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Prospectus

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Holy War, from late Antiquity to the 21st century

Course
2021-2022

Admission requirements

This course is part of the (Res)MA History Programme. Students from within the specialization the course belongs to have right of way. It is not accessible for BA students.

Description

Wars or massive armed violence for the sake of God or the sake of a divinized historical future have occurred over and over again in the course of the history of the so-called West since (arguably) late Antiquity. God or divinized history have been components in more recent conflicts, including America´s Iraq war (but also earlier American wars). After some dipping into the vast historiography on the topic, students will identify primary evidence for a case-study of their choice, on which they will write an individual paper. (Res)MA students will be expected to use (and reflect upon the use of) models and theories from other disciplines than History, as well as synthesize in discussion the various papers.

Entry test: Pick three chapters that are of interest to you in the volumes of the Cambridge History of War and/or the Cambridge World History of violence, and write a QUARP for each. This choice will also possibly tell the instructor what your interests are…

Course objectives

General learning objectives

The student has acquired:

  1. The ability to independently identify and select literature, using traditional and modern techniques;
  2. The ability to independently identify and select sources, using traditional and modern techniques;
  3. The ability to analyse and evaluate a corpus of sources with a view to addressing a particular historical problem;
  4. The ability to analyse and evaluate literature with a view to addressing a particular historical problem;
  5. The ability to independently formulate a clear and well-argued research question, taking into account the theory and method of the field and to reduce this question to accessible and manageable sub-questions;
  6. The ability to independently set up and carry out an original research project that can make a contribution to existing scholarly debates;
  7. The ability to give a clear and well-founded oral and written report on research results in correct English, meeting the criteria of the discipline;
  8. The ability to participate in current debates in the specialisation;
  9. The ability to provide constructive feedback to and formulate criticism of the work of others and the ability to evaluate the value of such criticism and feedback on one’s own work and incorporate it;
  10. (ResMA only:) The ability to participate in a discussion of the theoretical foundations of the discipline.

Learning objectives, pertaining to the specialisation

The student has acquired:

  1. Thorough knowledge and comprehension of one of the specialisations or subtrack as well as of the historiography of the specialisation, focusing particularly on the following;
    -in the specialization Europe 1000-1800: the broader processes of political, social and cultural identity formation between about 1000-1800; awareness of problems of periodisation and impact of ‘national’ historiographical traditions on the field.
    -in the specialisation Politics, Culture and National Identities, 1789 to the Present: political practices, symbols and perceptions, nationalism, and national identities in a cultural and societal context from 1800;
  2. Thorough knowledge and comprehension of the theoretical, conceptual and methodological aspects on the following:
    -in the specialisation Europe 1000-1800: the ability to analyse and evaluate primary sources from the period, if necessary with the aid of modern translations; ability to make use of relevant methods of quantitative and qualitative analysis to interpret sources in their textual and historical context.
    -in the specialisation Politics, Culture and National Identities, 1789 to the Present: international comparison and transfer; the analysis of the specific perspectives of secondary studies; a cultural-historical approach of politics and a political-historical approach of culture.

Learning objectives, pertaining to this Research Seminar

The student:

  1. will gain insights into the religious dimensions of conflicts (when present)
  2. will gain insight into models of secularization that explain the presence of religious elements in seemingly non religious conflicts (and the counter-models)
  3. will be introduced to models and theories from outside the historical discipline
  4. will be able to compare and contrast present-day and premodern armed violence
  5. (Res)MA students will be expected to use (and reflect upon the use of) models and theories from other disciplines than History, as well as synthesize in discussion the various papers. They should be bold enough to propose new avenues for historical research.

Timetable

The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar (compulsory attendance)

This means that students must attend every session of the course. If a student is not able to attend, the student is required to notify the isntructor beforehand. The instructor will determine if and how the missed session can be compensated by an additional assignment. If specific restrictions apply to a particular course, the instructor will notify the students at the beginning of the semester. If a student does not comply with the aforementioned requirements, the student will be excluded from the seminar.

Assessment method

Assessment

  • Written paper (6500-7500 words, based on research in primary sources, excluding title page, table of contents, footnotes and bibliography)
    measured learning objectives: 1-8, 11-16 (ResMA also: 17)

  • Entry test
    measured learning objectives: 11-13

  • Oral presentation
    measured learning objectives: 2-7

  • Assignment 1 (Literature survey)
    measured learning objectives: 4, 11-12

  • Assignment 2 (Comment on colleague´s written paper)
    measured learning objectives: 9

Weighing

  • Written paper: 70%

  • Oral presentation: 10%

  • Assignment 1: 10%

  • Assignment 2: 10%

The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average with the additional requirement that the written paper must always be sufficient.

Deadlines

Assignments and written papers should be handed in within the deadline as provided in the relevant course outline on Brightspace.

Resit

Should the overall mark be unsatisfactory, the paper is to be revised after consultation with the instructor.

Inspection and feedback

How and when a review of the written paper will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the results, a review of the written paper will have to be organised.

Reading list

  • Philippe Buc, Holy War, Martyrdom, and Terror: Christianity, Violence, and the West (Philadelphia: 2015)

  • Mark Juergensmeyer, Margo Kitts, and Michael Jerryson, eds., Oxford Handbook of Religious Violence (Oxford: 2013)

  • The Cambridge World History of Violence, multivolume (Cambridge: 2020)

  • The Cambridge History of War, multivolume (Cambridge: 2020)

  • Materials posted online.

Registration

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.

Contact

  • For course related questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Huizinga.

Remarks

None.