Postgraduate Course: History as Romance, Profession, Critique: Theory and Scholarship in the West, 1835 to 1985 (PGHC11332)
|School||School of History, Classics and Archaeology
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||Critical understanding of the history of historical inquiry now extends beyond the province of intellectual historians. Indeed, attempts to trace the methodological, epistemological, ideological, institutional, and stylistic trends that have characterised the theory and practice of historical scholarship now constitute a growing preoccupation for social, material, cultural, and political historians. This course examines key developments in the history of 'History', from Michelet's romantic popularisation of Vico during the 1830s, through Ranke's invention of historical disciplines during the late nineteenth century, through to the debates concerning 'the new cultural history' during the late-twentieth century.
This course will enable graduate students to engage meaningfully with key philosophical concepts, research methods, and publications that have contributed to the history of modern historical inquiry in Western Europe and North America, c.1830-1985. Using Jules Michelet's popular rediscovery of Giambattista Vico's Scienza Nuova (1725) in 1835 as a departure point, we will address the ways in which historians, who maintained a wide range of commitments (including nationalist, romantic, positivist, sociological, materialist, anthropological, structuralist, and poststructuralist commitments), made use of historical scholarship and Viconian historicism in particular to elaborate their projects. Drawing on theoretical readings and historical publications from across the West that span some 150 years, the weekly readings and discussion also will feature documentary evidence (including music and visual art) to illustrate the legacies of this past in current professional practice. All readings will be provided in English, or in English translation.
This course will comprise weekly 2-hour seminars, each of which will include a short lecture, informal student presentation, and discussion.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Assessment of a 3000-word research paper (80%)
20 minute, in-class presentation (20%)
80% of the final grade for the course will be determined upon assessment of a 3000-word research paper that comprises a critical study of materials related to any of the themes or topics addressed in the course. In addition, each student will give an informal 20 minute presentation, circulating a one-page bibliographical handout; this will be worth 20% of the final grade. A primary criterion for both assessments will comprise effective use of the knowledge and skills outlined in the Learning Outcomes. Individual topics will be chosen by the students and will be subject to approval by the course organiser. Students will be expected to participate in all seminar meetings.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate, through an in-class presentation and submission of a final paper, a detailed and critical command of the body of knowledge that documents the emergence of historical scholarship as a cultural and intellectual phenomenon, in the West, c.1835-1985
- Demonstrate through the in-class presentation and submission of the final paper, an ability to analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship concerning the emergence and development of historical scholarship, 1823-1985), its documentary source materials, and their conceptual significance.
- Demonstrate, through seminar participation, an ability to understand and apply specialised research or professional skills, techniques and practices considered in the course: these include close-reading of historical sources, and articulate engagement with the associated scholarship.
- Demonstrate the ability to develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in oral and written form, in seminar discussions, the in-class presentation, and written submission, by independently formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence considered in the course;
- Demonstrate, in seminar discussions, the in-class presentation, and written submission, 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.
|W. Von Humboldt, "On the Historian's Task," trans. Louis. O. Mink. 1822. History and Theory 6 (1967): 57-71|
G. Vico, "Principles of the New Science concerning the Common Nature of Nations," 1725, New Science. Trans. D. Marsh London: Penguin, 1999. 1-23; 24-5; 128-9; 152-3; 355-7; 367.
A. Comte, A General View of Positivism, 1848, trans. J. H. Bridges. London: Truebner, 1865. 8-60; 340-426.
K. Marx with F. Engels, "Premises of the Materialist Conception of History," 1845, The German Ideology. Trans. and ed. S. Ryazanskaya, New York: Prometheus, 1998. 36-7, 41-3, 57-51. *
É. Durkheim, On Suicide. 1897. Trans. R. Buss. Introd. R. Sennett. London: Penguin, 2006. Third part: "On Suicide as a Social Phenomenon in General".
M. Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, 1904-05. Introd. A. Giddens. London: Routledge, 2001. [Main text of 1904-5]
O. Spengler, "Form and Reality," The Decline of the West. Outlines of a Morphology of World History. Trans. J. Boll in A. Budd, The Modern Historiography Reader: Western Sources. London: Routledge, 2008. 239-44.
M. Bloch, "A Contribution Towards a Comparative History of European Societies," 1928. Trans. J. E. Anderson.
F. Braudel, Afterthoughts on Material Civilization and Capitalism, trans. P. Ranum. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1977.
E. Le Roy Ladurie, Montaillou: Cathars and Catholics in a French Village, 1294-1324, trans. B. Bray. 1975. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1980.
W. Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism, 1933. Trans. V. F. Carfagno. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1972. [Trans. T. P. Wolfe]
J. Scott, "History-Writing as Critique," Manifestos for History, ed. K. Jenkins et al. London: Routledge, 2007. 19-38.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Keywords||Romance Profession Critique
|Course organiser||Dr Adam Budd
Tel: (0131 6)50 3834
|Course secretary||Mrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948