Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck

Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck
Mastering Historical Research:
Birkbeck Approaches
MA Core Course, Autumn 2011
Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck
Mastering Historical Research: Birkbeck
MA Core Course, Autumn 2011
How can we begin to 'master' historical research at postgraduate level of study and beyond?
In ten broad lectures and ten programme-specific seminars, this introductory core course
explores key historiographical, methodological and conceptual approaches to the study of
history and the conduct of historical research. The lectures aim to equip students with an
understanding of the roles played by historians in society, the nature of different historical
sources, historians' use of models and theoretical frameworks, different readerships and
audiences of history, and the process of researching and writing history. Each lecture will be
followed by a seminar, which provides students with the opportunity to debate the issues
raised, and to explore and redefine the disciplinary boundaries and practices of their own
chosen MAs.
Preliminary reading:
John H.Arnold, History: A Very Short Introduction (2000)
M. Atwood, Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing (2002)
Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism
C.A.Bayly, The Birth of the Modern World: Global Comparisons and Connections, 1780-1914 (2004)
R. Brentano, The Two Churches: With an Additional Essay by the Author (1988)
P. Burke, ed., New Perspectives in Historical Writing (1991)
John Burrow, A History of Histories (2007)
Herbert Butterfield, The Whig Interpretation of History (1931)
E.H.Carr, What is History? (1961)
Stefan Collini, English pasts: Essays in history and culture (1999)
Richard J.Evans, In Defence of History (2000).
Pieter Geyl, Debates with historians (1958)
Eric Hobsbawm, On History (1997)
Stephen Howe, Empire: A Very Short Introduction (2002)
John Tosh, Why History Matters (2008).
Term Overview
6-7pm, Historians (John Arnold)
7:30pm+, MA Induction & drinks
2.) MONDAY, 10 OCTOBER 2011
6-7pm, Grand Narratives (Caroline Humfress)
7.30-8.30pm, Seminars
3.) MONDAY, 17 OCTOBER 2011
6-7pm, Revolutions (Orlando Figes)
7.30-8.30pm, Seminars
4.) MONDAY, 24 OCTOBER 2011
6-7pm, States and Nations (Julian Swann)
7.30-8.30pm, Seminars
5.) MONDAY, 31 OCTOBER 2011
6-7pm, Scale (Frank Trentmann)
7.30-8.30pm, Seminars
6-7pm, Categories (David Feldman)
7.30-8.30pm, Seminars
7.) MONDAY, 14 NOVEMBER 2011
6-7pm, Empires (Hilary Sapire)
7.30-8.30pm, Seminars
8.) MONDAY, 21 NOVEMBER 2011
6-7pm, Flows and Encounters (Sunil Amrith)
7.30-8.30pm, Seminars
9.) MONDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 2011
6-7pm, Readers and Audiences (Surekha Davies)
7.30-8.30pm, Seminars
10.) MONDAY, 5 DECEMBER 2011
6-7pm, Archives and Sources (John Henderson)
7.30-8.30pm, Seminars
11.) MONDAY, 12 DECEMBER 2011
6-7pm, Writing history – how to do it (Jan Rueger)
7.30-8.30pm, Seminars
1.) Wednesday, 5 October 2011
What is an historian? How has the role changed from antiquity to the 21st century? This lecture will
explore the different roles which historians have played in society, and the different ways in which
‘history’ has been viewed, as a political and social resource. Through so doing, we will discover the
roots of our current practices as academic historians and students of history; and will consider how
‘history’ is now related to the wider public, at the start of the 21st century.
Key reading:
John H. Arnold, History: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2000) – Chapters 2- 4
Donald R.Kelley and Bonnie G.Smith, "Historians", in: Ulinka Rublack (ed.), A Concise Companion to
History (OUP, 2011), 81-104.
