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History Skills II

First Year Module

Module Leader: Dr Louise Carter

Following on from History Skills I, this module will provide an introduction to the development of history as an academic discipline and to continuing debates about the nature of history and its practice. By examining the development of key theoretical and methodological concepts in the practice of history, it is intended to provide students with an awareness of the issues, both intellectual and social, which have shaped and continue to shape the study of the past. It will explore, for example, the different ways in which social, cultural, political, Marxist, environmental or gender historians might approach the study of the same topic and the sources and questions that each might ask. It will help students to identify the different 'schools' of history and to begin to considerwhat kind of historian they might want to become and why. The module will enable students to identify and highlight trends in historical writing and the reasons why it is necessary for historians to engage with the wider historiographical context as well as primary sources. Distinctions between source types will also be discussed, alongside the problems and issues connected with the collection and use of different forms of historical evidence. The module will place particular emphasis on developing students' abilities to evaluate a range of evidence,interpretations and approaches, formulate, build and substantiate arguments, and debate and defendtheir own ideas. It is intended to provide students with an awareness of the variety of methodological, conceptual and theoretical issueswhich will inform subsequent modules studied at all levels of the history programme.


Learning and Teaching Strategies:

This module will be delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars, plus tutorial support. Where appropriate supporting resources will also be made available online. In this module students will be closely involved in the critical analysis of historical accounts and other printed secondary and primary sources.


Recommended introductory reading:

M.Bentley, Modernising Englands Past: English Historiography in the Age of Modernism, (Cambridge, 2006)

A.Budd, The Modern Historiography Reader: Western Sources, (London, 2009)

J.Tosh, The Pursuit of History, Aims, Methods and New Directions in the Study of Modern History, 4th Edn. (2006)

J. Tosh, Historians on History, (2008)

J.Warren, History and the Historians, (1999)


Further reading:

N.B. A full reading list is included in a module handbook which will be provided in the first week of teaching.

J.Arnold, A Very Short Introduction to History, (Oxford, 2000)

S.Berger, H. Feldner and K. Passmore, Writing History: Theory and Practice, (London, 2003)

J.Black and D. MacRaild, Studying History, 3rd Edition, (Basingstoke, 2007)

M.Bloch, The Historians Craft, (Manchester, 1992)

P.Burke, (ed.), New Perspectives on Historical Writing, (London, 2001)

H.Butterfield, The Whig Interpretation of History, (Oxford, 1931)

C.Butler, Postmodernism: A Very Short Introduction, (Oxford, 2002)

D.Cannadine, Making History Now and Then: Discoveries, Controversies, Explorations, (Basingstoke, 2008)

E.H.Carr, What is History?, 3rd Ed., (Basingstoke, 2002)

S.Davies, Empiricism and History, (Basingstoke, 2003)

R.J.Evans, In Defence of History, (London, 1997)

E.Hobsbawm, On History, (Harmondsworth, 1997)

M.Hughes-Warrington, Fifty Key Thinkers on History (London, 2000)

R.Hutton, Debates in Stuart History, (Basingstoke, 2004)

K.Jenkins, The Postmodern History Reader, (London, 1997)

A.Munslow, The Companion to Historical Studies, (London, 2002)

A.Marwick, The New Nature of History, (Basingstoke, 2001)

R.Samuel, Theatres of Memory: Past and Present in Contemporary Culture, Vol.1, (London, 1994)

J.Tosh, (ed.), Historians on History, (Harlow, 2009 [2000])

J.Tosh, The Pursuit of History, Aims, Methods and New Directions in the Study of Modern History, 4th Ed. (Harlow, 2006)

J.Warren, History and the Historians, (London, 1999): published previously as The Past and its Presenters (London, 1998)

H.White, Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-century Europe, (Baltimore, 1974)

A.Wilson (ed.), Rethinking Social History: English Society, 1570-1920 and its Interpretation, (Manchester, 1993)

M.Hughes-Warrington, Fifty Key Thinkers on History, 2nd Edition, (2009-10)