This course offers an opportunity for history majors and students intrigued by the past to reflect upon the practice of history. How do we claim to know anything about the past at all? How do historians construct the stories they tell about the past from the fragmentary remnants of former times? What is the connection between the past as it was lived and the narratives that historians write? How do we judge the truth and value of these histories and memories? The course explores questions such as these through readings and case studies drawn from a variety of places and times. A central aim of the course is to give students a sense of how the discipline of History has developed over time, as new theories and agendas have emerged, and as earlier versions of the past have been reevaluated in light of changing circumstances and commitments. Requirements include active participation in class and multiple graded and ungraded written assignments. Two meetings per week.
Not open to first-year students. Limited to 25 students. Fall semester: Professor Boucher. Spring semester: Professor Couvares.
How to handle overenrollment: Preference given to History majors.
Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Exploration of methodological and theoretical debates about the writing of historical scholarship. Extensive reading, several argumentative papers, intensive in-class discussions.