Debating Pasts, Crafting Histories
- Module Code:
- Taught in:
- Full Year
The ultimate aim of the course is to provide students with the intellectual and reserch tools to undertake historical research in their own area of interest, and to familiarise with past and present uses of history, including possible career paths.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the module
Upon completion of the course, students will:
- be equipped with the intellectual and research tools necessary to conduct research in their own areas of historical interest;
- acquire knowledge of different historical research methodologies and approaches and develop an awareness of how and why historians have used particular materials to understand the history of particular areas and periods.
- be able to question a number of givens about western-centric historiographies, and to appreciate a diversity of historical approaches developed in the last decades.
- identify appropriate research questions and historiographical materials related to that question.
- be able to plan the basic structure of their dissertation and identify possible primary source materials.
- be exposed to different public uses of history and career paths open to historians.
- improve their awareness of task demands, their understanding of assignment requirements as well as their organisation of time and resources.
- develop writing, communication and interpersonal skills that will enhance their future professional profile in history-related careers.
Scope and syllabus
ERM 1 - Sources and Skills
Library skills (Special Session organized by the Library)
Written sources I - non-archival
Written sources II - archival
Archival skills (Special Session organized by the Library based on SOAS archival resources)
Images, maps, audiovisual & electronic sources
Oral sources: traditions & testimony
Archaeology, objects, & ethnography
History in Action: uses (and Abuses) of History
TERM 2 - Themes
Global & imperial history
Identities - nationalism & its rivals
Gender & sexuality
Religion & science
Demography & labour
Sensory history & daily life
Method of assessment
2 Assignments of 5,000 words worth 50% each
A number of books will be used more often than others, namely:
- Richard J. Evans, In defence of history, 2000;
- John Tosh, The pursuit of history, 2002;
- Peter Burke (ed.), New perspectives on historical writing, 2001;
- Michael Bentley, ed., Companion to historiography, 1997;
- Fred Cooper & Anne Stoler (eds.), Tensions of empire, 1997.