Further reading:
Michael Bentley, Modern Historiography: An Introduction (London, 1999)
Stefan Berger, Mark Donovan, and Kevin Passmore (eds.), Writing National Histories: Western
Europe since 1800 (London, 1999)
Ernst Breisach, Historiography: Ancient, Medieval and Modern (Chicago, 1983)
Peter Burke, The Renaissance Sense of the Past (London, 1969)
John Burrow, A History of Histories (London, 2007)
Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, How to Write the History of the New World: Historiographies,
Epistemologies, and Identities in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World (Stanford, CA, 2001).
E.H.Carr, What is History? (new ed. Palgrave, 2011)
Richard J.Evans, In Defence of History (London, 2000).
Anthony Grafton, The Footnote: A Curious History (London, 1997)
Denys Hay, Annalists and Historians (London, 1977)
George G.Iggers, Q Edward Wang and Supriya Mukherjee, A Global History of Modern
Historiography (2008)
John Kenyon, The History Men (London, 1983)
Peter Mandler, "The responsibility of the historian", in: Harriet Jones, Kjell Östberg and Nico
Randeraad (eds.), Contemporary History on Trial: Europe since 1989 and the role of the expert
historian (Manchester, 2007), 12-27.
A. Momigliano, The Classical Foundations of Modern Historiography (Berkeley, 1990)
J. H. Plumb, The Death of the Past (London, 1969)
B. Smalley, Historians in the Middle Ages (London, 1974)
F. Stern, ed., The Varieties of History (London, 1970)
Sumit Sarkar, Writing Social History (Dehi, 1997)
Peter Slee, Learning and a Liberal Education: The Study of Modern History in the Universities of
Cambridge, Oxford and Manchester, 1800-1914 (Manchester, 1986)
Reba N. Soffer, Discipline and Power: The University, History, and the Making of an English Elite,
1870–1930 (Stanford, 1994)
Burton Watson, Ssuma Ch'ien: Grand Historian of China (Columbia, 1958)
2.) Monday, 10 October 2011
Grand Narratives
The historian A.J.P.Taylor declared that "History is not just a catalogue of events put in the right order
like a railway timetable." Or is it? This lecture looks at how historians have constructed frameworks to
periodise and make sense of the mass of "petty details". While some have devised broad, allembracing narratives and explanations of why things happen as and when they do, many more have
focused on very particular times and places. What roles have grand narratives played in historians'
writings? How have they differed in their portrayals of and explanations of the past? How successful
were postmodernists' efforts to replace universal, grand narratives with small, local ones?
Key reading:
Adam Budd (ed), The Modern Historiography Reader: Western Sources (Routledge, 2009) – Part 7,
"Historical Time and Historical Structures" (extracts by Oswald Sprengler, R.G.Collingwood, Fernand
Braudel and Thomas Kuhn), 233-256.
Further reading:
Herbert Butterfield, The Whig Interpretation of History (1931)
Fernand Braudel, "History and the Social Sciences: the Longue Duree" (1958), in: Fernand Braudel,
On History, trans. Sarah Matthews (Chicaco, 1980), 25-54.
Peter Burke, "History of events and the revival of narrative", in P. Burke (ed.), New perspectives in
historical writing (2001)
Dipesh Chakrabarty, Habitations of Modernity: Essays in the Wake of Subaltern Studies (Chicago,
R.G.Collingwood, The Idea of History (1946)
Pieter Geyl, Debates with historians (1958) – esp. Chapter 5, "Toynbee's system of civilisations" (109149)
Anna Green & Kathleen Troup (eds), The houses of history: a critical reader in twentieth-century
history and theory (Manchester, 1999) – esp. Green & Troup, "Marxist historians" (33-58); Green &
Troup, "The question of narrative" (204-213); Hayden White, "The fictions of factual representation"
Jürgen Habermas, "Modernity versus Postmodernity", New German Critique, 1981, No.22, Special
issue on modernism, 3-14
Eric Hobsbawm, On History (1997) – esp. Chapter 10, "What do historians owe to Karl Marx?" &
Chapter 11, "Marx and history"
J.R.Hall, "The time of history and history of times", History and Theory, 1980, Vol.19, 113-131.
