Early Modern Europe

History 101.005

Spring 2015
Instructor (text): 
Sam Robinson
Day & Time: 
MW 10-12P
  • Note new room.
  • This course will be a senior thesis seminar open to students planning to write on early modern Europe, a field broadly defined to include everything from the Italian Renaissance of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries to the political revolutions of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The seminar will guide students through the process of articulating a research topic, choosing appropriate sources, researching and writing a thesis. Given the scope and variety of early modern European history, this 101 will not focus on any single theme and is designed to accommodate a wide variety of interests. Class meetings will instead focus on the process of research and writing. Students may write on any topic in early modern Europe, ca. 1450-1800. The goal of the seminar is to construct a 30-50 page thesis, using primary sources to pose and answer a compelling historical question.
    Early meetings in the seminar will focus on selected readings to promote analysis of method, periodization, and the particular issues regarding the process of doing early modern European history.  As the semester enters its middle period, meetings will consist of individual consultations with the instructor. In the final third of the semester, the class meetings will reconvene as manuscripts begin to take shape. These final meetings will focus on progress reports, discussion, and collaborative feedback on our colleagues’ work. 
    Please contact the instructor via email at sam.robinson@berkeley.edu in order to begin discussion about potential topics and sources. Good theses will be based upon themes already developed over the fall semester or in a previous 103 seminar.  
    Sam Robinson is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History. His research focuses on post-Reformation England with interests in radical religion, the mind/body problem, and medicine. His dissertation examines the changing intellectual relationship between the spirit and the body in seventeenth-century England.