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This is a course on the history of modern (nineteenth- and
twentieth-century) historical writing, with particular attention to
conceptual theories, research methods, and problems of historical
investigation. Topics that we will deal with in this course include the
emergence of historical scholarship as a professional endeavor, recent
directions in historical research, modern theories of history, and the
role of the historian as intellectual.
Prerequisite Junior, senior or graduate standing; 12 hours of history.
Attendance and Participation
This is a seminar. Regular attendance and student participation in
class discussions are essential for the success of this course.
Students are expected to complete reading assignments before class
meetings and come to class prepared to discuss the material. Informed
participation in class discussions will constitute a major part of your
final grade. Every Thursday (by 12:00 am) you must e-mail or deliver to
me a list of three issues or questions that you would like to raise in
class discussions. These lists will be helpful in the calculation of
your participation grades. You may choose not to submit the questions
on a maximum of two times in the semester. Every week one member of the
class will be responsible for introducing the readings to the class and
initiating the discussion. This too will factor in your participation
be expected to write two book reviews during the semester. Students
will choose the books from those texts assigned for meetings scheduled
after September 30. The reviews should be four to five pages long and
double-spaced. They should be turned in before the class meetings in
which these books will be discussed. Note that you may not review a
book that you are planning to introduce to the class. A book review
should provide a brief summary of the main themes and arguments found
in your book of choice and also give the student's opinion of its
strengths and weaknesses.
Each student will
prepare a bibliographical essay of about 12 to 15 pages, critically
reviewing the literature on a particular historiographical topic
relevant to the course. A brief (1-2 pages) prospectus of the essay is
due in class on October 21. A first draft of the essay should be
completed and presented to me by November 18. The final draft is due on
December 16. Late papers will be penalized one letter grade for each
day that it is late. Work that is a week late will not be accepted.
Exceptions to this policy will be made only in dire circumstances
(e.g., serious illness, death in the fan*, which must be documented.
In last two weeks of the semester students will present their projects
and will benefit from the criticisms of their classmates. For a more
informed discussion of their projects, they have to make copies of
their drafts available for their classmates (preferably a week before
|Attendance and Participation
(including participation in class discussions, lists of questions,
formal presentations, etc.):
|Book Reviews (2):
|Term Paper Presentation:
|Term Paper (including draft
Assigned Books (Available for Purchase at the University Bookstore):
Peter Burke, History and Social
(Cornell University Press, 1993)
Peter Burke, The French Historical
(Stanford University Press, 1990)
Vinayak Chaturverdi (ed.), Mapping
Subaltern Studies and the Postcolonial
(Verso Books, 2000) RG.
Collingwood, The Idea of History
(Oxford Press, 1994)
Alfred Crosby, Ecological Imperialism
(Cambridge University Press, 2003)
Michel Foucault, Madness and
Bent Flyvbjerg, Making Social
Science Matter: Why Social Inquiry Fails and How It Can Succeed Again
(Cambridge University Press, 2001)
Edward Said, Orientalism
House Trade Paperbacks, 1979)
Joan Scott, Gender and the Politics
(Columbia University Press, 1999)
Jennifer Webb, Jen Webb, Tony Schirato, Geoff Danaher, Understanding Foucault
Bent Flyvbjerg, "Habermas and Foucault: Thinkers for Civil Society?" The British Journal of Sociology
49:2 (1998), 210-233.
Robert Forster, "Achievements of the Annales School," The Journal of Economic History
38:1 (1978), 58-76.
William A. Green, "Periodizing World History," History and Theory
, 34:2 (1995),
William H. McNeill, "The Changing Shape of World History," History and Theory
Patricia O'Brien, "Michel Foucault's History of Culture" in Lynn Hunt
(ed), The New Cultural History
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989), 25-46.
Philip Pomper, "World History and Its Critics," History and Theory
, 34:2 (1995),
Gyan Prakash, "Orientalism Now," History
, 34:3 (1995), 199-212.
Stephen K. White, "Foucault's Challenge to Critical Theory," The American Political Science Review
80:2. (1986), 419-432.
Note: This syllabus is subject to change with sufficient notice if need
2 - Introduction
to the course
9 - History
Parts I, II, III, and skim Part IV)
16 - History and Theory II:
23 - History
History and Social Theory (entire)
of History I:
30 - Annales:
French Historical Revolution (entire)
"Achievements of the Annales School."
7 - World History:
"World History and Its
"The Changing Shape of
World History Green, "Periodizing World History."
14 - Introduction
Webb, Schirato, and Danaher, Understanding Foucault
O'Brien, "Michel Foucault's History of Culture."
21 - Foucault
His Own Words:
and Civilization (entire)
"Foucault's Challenge to Critical
28 - History
Social Sciences: Foucault contra Habermas:
"Habermas and Foucault." Flyvbjerg, Making Social Science
of History II:
4 - Gender
Gender and the Politics of History
11- Case Against Orientalism:
Orientalism (entire). Prakash, "Orientalism
18 - The
Subaltern Studies and the Postcolonial (introduction,
Course: November 25
December 2 -
(Optional: December 9 -
Presentations) December 16 - Final Paper Due!