HSMTP2-Modern History: theory, practice and themes

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Dr Linda Risso

Email: l.risso@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This module aims to familiarise students with a variety of branches of historical study, to encourage them to think about the differing concerns and approaches used by historians in different areas, and to explore the ways in which historical study in different areas has developed and changed over time. Using a wide variety of case studies drawn from the seminar leaders’ own research specialisms, it will ask what assumptions and traditions have shaped historians’ approaches to particular historical topics, and whether different types of history and historical sources inevitably call for different methodologies.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
-Demonstrate an awareness of different disciplines, methods, and conceptual approaches within historical practice
-Demonstrate an awareness of changing methods, conceptual approaches, and key themes within the historiography of a specific case study or type of history.
-Demonstrate an awareness of the value of different approaches, including interdisciplinary approaches, to the study of history
-Demonstrate an awareness of the nature of primary sources and their impact on the practice of different types of history

Additional outcomes:
The module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and the students’ effectiveness in group situations.

Outline content:
The module will introduce the students to case studies and to thinking about the practice and theory of history, in 8 different types of history, chosen according to the specialisms of the teaching staff. An introductory seminar will discuss the theory of history and the nature of historical practice, and set up the questions of historiographical development and specialised methodologies which will be explored in the following seminars. Students may address topics in economic history, social history, political history, religious history, cultural history, military history, intellectual history, international and imperial history, rural history, gender history, or other types of history according to staff specialisms. Each seminar will focus on one or two case studies chosen to illuminate the nature and problems of a particular type of history. Over the course as a whole, students will analyse primary sources, secondary literature, and methodological and theoretical material.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The course is taught through seminars involving readings of primary and secondary material relating to case studies in particular types of history, in addition to readings on conceptual, historiographical or methodological questions as appropriate. Where appropriate, seminars will be jointly taught by two members of staff, focusing on different case studies or concerns within one type of history, to encourage students to engage with multiple approaches and to question the relationship between disciplines within history and particular methods or approaches.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Tutorials 9
Guided independent study 191
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
This module will be assessed by one essay of 4,000 words to be submitted by first day of the Spring Term (full time students) or by Monday of week 5 of the Spring Term (part time or modular students).

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:

Reassessment arrangements:
A further essay of 4,000 words to be submitted by 1st September.

Last updated: 23 April 2014

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