HIST 6003/2 Section AA (Class# 2791)
Tu: 18:00 - 20:30
INSTRUCTOR: Barbara Lorenzkowski
In this course, we will explore contemporary debates about the meaning and practice of history. Our understanding of the term "historical theory" will encompass both philosophical musings on the nature of historical knowledge and issues concerning the everyday practice of historians.
In the span of a single term, we will not be able to discuss every recent development in historical theory. Instead, this course will take a thematic approach. Each week, our discussions will revolve around a different set of key questions with which historians currently grapple. Among the topics we will examine are: Lives of Learning, "Archive Fever," Time, Space, Communities of Memory, and Reading Culture. We will also examine the influence of the French philosopher Michel Foucault on historical theory and practice, and assess the profound impact of post-modernism on the historical profession.
In the remaining three weeks of the term, we will turn to three case studies that illuminate historical approaches to the past. In reading prize-winning works of historical biography, we will discuss how historians — much in the way of detectives — have pieced together seemingly insignificant clues to capture the lives of "ordinary" women and men of generations past. We will also turn to the history of the senses, a field of historical inquiry that has only recently come of age, and examine how historians are experimenting with different forms and modes in "telling stories."