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Theories, Skills & Methods (HI989)

Theory
Convenor

Dr Claudia Stein

Context

This is a compulsory 30 CATS one-term MA module designed to equip students with the methodological skills needed to carry out an extended piece of historical research and writing. Students on all four MA History courses are required to follow it during the Autumn Term, and the teaching is delivered in weekly one-hour seminars.

Timetable

Module Aims
  • To widen and deepen students’ understanding of methods and approaches to the study of history across space and time
  • To help students develop a conceptual and practical understanding of the skills required by historians and scholars from neighbouring disciplines
  • To help students hone their ability to formulate and achieve a piece of critical and reflective historiographical writing
  • To support students in developing the ability to undertake critical analysis
  • To help students develop the ability to formulate and test concepts and hypotheses
Intended Learning Outcomes
  • A conceptual and practical understanding of the skills required by Humanities scholars
  • The ability to formulate and achieve a piece of critical and reflective historiographical writing
  • The ability to undertake critical analysis
  • The ability to formulate and test concepts and hypotheses
Outline Syllabus
A new historiography book is excellent to get an introduction and overview and should be read alongside the required readings for each individual session:
Stefan Berger, History and Identity: How Historical Theory Shapes Historical Practice, 2022. (e-book library)

Bibliography:

  • Anne McClintock, Imperial Leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest (New York: Routledge, 1995)
  • Stefan Berger, Heiko Feldner and Kevin Passmore (eds), Writing History: Theory and Practice (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2010)
  • Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. Beacon Press, 2005)
  • Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto (London: Verso, 1998)
  • Richard Sennett, The Hidden Injuries of Class (Cambridge, 1977)
  • Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality. Volume 1. An Introduction (1978)
  • Larissa N. Heinrich, The Afterlife of Images: Translating the Pathological Body between China and the West (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008)
  • Brinkley Messick, The Calligraphic State: Textual Domination and History in a Muslim Society (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993)
  • Daniel Miller, Material Culture and Mass Consumption (London, 1997)
Assessment
2,000 word essay on a theoretical approach of the students choice (week 4, check tabula for deadline)

4,000 word essay on a theoretical approach of the students choice (week 7, check tabula for deadline)

For some top tips about writing this essay see here.