The Archaeology of the Cold War

Subject area: Archaeology, History, Geography (Historical)

Summary: Between 1945 and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the world was split between the political ideologies of capitalism and Soviet bloc communism. The military standoff between the United States of America and the Soviet Union shaped the history of the second half of the 20th century. Archaeology is the study of human history through objects and as such, the Cold War, with its bunkers, missile silos, airfields and other installations, has an archaeological footprint. In this session, we will explore some of the buildings and structures built during the Cold War.

Links to curriculum:

A Level AQA History:

2R The Cold War, c1945-1991

2T The Crisis of Communism: The USSR and the Soviet Empire, 1953-2000

Historical investigation (non-exam assessment)

A Level OCR History:

Y100: Topic based essay

Y222: The Cold War in Asia 1945-1993

Y223: The Cold War in Europe 1941-1995

A Level Pearson Edexcel History:

37.1: The changing nature of warfare, 1859–1991: perception and reality

The Archaeology of the ‘Friendly Invasion’, 1942-1945

Subject area: Archaeology, History, Geography (Historical)

Summary: Over the course of the Second World War, the American strategic bombing campaign aimed at Western Europe was predominately based in East Anglia. Although only entering the war in December 1941, by May 1942, the United States Army Air Force had already been allocated 28 sites from which to operate in the east of England. In this session we will explore the archaeological legacy of the ‘Friendly Invasion’.

Links to curriculum:

A Level AQA History:

1K The making of a Superpower: USA, 1865-1975

Historical investigation (non-exam assessment)

A Level OCR History:

Y100: Topic based essay

A Level Pearson Edexcel History:

37.1: The changing nature of warfare, 1859–1991: perception and reality

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English: Human-Environment Relations in Thomas Hardy’s The Woodlanders (1887)

Dr Jonathan Memel

Summary: This lecture explores how Thomas Hardy reimagined the relationship between humans and the natural world. The Woodlanders (1887) depicts people and nature interacting in more balanced ways than much of the environmental literature that came before. As well as drawing on key passages from the novel itself, this lecture will also show how new ideas about biology and evolution informed Hardy’s interest in the non-human world. It was first made available to undergraduates for the third-year module, ‘Writing the Environment.’

This lecture will be of particular interest to GCSE and A-Level students studying Hardy or environmental literature. It might also inspire those of you who are interested the 2022 BGU English Short Story Competition, Plotting New Worlds.

Links to curriculum:

AQA: AS and A Level English: 'Love Through the Ages: Shakespeare and Poetry'.

Cambridge International: AS and A Level English: 'Shakespeare and Drama'.

OCR: A Level English: 'Content of Drama and Poetry Pre-1900'

English: To Tweet or Not to Tweet

Dr Amy Albudri

Summary: When speaking about social networks today we immediately think of sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Yet the concept of social networks came long before the invention of the Internet; the ‘Great Bard’ himself was a pioneer of literature as a form social networking. Not only did the ‘new media’ of print in sixteenth-century England enable theatres to draw together more diverse communities than ever before, but we also find different metaphors for social media in Shakespeare’s plays. These range from ‘Tweeting’ to ‘trolling’ and highlight how technology and the humanities have historically shared the same objective: to facilitate communication among people. The lecture gives an insight into how we study Shakespeare at BGU: 'on stage' as well as 'on page'.

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History: A Not So Silent Witness - Fenner Brockway’s conscientious objection during the First World War

Dr Hazel Kent

Summary: Fenner Brockway energetically campaigned for peace in a variety of ways during the First World War: through his journalism, political activity, work for the No-Conscription Fellowship, and being imprisoned for 28 months as a conscientious objector. This lecture, based on original archival research, explores these varied experiences along with the socialist and spiritual convictions which underpinned them.

History: The Magna Carta through Time

Dr Erik Grigg

Summary: For students interested in medieval England, civil liberties, and historical interpretations through the ages. This lecture examines the Magna Carta (Lincoln's copy) and how it has been used and abused over time. In this lecture, the document is put in its proper medieval context, before exploring how it was forgotten and resurrected in the Stuart period before becoming a beacon of liberty in the United States. The session will outline how later interpretations of the contents of the Magna Carta often bear little resemblance to the actual document King John agreed in 1215, offering the opportunity for history students to reflect upon the use and abuse of historical documents through time.

History: Smoking and tobacco consumption during the First World War

Dr Michael Reeve

Summary: This lecture focuses on cigarette and tobacco consumption among British soldiers and sailors during the First World War, looking at the diverse ways that both the government and ordinary civilians sought to supply tobacco products to their loved ones fighting abroad. Students will be encouraged to think about the reasons why smoking was so important to wartime soldiers, sailors, and civilians, and reflect on changing attitudes to smoking over time in Britain.

Military History: Weaponizing Journalism: SOE Agent Virginia Hall & the New York Post, 1940-45.

Dr Claire Hubbard-Hall

Summary: During the Second World War, Allied Intelligence Services effectively weaponized journalism, using journalist-operatives as a means of intelligence gathering in hard-to-reach areas, such as Vichy France. The Special Operations Executive (SOE) recruited the American national, Virginia Hall, who, in August 1941, was dispatched from Britain under the cover identity of a Vichy correspondent for the U.S. newspaper, the New York Post. Hall’s nationality and ‘regular job’ of reporting provided the perfect cover story as an SOE agent.

This lecture reviews the shared characteristics of intelligence services and news reporting, demonstrating how together, through a shared sense of patriotism and trust; they transformed the nature of wartime secret warfare and covert operations.

Primary Education: History in Primary Teaching

Summary: For those of you who have studied History at college or just have an interest in History, this session discusses how you can transfer this love for History into being a primary school teacher. I take you on the journey I have followed through my own education (which included studying History at college and university) to becoming a primary school teacher and finally a Head Teacher.

I also delve into what History looks like in a primary school including why it is taught, the key skills we develop in children through History, teaching local History, and I also offer some examples regarding how teachers can bring history to life for primary school children.

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