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Seminar Group 5

Summer Term

  • Sadly there can be NO face-to-face teaching throughout the summer term due to the corona virus
  • Please continue to work towards the remaining written assignments (research project & reflections on oral participation)
  • Beat is available for advice and any questions via email; see also my circular of 22 April
  • Further information has been circulated by the department and module director


Weeks 19-20 - affected by industrial action

  • Please keep up with required seminar preparations (week 19: 2 slavery databases and secondary reading by Chater and Brion Davis; week 20: Turkish letter and essential reading by Subrahmanyam)
  • Work towards the revised essay deadline


Week 18 - Popular Politics and Protest

  • No lectures Mon/Tue (due to industrial action) but digests have been posted on the lecture page
  • Seminar will take place as normal, with the following content:
    • We'll start with some brief reflections on 'politics' in general & monarchy in particular (i.e. last week's topic)
    • The main focus will be on 'popular politics', so please:
      • Take a close look at the '12 Articles', the main list of complaints/demands emerging in the German Peasants' War (1525) which occurred at the time of the early Reformation & the related questions
      • Read the required text by Blickle, thinking about what it means for popuar political agency
      • Study ONE further text from the recommended/further reading to feed into discussions


Week 17 - States, Empires & the Performance of Power

  • We are now moving into the 'political' section of the module
  • All please read the Louis XIV primary source and the key secondary text by Butters
  • Individually, and in line with your personal interests, check out one of the resources in the right-hand margin of the seminar materials page for this week plus 1 item from the recommended or further reading.


Week 16 - Reading week (no lectures / seminar)

  • Please familiarize yourselves with the forthcoming essay assignment and use reading week for selecting your question, related research and the development of an argument
  • You may also wish to start your reflection process with regard to oral participation/engagement


Week 15 - WORKSHOP on Religion, Science and Print

  • For general context, please all read the essential texts by Capp, Hill Curth & Grafton;
  • To facilitate the practical exercise, familiarize yourselves with these extracts & comments from a 'how-to' guide to astrology as well as these associated images;
  • Part 2 of the seminar will reflect on the set questions relating to the popularity of astrology, its relationship to 'science' and the role played by print.


Week 14 - Popular Cultures & Witchcraft

  • Please all read the essential chapter by Capp in The European World;
  • Additionally, as assigned in the seminars, please focus on ONE of these two areas:
    • Popular Cultures, esp. with reference to the Hogarth illustration (cf. Brathwaite's The Lawes of Drinking, 1617) and the essay by Scribner
    • Witchcraft, esp. with reference to the illustration by Baldung and the texbook by Levack


Week 13 - Catholic Christianity

  • Examine the highlighted source (‘I cannot do otherwise’ by Yang Guangxian) in light of the suggested questions
  • Read the essential text on the Catholic Reformation by Ditchfield and choose one more item from the list of 'recommended' titles in line with your preferences
  • Think about points of connection with last term's lecture/classes on Asia and the Americas
  • Check out the response to student feedback by the module director, which can now be found on your moodle site for HI113 


Week 12 - The Impact of Reformation

  • Was the Lutheran reform movement a success? We'll disuss this with reference to the Strauss article on 'Success & Failure'
  • How can we account for confessional divisions and the spread of Calvinism? Here we'll be guided by the essential text (Eire on the 'reform of the Reformation')
  • In which ways did contemporaries think about theological differences? See the chart by Perkins and consider the case of the Anabaptists


Week 11 - The Origins of the Reformation

  • This term we turn our attention to the key theme of religion and religious change, starting off with an examination of spiritual life at the close of the Middle Ages
  • Please study the specified woodcut by Cranach and read the essential chapter by Swanson plus one other title of your choice on Germany/Luther
  • Discussions will focus on the 'strengths/weaknesses' of pre-Reformation Catholicism and Luther's appeal in Germany



  • Feedback on assignments will be published centrally within the vacation
  • Happy Holidays !


Week 10 - Global Trade & Economies

  • No lectures due to industrial action but some materials may be posted on the lecture/seminar page
  • The Thursday seminar will take the form of a debate on the proposition: 'The early modern period saw the emergence of a modern global economy'
    • Arguing for a 'yes': Alex, Alexander, Aoife, Ashley, Charlie, Cheryl, Edward, Emma
    • Arguing for a 'no': Harry, Isaac, Josh, Oliver, Riyan, Sam, Seán, Sophie
  • Please prepare by reading the primary source, the essential article by Berg and ONE of the two recommended readings by Berg / de Vries


Week 9 - Mediterranean

  • Lectures and seminar will not take place due to industrial action, with apologies for any inconvenience caused; feel free, of course, to do the required/recommended reading on the seminar page.


Week 8 - European Invasion of the Americas

  • NB: Don't forget to submit your Historiographical Review on Tabula before the due date !
  • All please look at the primary source, read the required Elliott chapter & engage with ONE image, newspaper or European report accessible via the links on the right-hand margin of the seminar resources
  • Plus prepare to feed in key points from EITHER the titles by Brenner, Canny, Schwartz and Thornton (as assigned in the seminar)


Week 7 - 'Indian Ocean' Workshop

  • Read TWO items from the list of recommended titles (Parker, Interactions / Gommans, ‘Indian Ocean’ / Games, Empire); get into the habit of reflecting each text as critically as you do for the historiographical review.
  • With reference to the seminar questions, think about how different historical actors active in and around the seventeenth-century Indian Ocean might have responded to and engaged with one another.


Week 6 - Reading week (no lectures/seminars)

  • Use this time to make progress on our first module assignment, the Historiographical Review: choose your article/chapter by the end of week 5 and then think about its sources, methods, arguments, strengths & weaknesses; read 2-3 other relevant / related texts and bear in mind that this is not just about summarizing the article's contents: 'The main aim of the historiographical review is to show that you can reflect critically on a piece of academic historical writing, and demonstrate some understanding of how it fits within a wider historiographical field'.


Week 5

  • Read the Sara Pennell article
  • Select a recipe thinking about what information it might hold for historians & find an modern object you like on a museum website
  • As assigned in the last seminar, additionally have a look at ONE of these texts:
    • Fashion: Lemire, Beverly, ‘Draping the body and dressing the home: the material culture of textiles and clothes in the Atlantic world, c. 1500-1800’ in Karen Harvey, ed., History and material culture: a student’s guide to approaching alternative sources (2009)
    • Food: Lehmann, Gilly, ‘Reading recipe books and culinary history: opening a new field’ in DiMeo, Michelle, and Sara Pennell. Reading and Writing Recipe Books, 1550-1800 (2013).
    • Material Culture: Gerritsen, Anne and Giorgio Riello, ‘The global exchange of goods’, in Beat Kümin (ed.), The European World (3rd ed, 2018), 205-14


Week 4

  • Case study 1: Monstruous Births (1562 / 1568)
  • Locate and engage with the two suggested tracts (formal appearance, language, content)
  • Priority secondary text: Lotz-Heumann on 'Natural and Supernatural'


Week 3

  • Required primary and secondary sources
  • In pairs: present brief report on article/chapter(s) assigned last time, focusing on our seminar questions


Week 2

  • Required primary and secondary texts
  • Prepare to feed in information from one supplementary text


Week 1 Tasks

  • 'Europe / Beyond Europe in 1500' chapters from The European World

Time / Venue:
Thursdays 11-12 in H0.04-5

Tutor: Beat

Participants: Alex, Alexander, Aoife, Ashley, Charlie, Cheryl, Edward, Emma, Harry, Isaac, Josh, Oliver, Riyan, Sam, Seán, Sophie

Link to full Seminar Resources