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   Course Title    Modern Historiography
Lecturer    Maxim Sergueev
Institution    Kaliningrad State University
Country    Russian Federation


General description and the aim of the course:

"What is History?" inquired E.H. Carr over a quarter of a century ago, and one of the ways he explored this question was to determine the historical scholarship as a permanent dialogue between the present and the past. Now, in the 1990s, this influential question is no longer the same as it first appeared. At the threshold of the new century there is no similar belief in the self-awareness of historians in their interpretation of the past. What is obvious is an increasingly ambitious approach to the craft of historians or, in other words, to what constitutes a proper area for historical inquiry. We are tempted to speak of the . new new history. as the horizons of history are expanding. The retreat from faith in impartial . truth. , the loss of the belief in the past as something which will one day be complete, have created a pluralism which the historians seek to discuss.

These and other problems will be discussed in the Modern Historiography class. In fact, this course is of introductory character and is designed for undergraduate students.It will be taught in Russian and aimed at students in Department of History of Kaliningrad State University who would like to learn in general about the development of modern history writing, as well as at everybody interested in historical problems. Within the framework of this course an attempt will be made to trace the development of major views on and ideas about history as a discipline, its philosophy and methodology. Thus, main historical trends will be studied and some historical schools and their outstanding representatives will be considered in chronological order starting from the Enlightenment. The chronological division is very rough and it is of no principal importance - only for the sake of convenience. Particular attention will be paid to recent developments in historical writing, to the "variety of histories". Some primary aspects of expansion of the discipline of history will be dealt with at the end of the course.

The overall objective of the course is to introduce the variety of approaches to history to the students in History Department and thereby enable them to develop a grasp of what history was and is in the works of historians themselves. Thus students would be able to re-think critically and expand their attitude to the discipline in the form that it is being taught at their University at present.

This course is included in the standard history department curriculum prescribed by the Russian Ministry of Education and fits into the curriculum of the University. To some extent it differs from the previous course on the same subject which firstly, dealt with the subject exclusively from the Marxist perspective and secondly, did not cover all the important changes which the second half of the twentieth century has revealed. Besides the list of readings has been extensively revised.

Organisation of the course:

The course is divided into eight parts: seven lectures and discussion seminars following them and the exam. During the lectures the overview of the week. s topic will be presented, usually it will be various schools and phenomena in the discipline of history. The most provocative issues will be assigned for discussion after the lecture. Every week students will have presentations on the assigned weekly discussion topics.


The list of readings is organized to give students a sense of what a particular school or historian wrote on a specific subject. In most cases, critical articles are added written both by Soviet and Western historians. For a couple of topics, outdated and ideologically biased writings will be assigned to read together with fresh pieces. Such a combination may provoke student discussions and is expected to stimulate their interest in elaborating their own positions. Some readings are also included to give students an idea of historical debates. All these short weekly readings will be used as the basis for in-class discussions. They should be completed by the day of the instructor. s lecture on a particular topic. There are also additional readings which students should finish by the day of the exam.

Taking into consideration the fact that not all of the students possess good English reading skills, all essential readings will be in Russian. However, for each week a list of recommended English readings will be offered and students are encouraged to read them.


Students are expected to attend lectures on a regular basis in order to participate in weekly discussions. One in-class presentation is compulsory. One analytical paper (12-15 pages) based on a presentation is due at the end of the course which will have to present student. s view on any of the historical problems discussed in class. Critical evaluation of the information is required from the students. No papers containing the . verbatim. use of academic literature will be accepted. Written exam follows at the end of the course. Class participation and presentation together give 30% of the Grade. Paper - 30%. Exam - 40%.

Course content:

Week1. Introduction.

Description of the course, its aim and its objectives. What can be called . Historiography. . Structural glimpse of the forthcoming lectures. Overview of primary and secondary literature. Requirements and expectations.

Week 2. Historical thought of the Enlightenment.

Lecture: Intellectual milieu. National features of the epoch. Vico. Philosophes and Tradition. Rousseau and his views. Montesque and Voltaire as historians. State of history and the English Enlightenment. Gibbon. Smith on historical process. Theoretical basis of the German Enlightenment.

