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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Themes in American Historiography (PGHC11236)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryA core course for the M.Sc. in American History, Themes in American Historiography offers students an overview of the major debates, schools, and methodologies associated with history of the United States and its antecedents. Given the vastness of the subject and the richness of the literature, students will sample American historiography by reading a series of designated texts each week.
Course description This course takes a "great books" approach to American history, using ten prominent works to introduce you to some of the major topics, issues, and debates in the historiography of the United States. Rather than providing a comprehensive survey of the field, it offers the opportunity to discuss and analyse in depth a small number of historiographical landmarks. Each week we will focus on one book and discuss its arguments, its methodology, its strengths and weaknesses, and its contribution to U.S. historical scholarship. This is the required core course for the MSc in American History, and it is also available as an option for students on other MSc programmes. Students should gain an enhanced understanding of some of the main topics, issues, and debates in American historiography. Through detailed and rigorous analysis of significant works, students will develop critical awareness of how historians engage in historical debate and an understanding of the connections between historical argument, methodology, and sources. Students will also develop their skills as participants in oral discussion, and they will write an essay that demonstrates historiographical knowledge and awareness. Each week a student will be asked to lead the week's discussion. Every student should do this at least once during the semester.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) This course will be assessed by means of one 4000-5000-word essay.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate , both orally and in writing, in a detailed and critical command of the body of knowledge concerning the historiography of the United States and its antecedents
  2. Demonstrate in, both orally and in writing, an ability to analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship concerning American historiography including the methodology and the use of sources
  3. Demonstrate the ability to develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in oral and written form in seminar discussions, and presentations by independently formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence considered in the course
  4. Demonstrate in seminar discussions originality and independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers; and a considerable degree of autonomy
Reading List
Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (Cambridge, MA 1967)

John Mack Faragher, Women and Men on the Overland Trail (New Haven, 1979)

Eric Foner, The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery (New York, 2010)

Richard Hofstadter, The Age of Reform (New York, 1955)

Edmund Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia (New York, 1975)

James T. Patterson, Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974 (New York, 1997)

Daniel K. Richter, Facing East from Indian Country: A Native History of Early America (Cambridge, MA, 2001)

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on her Diary, 1785-1812 (New York, 1990)

C. Vann Woodward, The Strange Career of Jim Crow (New York, 1955)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsThemesinAmHist Themes American Historiography
Course organiserDr David Silkenat
Tel: (0131 6)50 4614
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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