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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 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
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 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.

Lectures will introduce and contextualise influential historical works and approaches. Weekly tutorials will focus more closely on specific cases across different geographical and chronological contexts.

Content note: The study of History inevitably involves the study of difficult topics that we encourage students to approach in a respectful, scholarly, and sensitive manner. Nevertheless, we remain conscious that some students may wish to prepare themselves for the discussion of difficult topics. In particular, the course organiser has outlined that the following topics may be discussed in this course, whether in class or through required or recommended primary and secondary sources: misogyny, gender-based violence, discussions/depictions of physical violence, genocide and atrocity, illness and mortality, racial violence, colonial violence, war, discrimination. While this list indicates sensitive topics students are likely to encounter, it is not exhaustive because course organisers cannot entirely predict the directions discussions may take in tutorials or seminars, or through the wider reading that students may conduct for the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST 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.

Students on the Economic History (MA Hons) degree do not require the compulsory pre-requisite 'The Historians' Toolkit'
PLEASE NOTE: The pre-requisite is still compulsory for ALL OTHER DEGREE PROGRAMMES
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  375
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 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
1,000 word Essay (40%)
2,500 word Essay (60%)
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 a critical understanding of the different frameworks in which historians approach history, and the significance of historiography;
  2. assimilate a variety of sources and formulate critical opinions on them;
  3. research, structure and complete written work of a specified length, or within a specified time;
  4. make informed contributions to class discussion and give an oral presentation as required;
  5. 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)

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

Ulinka Rublack, ed., A Concise Companion to History (2012)

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 Tereza Eva Valny
Tel: (0131 6)50 9110
Course secretaryMr Rob Hutchinson
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