Historical Method and Theory

History 283

Fall 2013
Day & Time: 
M 2-4P

 What have historians claimed to do?  What implications have these claims had for the problems historians believed most important and how they worked with sources?  During the course, students will identify a common literature that all historians would benefit from knowing, regardless of the time period, place, or field in which they work.  Among the themes to be addressed are: epistemology and memory, causation and narrative, objectivity, historical example and analogy, microhistory, alternatives to nation-centered history, and the advantages and drawbacks of historical fragmentation.

Course Books

Colonialism in Question: Theory, Knowledge, History by Cooper, Frederick University of California Press. ISBN: 978-0520244146 Required
Logics of History: Social Theory and Social Transformation by Sewell, William H., Jr. University of Chicago Press. ISBN: 978-0226749181 Required
The Footnote: A Curious History by Grafton, Anthony Harvard University Press. ISBN: 978-0674307605 Required
The Culture of Civil War in Kyoto by Berry, Mary Elizabeth University of California Press. ISBN: 9780520208773 Required
Peasants into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France, 1870-1914 by Weber, Eugen Stanford University Press. ISBN: 0804710139 Required
Inescapable Ecologies: A History of Environment, Disease, and Knowledge by Nash, Linda University of California Press. ISBN: 978-0520248878 Required
The Death of Woman Wang by Spence, Jonathan D. Penguin Books. ISBN: 978-0140051216 Required
The Return of Martin Guerre by Davis, Natalie Zemon Harvard University Press. ISBN: 978-0674766914 Required
Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference by Chakrabarty, Dipesh Princeton University Press. ISBN: 978-0691130019 Required
Event, Metaphor, Memory: Chauri Chaura, 1922-1992 by Amin, Shahid University of California Press. ISBN: 9780520087804 Required
Practicing History: New Directions in Historical Writing after the Linguistic by Spiegel, Gabrielle M. Routledge. ISBN: 0415341086 Required
Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time by Koselleck, Reinhart Columbia University Press. ISBN: 9780231127714 Required
The Historian’s Craft by Bloch, Marc Vintage. ISBN: 0394705122 Required
That Noble Dream: The “Objectivity Question” and the American Historical Profession by Novick, Peter Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 0521357454 Required