focus in more detail on specific campaigns chosen by students. There will also be a visit to the Stories of Activism archive. Students will be encouraged to set up an oral history interview with an activist on the Stories of Activism database. Students will, in addition, have individual tutorial contact with the module leader in order to discuss their written work for this module.
Students will prepare a 3,000 word paper based either on the oral history interview, or on the study of the archive, supplemented by other suitable primary sources (e.g the local press). Students will also be expected to demonstrate knowledge of the relevant secondary literature.
|Intended Learning Outcomes|
By the end of the unit, a candidate will be able:
- to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of a specific political or social campaign in Sheffield and be able to relate it to a broader national and/or international context
- to demonstrate a critical understanding of the historiography on political activism and social movements
- to show an awareness of the methodological possibilities and implications of public history and local history
- to demonstrate the ability to collect data by conducting oral history interviews, and to show an understanding of the ethical issues involved
- to formulate and articulate historical arguments both orally, before the members of the seminar, and in written form in assessed work.
- to demonstrate interpersonal skills and the ability to engage in cooperative group learning in seminar discussions of interpretive issues.
- to demonstrate strong bibliographical skills in various media