Discussion: Search for laws of historical process. Condorcet. s idea of progress. Herder as historian. Mably on how to write history.

Readings: Condorcet, J. Eskiz Istoricheskoi Kartiny Progressa Chelovecheskogo Razuma /Historical Picture of the Human Mind. s Progress/ in Yu. KIMELEV (ed.) Filosofia Istorii: Antologiya [Philosophy of History: An Anthology]. Moscow: Aspekt Press, 1995, pp..38-48.

Herder J. Idei k Filosofii Istorii Chelovechestva [Ideas to the Philosophy of Mankind] in KIMELEV, pp.49-56.

Barg, M. Epokhi i Idei: Stanovlenie Istorizma [Epochs and Ideas: Historicism in the Making]. Moscow: Mysl, 1987, pp. 324-341.

Mably, G.B. O Tom Kak Pisat Istoriyu [De la Maniere D. ecrire L. histoire]. Moscow: Nauka, 1993, pp. 196-216.

In English: Fitzsimons M.A. The Past Recaptured. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1983, pp.106-127. /Voltaire: History Unexemplary and en Philosophe/.

Neff, Emery. The Poetry of History. New York: Columbia University Press, 1961. /Voltaire Shatters Tradition. Pp. 3-21; Herder and Goethe: The Living Past. Pp. 21-78/.

Week 3. Historical thought in Western Europe and USA in the first half of the XIX century.

Lecture: Romantic trend in European historiography. Role of historical discipline. Reaction to the French Revolution. French liberal historians: Theory of classes in the works of Thierry. Historiography in England. Historical school of law. Hegel and the World as process. L. von Ranke and Prussian State School. German historians: Schlosser, Zimmermann. "Early romantic school" of Bankroft in USA. Radical democratic historiography and the beginning of the Marxist tradition.

Discussion: Guizot and the idea of progress. Michelet and the notion of the "people". Evolution of Carlyle. s historical views and his cult of heroes.

Readings: Croce, B. Teoriya i Istoriya Istoriografii [Theory and History of Historiography]. Moscow: Shkola Russkoy Kultury, 1998, pp.160-172 /Romantic Historiography/.

DEMENTIEV I.P. (ed.) Istoriografia Istorii Novogo i Noveishego Vremeni Stran Evropy i Ameriki [Modern Historigraphy in Europe and USA. Moscow:Vysshaya Shkola, 1990, pp.156-159 (Carlyle).

Fedosova E.I. . Francois Guizot: Istorik i Gosudarstvennyi Deyatel [Francois Guizot: Historian and Politician]. Novaya i Noveyshaya Istoriya [Modern and Contemporary History], 1997, 2.

Nordau M., Vyrozhdenie. Sovremennye Frantsuzy.[Degeneration.Contemporary French], Moscow, 1995, pp.335-339. (Michelet).

Michelet, J. Narod [The People]. Moscow, 1965. Pp. 5-19 /Introduction/.

Carlyle, T. Teper i Prezhde [Past and Present]. Moscow: Respublika, 1994, pp. 329-340.

In English: White, Hayden. Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1993, pp. 135-164. /Michelet: Historical Realism as Romance/.

Gooch G.P. History and Historians in the Nineteenth Century. Boston: Beacon Press, 1959, pp. .98-121.

Geyl, Pieter. Debates with Historians. New York: Meridian Books, 1964, pp. 48-69. (Carlyle: His significance and reputation).

Week 4. Developments in Historiography of the second half of the XIX century

Lecture: Marxist historiography. New sources and organization of historical research. Positivism in British and French historical scholarship. Lord Acton. Economic trend. Burckhardt and cultural history. Prussian school: Siebel, von Treitchke etc. Characteristics of development of social thought. Conservative and liberal historiography in Europe and USA.

Discussion: Materialistic approach to history. Influence of positivist philosophy on historical scholarship.

Readings: Erofeev, N.A. Angliiski Pozitivizm. Osnovnye Napravleniya v Istoriografii [English Positivism. Main trends in Historiography] in DEMENTIEV, pp.227-240.