Nicholas Jardine, "Whigs and stories: Herbert Butterfield and the historiography of science", History of
Science, 2003, Vol.41, 125-140.
Jean-Francois Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition: a report on knowledge (Minneapolis, 1979)
Dorothy Ross, "Grand narrative in American historical writing: from romance to uncertainty", The
American Historical Review, June 1995, Vol.100, No.3, 651-677
Quentin Skinner (ed), The return of grand theory in the human sciences (CUP 1995, 1st. ed. 1984)
Lawrence Stone, "The Revival of Narrative", Past and Present, 1979, Vol.65 (and Hobsbawm’s
comments, Past and Present, 1980, Vol.86.)
Karl Popper, The Poverty of Historicism (1st. ed. 1957, new ed. Routledge, 2002)
Dipresh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (2003,
3.) Monday, 17 October 2011
How do we understand revolutions? Should we approach the history of revolutions comparatively or
as unique events in their national contexts? Is there a valid model of ‘the revolution’ against which we
can analyse past upheavals? And how has the idea of the revolution been used through time, how
have its meanings changed? The lecture will show why revolutions matter for historians, not only as
key events in the past, but also in terms of periodization, primary sources and historiography.
Key reading:
Eric Hobsbawm, "Revolution", in Roy Porter and Mikuláš Teich (eds.) Revolution in History (1986) –
Chapter 1.
Further reading:
AHR Forum: How Revolutionary was the Print Revolution? – commentaries by A. Grafton, E. L.
Eisenstein, and A. Johns, American Historical Review, 107 (2002), 84-128.
David Armitage and Sanjay Subrahmanyam (eds.), The Age of Revolutions in Global Context, c.
1760-1840 (2010).
Keith Michael Baker, Inventing the French Revolution (1990)
Crane Brinton, The Anatomy of Revolution (first ed. 1938, rev. ed. New York, 1965).
Eistenstein, E. L. The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 2005, new ed. [first
ed.: 1983).
Jack A. Goldstone, Revolution and Rebellion in the Early Modern World (1991).
Jack A. Goldstone (ed.), Revolutions: Theoretical, Comparative and Historical Studies (2002).
Jack Gray, Rebellions and Revolutions: China from the 1800s to the 1900s (1990).
J.W. Esherick, “Ten Theses on the Chinese Revolution”, Modern China, 21 (1995), pp. 45-76
Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Russian Revolution (3rd revised ed., 2007).
Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Revolution: 1789-1848 (1999).
Lynn Hunt, Politics, Culture and Class in the French Revolution (with a new preface, 2004).
Clifton Kroeber, ‘Theory and History of Revolution’, Journal of World History, 7 (1996), pp. 21-40.
Roy Porter and Mikuláš Teich (eds.) Revolution in History (1986).
J. G. A. Pocock (ed.), Three English Revolutions: 1641, 1688, 1776 (1980).
Shapin, S., The Scientific Revolution (1996).
Theda Skocpol, States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia, and China
Charles Tilly, European Revolutions, 1492–1992 (1993).
4.) Monday, 24 October 2011
States and Nations
This lecture will consider how historians have thought about the state and the idea of nation.
Historians in all historical periods talk of the state and of nations, but what do these terms mean and
how have they changed over time? How should historians approach problems such as state formation
or the success or failure of states? How useful is a comparative analysis of states or of their particular
fiscal, military or administrative organisation? And how do different states relate to social groups or
even the individual? Should every nation be entitled to a state? Why has the model of the nation state
proved so attractive and yet so destructive?
