Summer 2021 - HIST 407 D100

Popular Culture in Great Britain and Europe (4)

Class Number: 3462

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history. Recommended: HIST 106.



This course will study culture in Great Britain and Europe since 1500. Themes may include the sixteenth century separation between popular and elite culture, Carnival, the witch craze, popular ballads, the institution of 'rational recreation' during the Industrial Revolution, the late Victorian Music Hall, the cultural emancipation of women, and the effects on working class culture of economic depression and world war.


I regret the fact that the global pandemic has made it impossible to teach this course in person on campus.  

In revising the requirements for this course, I have tried to strike a balance between permitting students to work as flexibly as possible without compromising academic standards.

This version of History 407 is less a seminar than a course in which all of your readings, viewings and assignments are directed towards writing a superior research paper.  

There are NO formal synchronous seminars in connection with this course.  In the first week of the Summer semester, I will contact each of you to make sure you understand the expectations and requirements of this course.  I will also be scheduling weekly consultation sessions.

Using the library’s subscription to Mass Observation Online, this online research seminar examines popular culture in the British Isles from 1939 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 war came in 1939, these volunteer observers were asked to keep ‘war diaries’ and these form the heart of the Mass-Observation archive.  The focus of this research seminar is on the Mass Observation archive. Our central question is how can a detailed examination of one life illuminate the social history of a past society.


  • Directive report (1200 words) 20%
  • Diary report (1500 words) 20%
  • Participation 20%
  • Research Project 40%



All readings on Canvas or through Mass Observation Online

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 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods, but we will continue to have in-person experiential activities for a selection of courses.  Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote 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. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112).