Theory in Practice: Classics of History
This course provides the opportunity to do close readings of a series of texts that have had major influence on current historical writing, with an emphasis on social, cultural, and global history. The texts are divided into six groups, according to common topics, ideas, and perspectives. These are works of source-based, empirical history, written with strong emphasis on theory and methodology. It is their combination of theoretical reflection, methodological clarity, and historical insight that makes them 'classics' in our discipline.
The course aims at helping the participants to become better readers. It consists of a series of readings and discussions of the texts, and is based on active student participation. We will deepen our understanding of how theory informs our understanding of history and of how big theoretical and methodological questions can inform and enrich the writing of a master’s thesis. The course will also improve the students’ understanding of the development and some important debates of 20th and 21st century historiography.
Part of the team of lecturers who taught this course for MA students. Specifically, I co-taught 'History and sociology' and 'History and language.'
Cover of Michel Foucault, Histoire de la sexualité, 1976. © NRF.