Key reading:
Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism
(Verso 1983) – Chapter 1-3
Christopher Clark, "Power", in: Ulinka Rublack (ed.), A Concise Companion to History (OUP, 2011),
Further reading:
Malcolm Anderson, Frontiers: territory and state formation in the modern world (1996)
Perry Anderson, Lineages of the absolutist state (1974)
John Armstrong, Nations before Nationalism (1982)
C.A.Bayly, The Birth of the Modern World: Global Comparisons and Connections, 1780-1914 (Oxford,
William Beik, Beik, Absolutism and society in seventeenth-century France (1985)
David A. Bell, The Cult of the Nation in France. Inventing nationalism, 1680-1800 (2001)
Blanning, T.C.W., The culture of power and the power of culture (2002)
Michael Braddick, State formation in early modern England, c.1550-1700 (CUP, 2000)
Antoinette Burton, After the Imperial Turn: Thinking With and Through the Nation (2003)
Partha Chatterjee, Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World: A Derivative Discourse (1986
Tony Claydon and Ian McBride, eds., Protestantism and National Identity: Britain and Ireland, c.1650c.1850 (1998)
Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707-1837 (1994)
Linda Colley, 'Britishness and Otherness: An Argument', Journal of British Studies 31 (1992) 309-29
James Collins, The state in early modern France (2nd edn., 2010)
David Cressy, Bonfires and Bells: National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and
Stuart England (1989)
Otto Dann and John Dinwiddy, eds., Nationalism in the Age of the French Revolution (1988)
D.Delanty, "Nationalism: Between Nation and State" in G. Ritzer and B. Smart (eds) Handbook of
Social Theory (2001)
J.H. Elliott, 'A Europe of Composite Monarchies', Past and Present 137 (1992) 48-71
Patrick J. Geary, The Myth of Nations: The Medieval Origins of Europe (2001)
Ernst Gellner, Nations and Nationalism (Blackwell, 1983)
Liah Greenfeld, Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity (1992)
Adrian Hastings, The Construction of Nationhood: Ethnicity, Religion and Nationalism (1998)
Stephen Hindle, The State and Social Change in Early Modern England, c.1550-1640 (2000)
Hobsbawn, E. and Ranger, T. (eds), The Invention of Tradition (CUP, 1983)
Sudipta Kaviraj, The Imaginary Institution of India (2010)
Colin Kidd, British Identities Before Nationalism: Ethnicity and Nationhood in the Atlantic World, 16001800 (1999)
Lloyd Kramer, 'Historical Narratives and the Meaning of Nationalism', Journal of the History of Ideas
58 (1997) 525-45
Joan Landes, Visualizing the Nation: Gender, Representation, and Revolution in Eighteenth-Century
France (2003)
Anthony Reid, Imperial Alchemy: Nationalism and Political Identity in Southeast Asia (Cambridge,
Len Scales and Oliver Zimmer, eds., Power and the Nation in European History (2005).
Anthony D. Smith, The Ethnic Origins of Nations (1994) Myths and Memories of the Nation (1999)
Anthony D.Smith, Nationalism: Theory, Ideology, History (Polity Press)
Charles Tilly ed., The formation of national states in Western Europe (1995)
Maurizio Viroli, For Love of Country: An Essay on Patriotism and Nationalism (1995)
Michael Wolfe, ed., Changing Identities in Early Modern France (1997)
Suisheng Zhao, A Nation-State by Construction: Dynamics of Modern Chinese Nationalism (Stanford,
5.) Monday, 31 October 2011
Historians have looked at the past using widely differing scales. Some have adopted an eagle-eyed
view to capture the whole wide terrain, others a fly-on-the-wall sense of intimacy. What implication
does scale have for what historians see and how they understand the past? In this lecture we will
zoom in and zoom out, following historians' fascination with everyday life and history from below and
then scaling back up to global levels. Microhistorians were particularly interested in capturing the life
of ordinary people and followed anthropologists. In recent years, some scholars have argued that we
should give equal recognition to the role of ordinary things in the past. This raises tricky questions
about the agency of things, but following 'things' also gives us an opportunity to move between
scales, from the local to the global.
