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Europaeum - Historiography


Admission requirements

Course designed for students enrolled in the Europaeum program.
If other students wish to follow this course, they should contact the instructor directly. Only students with a relevant BA degree may follow this course.


This course discusses major trends and debates in modern historiography through close readings of relevant texts. The discussions and assignments will focus on three aspects:
a) the most important developments in modern historiography;
b) major concepts in the philosophy of history;
c) methodological issues involved in the writing of an MA thesis.

Course objectives

General learning objectives
The student has acquired:

    1. The ability to analyse and evaluate literature with a view to addressing a particular historical problem;
    1. The ability to give a clear and well-founded oral and written report on research results in correct English, when required, or Dutch, meeting the criteria of the discipline;
    1. The ability to participate in current debates in the specialisation;

Learning objectives pertaining to the specialisation

    1. Thorough knowledge and comprehension of one of the specialisations or subspecialisations as well as of the historiography of the specialisation, focusing particularly on the following:
    • in the specialisation Europaeum: the European identity in comparative perspective; the development of European culture and society; international comparison; archival research; the perspective of one of the three different traditions – Leiden, Sorbonne and Oxford;

Learning objectives pertaining to this Literature Seminar

    1. To become familiar with the most important developments in modern historiography;
    1. To become conversant with major concepts in the philosophy of history;
    1. To become aware of the methodological issues involved in the writing of an MA thesis;


See Timetable and deadlines History

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar
    Students are not only supposed to attend all classes and read the required materials, but also to actively participate in oral discussions of the assigned texts.

Course Load

Total: 140 hours

  • Seminars (2 hours per week x 13 weeks): 26 hours.

  • Study of compulsory literature: 20 hours.

  • Preparation oral presentation: 32 hours.

  • Writing of final assignment: 62 hours.

Assessment method


  • Attendance and participation (students will be expected to take active part in class discussions)
    Measured learning objectives: all

  • Oral presentation/peer review (students will present the topic and chosen approach of their final assignment; they will also provide comments on their colleagues’ presentations)
    Measured learning objectives: all

  • Final assignment (students will be required to write the introduction to their MA thesis or to another research topic of their choice; ca. 2500 words)
    Measured learning objectives: all

Attendance: 5%
Participation: 20%
Oral presentation/peer review: 25%
Final assignment: 50%

The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average of all the assignments, with the additional requirement that the final assignment has to be marked 6 or higher for students to pass.

Should the final grade be under 6, the final assignment is to be revised after consultation with the instructor.


Blackboard will be used for communication and to share readings, as needed.

Reading list

Students who have attended no BA history courses and/or are insufficiently familiar with basic historiographical methodologies are advised to buy the following book:

  • Jules R. Benjamin, A Student’s Guide to History, 12th edition (2013), ISBN-13: 978-1457621444

The mandatory readings that will be discussed in class (articles & book chapters) will be available online


Via uSis

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


mw. Dr. F. Rosu