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Prospectus

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Historical culture in the Low Countries, 1300-1700

Course
2010-2011

Admission requirements

1) a BA degree in a relevant discipline. A good reading knowledge of Dutch is essential. French and Latin may come in useful.

2) Entry test

Read:

  • Deborah Mauskopf Deliyannis, Historiography in the Middle Ages, (Leiden 2003), both chapters by Ainsworth.

  • Peter Burke, The Renaissance sense of the past (1969)

  • Daniel Woolf, The social circulation of the past. English historical culture, 1500-1730 (2003), p. 1-182

And write a short essay (2500 words max), considering the following questions:

What, if anything, changed in the way in which people engaged with the past between 1300-1700? What evidence is there for this development? How do the authors account for this change?

The essay is to be handed in in the first class

Week 1 (31/1) Introduction

Having done the work for the entry test, formulate at least three propositions about this topic that you are prepared to defend in class. Bring enough copies of the propositions to the class.

Description

Late medieval and early modern people engaged with the past in many ways – some of them wrote chronicles or learned histories, and began to collect old artefacts and organize archeological expedictions. For most others, the past was transmitted through
singing, mythmaking and storytelling, by memorizing family histories, drawing up genealogies, and transmitting the knowledge associated with special places in the urban or rural landscape.
In his 2003 book The social circulation of the past. English historical culture, 1500-1730, the Canadian historian Daniel Woolf introduced the term ‘historical culture’ for this broad spectrum of ways of handling, transmitting and using of knowledge about past events, figures and places. He also argued that in England, this historical culture transformed under the influence of a greater ‘awareness of change’, that was itself the result of great changes in English society. The aim of this course is twofold. First, in Woolf’s footsteps we want to examine a broad range of ways in which Netherlanders between 1300-1700 engaged with the past. Secondly, we should like to investigate whether in the Low Countries it is also possible to detect a correlation between actual social change, and changes in historical culture.

Course objectives

Students will:

  • familiarise themselves, and engage with, recent scholarship about the ‘sense of the past’ in this period

  • learn how to identify, locate and study relevant primary sources, and to develop the skills needed to conduct independent research for their MA dissertations

  • practice primary source analysis

  • present their findings orally in a class presentation, and in a written paper of 7500 pp. max.

Timetable

See course-schedule

Mode of instruction

Research Seminar.

Assessment method

Entry test (see “Admission requirements” above), oral presentation, essay of 7500 words max.

Blackboard

Reading list

Preliminary reading:

  • Deborah Mauskopf Deliyannis, Historiography in the Middle Ages, (Leiden 2003), both chapters by Ainsworth.

  • Peter Burke, The Renaissance sense of the past (1969)

  • Daniel Woolf, The social circulation of the past. English historical culture, 1500-1730 (2003)

  • Daniel Woolf, ‘From Hystories to the Historical. Five transitions in thinking about the past, 1500-1700’, Huntington library quarterly 68, 33-70.

Registration

See enrolment-procedure

Contact information

prof dr. J. Pollman dr.R.Stein

Remarks

If only native speakers of Dutch participate, we will teach the course in Dutch