04:30 PM to 07:10 PM W
Innovation Hall 316
Section Information for Fall 2023
This course differs from most other history courses in that it does not concentrate upon a specific geographic region or historical period, nor upon a particular social, political, or cultural topic. Instead, it focuses on historiography, or “the history of history,” and is intended to introduce graduate students to the major theories, methodologies, and problems of historical analysis and interpretation.
We will begin with a survey of key institutional and intellectual developments that have informed the practice of history as an academic discipline from the late nineteenth century to the present. Then we will closely analyze a number of recognized works (all from the twentieth-century) that exemplify important shifts in how historians (and some non-historians) have conceptualized processes of historical change, selected and interpreted the available evidence, and constructed narratives of the past. Finally, we will read and discuss a few more recently published titles that represent current trends in the production and presentation of historical knowledge.
Throughout the semester, we will explore some important and often overlapping themes, such as the nature and purpose of historical inquiry, the relationship between academic and popular approaches to history, the challenges of writing the history of people who left few sources of their own, and the ways in which history as a field has been implicated in the shaping and reinforcing of power relationships in the modern world. Students will also be encouraged to develop their own views about how and why approaches to the study and writing of history have changed over time.
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Enrollment limited to students with a class of Advanced to Candidacy, Graduate, Junior Plus, Non-Degree or Senior Plus.
Enrollment is limited to Graduate, Non-Degree or Undergraduate level students.
Students in a Non-Degree Undergraduate degree may not enroll.