From Source to Public: The Historian's Flowchart through Imperial Eyes

2019-2020

Course Objective

From Source to Public aims (1) to provide an introduction into
historical research on MA level, with a hands-on overview of all the
components of historical research (research question, historiography,
source selection and analysis, concepts, methodology, publication,
valorization), and how they connect. (2) Students get acquainted with
the sources, methodology and research possibilities of the
specializations of the Master's programme embedded in a focused
introduction into research approaches in the various historical
time periods, disciplines and specializations. They will (3) deepen
their knowledge of the historical research process, and (4) practice
skills to position themselves in the academic and social fields
historians operate in.

Course Content

This introductory course to the history programme unravels the
historian's flowchart by analyzing and taking all the possible steps of
the historical research process from source to public. Starting from the
umbrella topic 'Imperial Eyes', we will discuss the building blocks that
construct a historical work. What is the role of the individual
historian, can one reshuffle building blocks, for instance by
experimenting with different sources, concepts, methods, perspectives,
target groups?
The theme 'Imperial Eyes' refers to the title of a well known study by
Marie Louise Pratt. The course applies this as an umbrella concept that
allows to discuss and evaluate various approaches to the both history
and the historiography of empires. Which concepts do historians employ
in historical works that explicitly or implicitly deal with European
expansion since early modern times? What are the debates and the
possible contested aspects of those concepts? Who are the historians who
study this field? Together we will explore the analytical power of
traditional and perhaps less familiar historical sources for a global
history of culture and power. How can texts, objects, or even senses
unravel the past for us and help us analyze the relation between
individual lives, the dynamics of empires and power in history? Students
will set up their own research project and write a paper in which they
analyze sources and position themselves in current historiographical
debates on imperial history.
Since we follow the full historians' "flow chart" during this research
process, we also incorporate and discuss what is often called
"valorization" of research. What is the value of humanities research?
What is the role of the public in the historian's process? How are
historical studies streamlined by their interaction with various
audiences, readers, stakeholders? Students will explore the public role
of the historian by taking part in public events, such as lectures,
masterclasses or academic conferences, and by training their skills in
scientific journalism like in writing blogs or reviews.

Teaching Methods

Weekly seminars with mandatory attendance; participation in at least one
academic and one public historical event (like a conference, book
launch, lecture, public debate); attendance of lectures organised by
CLUE+ is recommended; participants are encouraged to also organize a
CLUE+ event themselves.

Method of Assessment

Participation, Presentation and Weekly Assignments (30%)
Assignment Self Reflection connected to 'Historians and Public' (10%)
Assignment Self reflection connected to 'Research proposal' and
presentation of Research Proposal (10%)
Final Research Paper (50%)

Entry Requirements

BA in History or other relevant disciplines.

Literature

Lisa Lowe, The Intimacies of Four Continents (Duke University Press,
2015).
Other literature and primary sources will be announced at Canvas.

Target Audience

Students MA History; and Humanities Research Master (History
specialization); Students MA Educatie in de Mens &
Maatschappijwetenschappen; Students MA Curating Art and Cultures
(History specialization); Open as elective for other Master students in
Humanities and Social Sciences

Additional Information

The introductory course From Source to Public has both a scholarly
purpose and a social function. It provides an introduction to historical
research on Master's level and to the specializations of the MA History
programme that are embedded in the research context at VU.The course
aims to unite students of History with various interests and
specializations at the beginning of their Master's and Research Master's
programme, developing a 'community of learners' by discussing all
aspects of the historian's practice and challenging the students to
reflect on the type of historian they aspire to be.

General Information

Course Code L_GAMAGES022
Credits 6 EC
Period P1
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator prof. dr. S. Legene
Examiner prof. dr. S. Legene
Teaching Staff prof. dr. S. Legene
dr. T.A.E.R. Vanneste
dr. H.M.E.P. Kuijpers

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar
Target audiences

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