Ado, A.V. Istoricheskaya Nauka vo Frantsii. Pozitivistskaya Istoriografiya [Historical Scholarship in France. Positivist Historiography] in DEMENTIEV, pp.241-255.

Croce, B. Teoriya i Istoriya Istoriografii [Theory and History of Historiography]. Moscow: Shkola Russkoy Kultury, 1998, pp.173-183 /Positivist Historiography/.

Semenov, Yu.I. . Materialisticheskoe Ponimane Istorii: Nedavnee Proshloe, Nastoyaschee, Buduschee [Materialistic Understanding of History: Recent Past, Present, Future]. , Novaya i Noveyshaya Istoriya [Modern and Contemporary History], 1996, 3.

Kautsky, K. . Materialisticheskoe Ponimane Istorii [Materialistic Understanding of History]. , Filosofia i Obschestvo [Philosophy and Society], 1997, 3.

In English:

Gooch G.P. History and Historians in the Nineteenth Century. Boston: Beacon Press, 1959, pp.122-150.

Stern. F. (ed.). The Varieties of History. New York: Vintage Books, 1973, pp. 246-255./Specialization and historical synthesis: Lord Acton and Berr/.

Hobsbawm E. Progress in History // Marxism Today. 1962. Vol. 6., N 2. P.44-48.

Week 5. Modern Historiography in the first half of the Twentieth century.

Lecture: General situation with historical thought at fin-de-siecle. Neo-Kantian critique of positivist historiography. Windelband, Weber, Dilthey. Influence of WWI on historiography. Main trends in historiography in England, France, Germany and the US in the 1920-30s. Meinecke. Becker. Beard. Objectivity and relativism. Toynbee. The Annales School.

Discussion: The birth of the Annales school and its further development . Meanings of historicism.

Readings: Tolonkov, V.P. . Istorism Meinecke kak Raznovidnost Idealisticheskoi Metodologii Istorii [Meinecke. s Historicism as a Kind of Idealistic Methodology of History]. , Voprosy Istorii [Issues of History], 1972, 5.

Revel, J. . Istoriya i Sotsialnye Nauki vo Frantsii. Na Primere Evolutsii Shkoly Annalov [History and Social Sciences in France. The case of evolution of the Annales School]. , Novaya i Noveyshaya Istoriya [Modern and Contemporary History], 1998, 5-6.

Dalin, V.M. Istoriki Frantsii XIX-XX vekov [French Historians of the 19-20th centuries]. Moscow: Nauka, 1981, pp.171-209.

Kon, I.S. Wilhelm Dilthey i ego "Kritika Istoricheskogo Razuma" [ Wilhelm Dilthey and his . Critique of the Historical Mind. ] in Kritika Noveishei Burzhuaznoi Istoriografii [Critique of the Contemporary Bourgeois Historiography]. Leningrad: Nauka, 1967, pp. 62-85.

In English: Appleby J. (ed.) Telling the Truth About History. New York: Norton, 1995, pp. 76-90.

Meinecke, F. Historicism and its Problems In Fritz Stern (ed.), The Varieties of History. New York: Vintage Books, 1973, pp. 456-474.

Burke P. The French Historical Revolution: The Annales School. Stanford University Press, 1990.

Rand, Calvin. Two Meanings of Historicism in the Writings of Dilthey, Troeltch, and Meinecke in The History of Ideas: Canon and Variations. Donald Kelley (ed.) Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 1994, pp. 227-242. - also available in Russian translation made by the course instructor.

Week 6. Historiography after WWII.

Lecture: New schools and methods: Women. s History, Microhistory, History of the Body etc. Cliomertics. Influence of Marxism and Marxist historiography. Post-modernism and History.

Discussion: New "New History". The Killing of History?

Readings: Iskanderov A.A. . Istoricheskaya Nauka na Poroge XXI veka [Historical Discipline at the Threshold of the 21st century]. , Voprosy Istorii [Issues of History], 1996, 4.

