This course discusses major trends, paradigms, and debates in modern historiography through close readings of relevant texts. Special attention will be given to methodological issues involved in the historical craft.
The success of this seminar depends on the active participation of all students. Students are not only supposed to attend all classes and read all required materials, but also to contribute to discussions of the assigned materials.
This course aims: (a) to enable students to reflect on major theoretical trends in historical studies; (b) to train students to produce well-researched and well-argued history papers.
Mode of instruction
Mid-term assignment – 20%
- You will be asked to analyze a short excerpt from a historian’s work, from the perspective of its approach and methodology (approx. 1000 words)
Final essay – 50%
- You will be asked to discuss the best approach and methodology for the analysis of a primary source of your choosing (approx. 2500 words)
The primary source & the approach are entirely your choice (but the selection should be done in consultation with me). I recommend you choose a source that has some connection to your research interests, and ideally with your M.A. thesis, if you already know what it is going to be.
Attendance and overall participation in class discussions – 10%
Discussion leading – 20%
- Each student will lead one discussion in this course. The ‘discussion leader’ will prepare a presentation of the required readings for that particular week and will lead discussion during class.
Students should buy Historiography: An Introductory Guide by Eileen Ka-May Cheng (2012).
Other reading materials (articles, book chapters) will be made available at the beginning of the semester.