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Order & Disorder in Early Modern Society I - 20 credits (HST629)

The early modern period has been seen by many historians as the key transitional period between the brutal middle ages and the civilised modern world. Amongst many crucial changes, early modern people are said to have developed self-control within their personalities. As personal conduct became more strictly regulated, self-control became stronger amongst elite groups before gradually spreading to the lower orders. This MA module explores these historiographical assumptions through a detailed examination of early modern attitudes towards and attempts to regulate orderly and disorderly behaviour as well as such behaviours themselves. Through investigating a number of discrete topics, certain themes will be explored such as honour and dishonour; the experience of authority; law and society; gender and social order; change over time. We shall investigate these issues not only by an in-depth study of secondary historical literature, but also by a detailed analysis of primary sources.

Assessment: Assessed essay(s) (6-8,000 words equivalent)