PROBLEMS OF HISTORIOGRAPHY
Fall Term 1995
Alfred J. Rieber
Department of History
CENTRAL EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY



Course Description

The course is an introduction to modern historiography. It is organized as a colloquium with emphasis upon writing and discussion. Because of the size of the class it will be necessary to introduce a few innovative elements. Students will be responsible for having read all the assignments. But each week only one half the class will participate actively in the discussion. The other half of the class will observe the discussion and may submit written questions during the class to the discussion leader who will then select the most pertinent and appropriate ones to pose to the group toward the end of the session. The following week the passive half of the class will become the active participants.

Every week the active half of the group will submit a three page critical review of the readings. Students will have a wide latitude in determining the content of the review. But all reviews should have a comparative dimension. That is to say, the review should compare and contrast at least two points of view, either drawn from the week's reading or from other class assignments that have already been discussed. Students will be asked at random to read their reports to the entire group. The discussion will then deal with both the readings themselves and your reactions to them

At some point during the trimester, we shall try an experiment in preparing a joint or collective report. This will be done by forming teams of three or four students who will read the assignments, conduct a preliminary discussion among themselves, draft a joint report and elect a reporter to make the report to the group.

The first few class sessions the instructor will serve as the discussion leader. We will then experiment with student discussion leaders .

Students who are interested in continuing to explore questions of historiography may elect to take the second trimester. The main focus there will be the preparation of a lengthy paper on a major historian or historical school in the modern period.

Students will be able to purchase the following:

E.H. Carr. What is History?
R.W. Fogel and G.R. Elton, Which Road to the Past?
J. Appleby, L. Hunt and M, Jacob, Telling the Truth about History

All other readings will be in a photocopy packet available at the library.

Assignments


Week Reading

1. E.H. Carr, What is History? (chapters 1,2,3)

2. E.H. Carr, What is History? (chapters 4,5,6)

3. THF INDIVIDUAL IN HISTORY
Thomas Carlyle, Lectures on Heroes
Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon
Alexis De Tocqueville, Democracy in America (excerpts)6
Max Weber, " Charisma and Its Transformation"

4. OBJECTIVITY AND RELATIVISM
Peter Novick, That Noble Dream (excerpts)

5. SCIENTIFIC VERSUS TRADITIONAL HISTORY
R.W. Fogel and G.R. Elton, Which Road to the Past?

6. TOTAL HISTORY: THE ANNALES SCHOOL
Fernand Braudel, "History and the Social Sciences", "The Mediterranean" (excerpts)
J.H. Hexter, "Fernand Braudel and the Monde Braudellien..."'

7. NEO-MARXISTS AND NEO-TOCQUEVILLIANS
E.P. Thompson, "Eighteenth Century English Society: Class Struggle without Class?"
Robert Nisbet, "Many Tocquevilles."
Lee Benson, "Group cohesion and Social and Ideological Conflict. A Critique of Sone Marxist and Tocquevillian Theories."

8. GENDER AND RACE AS CATEGORIES OF ANALYSIS
Joan Scott, "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis"
Barbara J. Fields, "Ideology and Race in American History"
Joan Kelly, "Did Women Have a Renaissance?'
Gertrude Himmelfarb, "Some Reflections on the New History"

9 HISTORY AND POLITICS IN EUROPE

Redefining Central Europe: Timothy Garton Ash, "Mitteleuropa?"
Tony Judt, "The Rediscovery of Eastern Europe"
The German Historikerstreit:
Peter Baldwin, "The Historikerstreit in Context."
Wolfgang J. Mommsen, "The Return to the Western Tradition: German Historiography Since 1945"
The Holocaust: Michael Marrus, "Reflections on the Historiography of the Holocaust"

10 THE NEW CULTURAL HISTORY
Lynn Hunt, "History, Culture and Text."
David Harlan, "Intellectual History and the Return of Literature"
David A. Hollinger, "The Return of the Prodigal: The Persistence of Historical Knowing."
David Harlan, "Reply to David Hollinger."

11 RECONCILIATION?

Joyce Appleby, Lynn Hunt and Margaret Jacob, Telling the Truth About History


CRC-Curriculum Resource Center
CEU Budapest, Hungary
Revised: May 1996


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