Film and History - HY42049

Quick Facts

  • Level 4
  • 30 Credits
  • Semester 2
  • 24 places
  • History - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 100%
  • Evening module - Thursdays 18.00-21.00

Module Details

What is the relationship between academic history and film?   This module explores the inter-relationships between historians, and those who would present the past through the medium of feature and documentary films.  Do film makers have anything to add to the study and exploration of the past? And what, if anything, have historians to say when their craft is presented on the big (or small) screen?  Why is there a history channel, but not philosophy channel?  Why are there so many Nazis on cable TV? If film is to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries what the novel was to the eighteenth and nineteenth why still do historians write books? 

The module will explore the following:

  • Relationships between film and historiography
  • The Reductive nature of film as a medium for the presentation of history
  • The impact of historical film on mass consciousness
  • The politics of history in film
  • The historical film industry

Using case studies borrowing from historians' expertise, panel discussions, and the student led seminars, we will discuss themes leading to a better appreciation of the relationships between historians and the film medium.  Particular emphasis will be placed on the way film makers handle contested history, historiographical issues and complexity. 


Dr John Regan

Teaching staff

The staff teaching this module are:

  • Dr John Regan
  • Dr Murray Frame


This module is assessed as follows:

  • Presentation (20%)
  • Extended Essay (40%)
  • Module Journal (25%)
  • Seminar Performance (15%)


Indicative Reading

  • Robert A.  Rosenstone., History on Film: Film on  History. (London 2006)

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