HIS 306N • History: An Introduction-W
2:00 PM-3:00 PM
In this course, students learn the skills of historians through first-hand experience. First, we will trace the history of history itself, from differing concepts of time and historical memory among human societies, to the consolidation of history as an academic discipline less than two hundred years ago, to the current sprawling diversity in approaches to historical craft. We will also briefly examine some of the issues and problems in the philosophy of history. The most important part of the course is the student's own historical research project. The topic will be chosen by the student with the instructor's approval. Topics may cover any period of time and geographical area, but should be centered on a problem or question that particularly intrigues you, the student researcher. The project will proceed through a series of well-defined exercises provided by the instructor, but the final product will be entirely your own.
This class includes a substantial writing component. Students will be expected to devote serious attention and effort to improving their writing during the course of the semester, whatever their skill level at the outset. The instructor will provide constructive guidance and detailed analysis of each student's writing assignments. Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary.
READINGS may include: Richard Marius and Melvin Page, A Short Guide to Writing About History (4th Edition) Mark Gilderhus, History and Historians: A Historiographical Introduction (5th Edition)