Bessmertny Yu.L. . Kak zhe pisat Istoriyu? Metodologicheskie Veyaniya vo Frantsuzskoy Istoriografii 1994-97 gg. [How to write History? Methodological Trends in French Historiography. 1994-97]. , Novaya i Noveyshaya Istoriya [Modern and Contemporary History], 1998, 4.

Gurevitch, A.Ya. Territoriya Istorika.[Historian. s Territory] in Odissey: Tchelovek v Istorii [Odissey: Man in History], Moscow, 1996.

Muchnik V., Nikolaeva I. Ot Klassiki k Postmodernu. O tendentsiyakh razvitiya sovremennoy zapadnoy istoricheskoy mysli [From Classic to Postmodern. On Tendencies of Development of contemporary Western Historical Thought] in K Novomu Ponimaniyu Cheloveka v Istorii [To the New Undertsanding of Man in History]. Tomsk, 1994.

In English: Cohen, Ralph, Afterthoughts: Historical Intervention and the Writing of History, in History and & Histories within the Human Sciences (ed.. Ralph Cohen and Michael S. Roth), The University Press of Virginia, 1995, pp. 396-410.

Marwick, Arthur, Two approaches to Historical Study: The Metaphysical (Including . Post-modernism. ) and the Historical, Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 30 (1), January 1995, pp.5-37.

White, Hayden, Response to Arthur Marwick, Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 30 (2), April 1995, pp.233-246.

Himmelfarb, Gertrude. The New History and the Old. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1987, pp. 155-170.

Iggers, Georg G., Historiography in the Twentieth Century. Wesleyan University Press, 1997, pp.141-147.

Week 7. Russian and Soviet Historiography

Lecture: The genesis and development of Russian historiography of modern history. Liberal historians and their views: Kareev, Luchitsky, Kovalevsky, Savin, Tarle. Development of historiography in the USSR: main periods. Repressions against historians. Soviet Historiography of the WWII. Present state of Historiography in Russia.

Discussion: Problems and dangers of ideological approach. What is "Bourgeois Historiography"? "Blank spots" in Russian/Soviet history. Russian historians and the XXI century.

Readings: Buganov V.I. . Razmyshleniya o Sovremennoi Otechestvennoy Nauke [Thoughts of the Current State of Russian Historical Discipline]. , Novaya i Noveyshaya Istoriya [Modern and Contemporary History], 1996, 1.

Gurevitch A.Ya. . O Dvoyakoi Otvetstvennosti Istorika [On the Twofold Responsibility of the Historian] . , Novaya i Noveyshaya Istoriya [Modern and Contemporary History], 1997, 5.

Mogilnitski, B.G. Istoriya Novogo Vremeni v Rossii v poreformenniy Period [Modern History in Russia before the Reforms] in DEMENTIEV, pp. 288-308.

Mogilnitski, B.G. Izuchenie Novoy Istorii v Rossii [Modern History Studies in Russia] in DEMENTIEV, pp. 415-424.

Kostyashov Yu. V. Opyt sozdaniya Ustnoy Istorii Kaliningradskoy Oblasti [The Case of Creating Oral History of Kaliningrad Region] in Problemy Ustnoy Istorii v SSSR. [Problems of Oral History in USSR], Kirov, 1991.

In English: Mogilnitski B.G. Some Tendencies in the Development of Contemporary Bourgeois Historical Thought in Henry Kozicki (ed.). Western and Russian Historiography: Recent views. Houndmills: The Macmillan Press, 1993, 45-70.

Elton, Geoffrey. Comment on Mogilnitsky in KOZICKI, pp.71-79.

Week 8. Exam.

Additional book-length readings in Russian:

Bloch, Marc. Apologia Istorii ili Remeslo Istorika /The Historian. s Craft/. Nauka: Moscow, 1986.

Doroshenko N.M. Stanovlenie i Razvitie Metodologii Istorii/The Development of Methodology of History/. Kaliningrad: University Press, 1987.

Viltchek, Vsevolod. Proschanie s Marksom. Algoritmy Istorii /Parting with Marx. Algorithms of History/. Progress: Moscow, 1993.

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