Summer 2022 - HIST 407 D100

Problems in Modern British History (4)

Wartime Lives

Class Number: 2428

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 10 – Aug 8, 2022: Fri, 9:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history. Recommended: one or more of HIST 215, 225, 314.



Examines select problems in the social, cultural, and political history of modern Britain. Content may vary from offering to offering: see course outline for further information. HIST 407 may be repeated for credit only when a different topic is taught.


Wartime Lives 

Using the library’s subscription to Mass Observation Online, this research seminar examines ordinary lives in the British Isles from 1938 to 1945. These years of war, rationing and state intervention, had, and still have, an enormous impact upon modern Britain. Mass-Observation was created in 1937 with the aim of documenting popular beliefs and activities. Hundreds of volunteer observers were recruited and asked to keep written reports on their daily lives and to respond to specific questions about a range of topics. When Britain declared war on Germany in September 1939, these volunteer observers were instructed to keep ‘war diaries’ and these form the heart of the Mass-Observation archive.  The focus of the seminar will be on the social history of wartime lives during these years of crisis and change. Our central question is how can a detailed examination of one life illuminate the social history of a past society.


  • Directive Report (1500 words) 20%
  • Diary Report (1800 words) 20%
  • Research Essay (3500 words) 40%
  • Seminar Participation 20%


If you wish to take this seminar but are unable to participate in person, you should email Professor Craig ( to discuss your options. Depending on enrolment, it MAY be possible to work out an accommodation.



All of the readings and films to be viewed are available through the Library or Canvas.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.


Teaching at SFU in summer 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction.  Some courses may be offered through alternative methods (remote, online, blended), and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes. 

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote, online, or blended courses study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the summer 2022 term.