Introduction to History and Theory

History 283.002

Fall 2005
180 Barrows
Day & Time: 
Th 4-6

This seminar is an introduction to a broad array of issues in history and theory. Instead of casting ";theory"; and ";history"; as separate. antagonistic discourses, it hopes to encourage students to theorize history and historicize theory. For a few hours each week, we are going to think carefully about ";history"; as an idea and a practice. At the same time, we will explore the various ways in which ";theory,"; even at it's most deliberately anti-historical, projects it's own histories. We will begin with canonical works in philosophy of history, survey developments in theory and criticism from structuralism to postcolonialism, and conclude with recent debates about history and memory in museum and popular cultures. And while the bulk of our reading comes from the canon, we will pay special attention to the margins since History is defined by its boundaries. The course centers on weekly discussions of the texts. We have no outside readings. There will be three brief papers, one due in class week five, another due in class week ten, and the last one due in class week fifteen. All readings will be on reserve.