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Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Spring 2005

HIS 383C • 2-Lit Eur Hist: Early Mod Per

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
37630 T
6:00 PM-9:00 PM
GAR 107

Course Description

The course will be taught in graduate seminar format (intensive reading, student presentations, and student-generated discussion) and will concentrate on three themes intended to introduce you to the subfield. Assignments in the course (still to be determined) will focus on the development of practical skills in the profession, such as preparing a lecture or a syllabus on an early modern topic, writing book reviews, or preparing a reading list for comprehensive exams. Each class meeting will include some aspect of each of the three themes. First,  the course will deal with the question of the increasingly problematic definition of early modernity: how is it different both from the medieval period and modernity, and what is the current historiographical status of matters we typically associate with early modernity when we teach it in the classroom (such as the Renaissance, the printing revolution, the emergence of secularism, the scientific revolution, emergence of capitalism, European expansion, absolutism & democracy, etc.).? Is early modernity a legitimate epoch in its own right, or is it always contingent on the medieval/modern split? Is early modernity relevant to areas outside of Europe? Second, the course is designed to introduce you to the most important historical and methodological approaches to and themes in the field of early modern history (this includes matters such as Annales historiography, microhistory, history of mentalities, linguistic theory and postmodernism, gender history, sociology of scientific knowledge, the discussion of early modern revolutions, the seventeenth-century crisis, confessionalization, etc.). Finally, students in the course will work together to construct a basic knowledge of the kinds of sources available for the study of early modern history (autobiographies, tax records, court documents, books and manuscripts, critical editions, etc.). This basic knowledge of sources (in German, Quellenkunde) is intended to provide either a step into the matter of primary research for future specialists or a basis for critique of secondary research in the field for future modernists or medievalists.


A non-comprehensive list of some possible and probable readings (proceeding at the pace of appromixately 1 monograph per week plus some supplements): Le Roy Ladurie, Peasants of Languedoc; Blickle, The Revolution of 1525; Carlebach, Divided Souls; Eisenstein, Printing Press as Agent of Change; Johns, The Nature of the Book; Beik, Absolutism and Society in Seventeenth Century France; Ca├▒izares-Esguerra, How to Write the History of the New World; Martin, Hunted Heretics; Ginzburg, The Cheese and the Worms; Schindler, Rebellion, Community & Custom in Early Modern Europe; Rublack, Gender in Early Modern German History; Gay, the Party of Humanity; Nalle, God in La Mancha; Seupp, Servants, Shophands and Laborers in the Cities of Tokugawa Japan. If you will definitely enroll in the class, please contact me asap with suggestions of secondary literature or topics in which you would be especially interested; perhaps they can be accommodated.


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