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Theories, Skills & Methods (HI989)

Theory
Convenor

Dr Laura Schwartz

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 two-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
  • Week 01: Introduction to Historical Research (1 PM-4 PM general induction)
  • Week 02: Class
  • Week 03: Power
  • Week 04: Practice
  • Week 05: Space
  • Week 06: Reading Week (no seminar)
  • Week 07: Gender
  • Week 08: Race
  • Week 09: Body
  • Week 10: Emotions
Illustrative 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)
  • Michel Foucault, I, Pierre Riviere, having slaughtered my mother, my sister, and my brother: A Case of Parricide in the 19th Century
  • 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
  • One 6,000-word essay, to be submitted at the end of the Autumn Term