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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Introduction to Historiography (HIST08044)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIntroduction to Historiography introduces students in the second year to some of the important frameworks through which academic historians approach (and have approached) the past. By surveying and analysing distinct approaches to the past, the course will ground students in what historiography is and why it matters.
Course description Introduction to Historiography introduces students in the second year to some of the important frameworks through which academic historians approach (and have approached) the past. By surveying and analysing distinct approaches to the past, the course will ground students in what historiography is and why it matters. It builds on the foundation of historical skills and introduction to different approaches to history acquired in Year 1's Historian's Toolkit, and prepares students for the more nuanced and complex handling of historiographical concepts and frameworks required at Honours level.

There are three main threads running through the course:

1) History of historiography: narrating and explaining the development of distinctive approaches within history since its emergence as a university-based discipline.
2) Theorising historiography: how historians theorise what historiography is and distinctive historiographical approaches to the past.
3) Historiography in practice: how historians 'apply' these distinctive approaches to generate new understandings of past societies across different chronological and geographical contexts.

Lectures will contextualise the development of distinctive historiographical approaches; survey relevant theoretical debates underlying these approaches; and provide introductory examples of how these approaches affected understandings of past societies. Weekly tutorials and study groups will focus more closely on analysing specific applications of distinctive approaches to the past across different geographical and chronological contexts.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed The Historian's Toolkit (HIST08032)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass in any first level course achieved no later than August of the previous academic year.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  350
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Other Study Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 154 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Students will take part in Autonomous Learning Groups from week 2
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 90 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Weekly contribution to tutorial discussion forum, 10 x 200 words (40%)
Essay - 2,000 words (50%)
Tutorial participation (10%)
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Team during their published office hours or by appointment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework, a critical understanding of the different frameworks in which historians approach history, and the significance of historiography;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework, an ability to assimilate a variety of sources and formulate critical opinions on them;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework, an ability to research, structure and complete written work of a specified length, or within a specified time;
  4. demonstrate an ability to make informed contributions to class discussion and give an oral presentation as required;
  5. demonstrate an ability to organise their own learning, manage their workload, and work to a timetable.
Reading List
AHR Forum, 'The objectivity question and the future of the historical profession,' American Historical Review, Vol. 96 (1991), 675-708

Sarah Barber and C. M. Peniston-Bird, History beyond the Text: a Student's Guide to Approaching Alternative Sources (2009)

Adam Budd, Modern Historiography Reader (2009)

Peter Burke, What Is Cultural History? (2008)

E.H. Carr, What is History? (1961)

Peter Claus, and John Marriott, History: An introduction to theory, method and practice (2012)

Georg Iggers, Edward Wang, Supriya Mukherjee, A Global History of Modern Historiography (2008, 2016)

Alun Munslow, 'Why Should Historians Write about the Nature of History (Rather than just do it)?', in Rethinking History, 11:4 (2007), pp.613-25

John Tosh, Historians on History (2000)

John Tosh, The pursuit of history: aims, methods, and new directions in the study of modern history, 5th edn. (2010)

Toni Weller, History in the Digital Age (2013)

Daniel Woolf, A Global History of History (2011)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - ability to draw valid conclusions about the past
- ability to select and apply a variety of critical approaches to problems informed by uneven evidence
- ability critically to assess existing understanding and the limitations of knowledge and recognition of the need regularly to challenge/test knowledge
- ability to test, modify and strengthen one's own views through collaboration and debate
- ability to marshal argument lucidly and coherently
- ability to approach historical problems with academic rigour
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Anna Groundwater
Tel: 0131 (6)50 2553
Course secretaryMr Mark Newman
Tel: (0131 6)51 5232
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