Key reading:
John H. Arnold, History: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford 2000) – Chapters 5 & 6
Further reading:
Fernand Braudel, ‘History and the Social Sciences: the Longue Durée [the ‘Long Term’]’ (essay
written in 1958) in Histories; French Constructions of the Past, eds J. Revel and L. Hunt (New York,
1995), pp. 115-145; also in F. Braudel, On History (1980)
J. Brewer, ‘Microhistory and the Histories of Everyday Life’, Cultural and Social History 7.1 (2010)
John Brewer and Frank Trentmann (eds), Consuming Cultures, Global Perspectives (Berg, 2006).
P. Burke, ed., New Perspectives in Historical Writing (Cambridge, 1991)
Antoinette Burton, ‘Not Even Remotely Global? Method and Scale in World History’, History
Workshop Journal 64 (2007), pp. 323-328.
Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life (Berkeley, 1984)
Partha Chatterjee, A Princely Imposter? The Strange and Universal History of the Kumar of Bhawal
(Delhi, 2002)
N. Z. Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre (London, 1983)
R. W. Fogel and S. L. Engerman, Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery
(Boston, 1974)
Carlo Ginzburg, Clues, Myths and the Historical Method (Baltimore, MD, 1989), esp. pp. 96-125.
Pat Hudson, History by Numbers (London, 2000)
A.Goldgar, Tulipmania: Money, Honor and Knowledge in the Dutch Golden Age (Chicago, 2007).
D. Herlihy and C. Klapisch-Zuber, Tuscans and their Families: A Study of the Florentine Catasto of
1427 (Yale, 1985)
L. Hunt, ed., The New Cultural History (1989)
Henri Lefebvre, Everyday Life in the Modern World (New Brunswick, 1971/84).
Alf Lüdtke (ed), The History of Everyday Life: Reconstructing Historical Experiences and Ways of Life
(Princeton, 1995).
E. Muir and G. Ruggerio, ed., Microhistory and the Lost Peoples of Europe (1991)
Vanessa Taylor and Frank Trentmann, "Liquid Politics: Water and the Politics of Everyday Life in the
Modern City", Past and Present, May 2011.
John Tosh, ed., Historians on History (Harlow, 2000) – Chapters 28 and 29
Donald R. Wright, The World and a Small Place in Africa (second edition, Armonk, NY, 2004).
6.) Monday, 7 November 2011
This lecture will examine some of the categories historians have used, implicitly or explicitly, to
represent past societies: class, race and ethnicity, gender. How have these categories influenced and
shaped their understanding of the past? What challenges have they encountered? What are the
strengths and limitations of their approaches? What lasting effects has the use of these categories
had on the study of history?
Key reading:
Geoff Eley and Keith Nield (eds), The Future of Class in History: What's Left of the Social? (Michigan,
2007) – Chapter 1.
Further reading:
Eileen Boris and Angelique Janssens (eds), Complicating Categories: Gender, Class, Race and
Ethnicity (CUP, 2004)
Denise K. Buell, Why this New Race: Ethnic Reasoning in Early Christianity (New York, 2005)
Joanna Bourke, Working class cultures in Britain, 1890-1960: gender, class and ethnicity (Routledge,
Charles Loring Brace, ‘Race’ is a Four-Letter Word: The Genesis of the Concept (New York, 2005).
David Cannadine, Class in Britain (1998) – esp. Chapter 1
Friedrich Engels, Condition of the Working Class in England (1st ed. 1844, many later editions)
George M. Fredrickson, Racism: A Short History (Princeton, 2002)
Bejamin Isaac, The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity (Princeton, 2004) – also see reviews
by Fergus Millar, "Review Article: The Invention of Racism in Antiquity", The International History
Review 27 (2005), 85–99 and Joseph Geiger, Zion 70 (2005), 553–8.
Patrick Joyce (ed), Class (Oxford, 1995)
Jonathan Glassman, "Slower than a massacre: the multiple sources of racial thought in Africa",
American Historical Review (2004)
Alan Kidd and David Nicholls (eds), Gender, Civic Culture and Consumerism. Middle-Class Identity in
Britain, 1800-1940 (Manchester, 1999)
Sonya O.Rose, What is Gender History? (Polity, 2010)
Joan W.Scott, "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis," American Historical Review,
December 1986, Vol.91, No.5.
