Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitHistory
OfferedNot offered in 2015
Coordinator(s)Dr Natalie Doyle


This subject reflects on both European cultural and everyday life from the 1880s to the start of the Second World War and its relationship to European experiences of violence. It starts by examining the crisis of liberalism (1880-1914), and the lived social experience as viewed "from below". It discusses the advent of nationalism, imperialism, and total war, as well as the intellectual roots and cultural manifestations of left and right totalitarian ideologies (Fascism, Nazism, Stalinism) by exploring the genesis of novel conceptions of revolutionary sociopolitical change. It also excavates what these ideas meant for ordinary people: peasant, workers, rank-and-file soldiers. Primary sources, such as letters, diaries, and oral histories, document enormous changes to European societyboth east and westbased on class, gender, and race/ethnicity. Cultural or political texts from the era demonstrate how new social divisions fostered extremist political ideologies but also inspired socio-cultural innovation.


On completion of this subject students should:

  1. Have a familiarity with, and an understanding of, significant features of Europe's cultural and intellectual development in the twentieth century
  2. Have an understanding of, and an ability to apply, key terms and concepts relevant to the culture and intellectual life of the period
  3. Be familiar with, and able to discuss, representative texts of the period, both expository and aesthetic
  4. Be able to demonstrate competence in the following skills:
    1. obtaining access to source materials and secondary writings through the library and other resources
    2. writing (including planning, arguing on the basis of evidence, and documenting)
    3. analysis and interpretation of cultural texts, including the application of appropriate terms and concepts for the discussion of content, form, and cultural and historical context
    4. oral presentation of information and argument based on guided and independent reading
    5. discussion of texts and oral presentations
    6. assimilation of information and opinion from various sources for purposes of forming independent judgments
    7. team work.

In addition, students taking the subject at third-year level should have some knowledge of different schools of thought concerning the ideas and cultural phenomena treated in the subject.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study