Joan W.Scott, "On language, gender and working-class history", International Labor and Working
Class History, Spring 1987, Vol.31, 1-13.
Ann Laura Stoler, "Rethinking Colonial Categories: European Communities and the Boundaries of
Rule", Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol.31, No.1, 1989
E.P.Thomson, The Making of the English Working Class (1st ed. 1960, many later editions)
E.P.Thompson, "The moral economy of the English crowd in the eighteenth century", Past and
Present, February 1971, No.50, 76-136. Todorov, Tzvetan, The Conquest of America: The Question
of the Other, transl. Richard Howard, (New York, 1984).
7.) Monday, 14 November 2011
It has often been said that the history of the world is largely the history of empires. But what are
empires? What unites such disparate entities as the Roman Empire, the British Empire and the
American Empire that we allegedly live under today? Can one have empires without colonization?
What do historians mean when they talk of “informal empires” or “economic empires”? Is empirebuilding a purely Western tendency – or has it been common to all peoples at all ages? Why do
empires have such a negative reputation and do they deserve it? This lecture will address these
general questions through focused examinations of particular episodes and themes from diverse
imperial contexts.
Key reading:
Stephen Howe, Empire: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2002) – Chapters 1 & 5.
Further reading:
David B Abernethy, The Dynamics of Global Dominance: European Overseas Empires, 1415-1980
(Yale University Press, 2000)
Susan E Alcock, Terence N D’Altroy, Kathleen D Morrison & Carla M Sinopoli (eds), Empires:
Perspectives from Archaeology and History (Cambridge University Press, 2001) – contains good brief
overviews of ancient and medieval empires, European and non-European
W G Beasley, Japenese Imperialism, 1894-1945 (Clarendon Press, 1987) Chun-shu Chang, The Rise
of the Chinese Empire, 2 vols (University of Michigan Press, 2007)
Jane Burbank and Frederick Cooper, Empires in World History: Power and the Politics of Differency
(Princeton, 2010)
Frederick Cooper, Colonialism in Question: Theory, Knowledge, History (University of California
Press, 2005)
John Darwin, After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire since 1405 (Allen Lane, 2007)
John Darwin, The Empire Project: The Rise and Fall of the British World-System, 1830-1970
(Cambridge University Press, 2009)
J H Elliott, Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America, 1492-1830 (Yale University
Press, 2006)
D K Fieldhouse, The Colonial Empires: A Comparative Survey from the Eighteenth Century, 2nd edn
(Macmillan, 1982)
Caroline FInkel, Osman's Dream: The Story of the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1923 (2005)
Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri, Empire (Harvard University Press, 2000)
Peter Heather, Empires and Barbarians: Migration, Development and the Birth of Europe (Macmillan,
Denis Judd, Empire: The British Imperial Experience from 1765 to the Present (HarperCollins, 1996)
Efraim Karsh, Islamic Imperialism: A History (Yale University Press, 2006)
Christopher Kelly, The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2006)
Dominic Lieven, Empire: The Russian Empire and its Rivals from the Sixteenth Century to the Present
Anthony Pagden, Peoples and Empires (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2001)
Peter Perdue, China Marches West: The Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia (Cambridge, Mass, 2005)
8.) Monday, 21 November 2011
Flows and Encounters
Has human migration been the main engine of “civilization” and globalization? What is a Diaspora?
How do you account for the vast increase in the scale of human migration since the nineteenth
century? What use is the concept to historians? What happens when people move and come into
contact with other kinds of people? How are cultural encounters modulated by differentials of power?
How do dominant groups use knowledge to keep their domination intact? Are “multiculturalism,”
“cosmopolitanism” or “globalism” any more than aspirations?
Key reading:
James Clifford, "Travelling Cultures", in James Clifford, Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late
Twentieth Century (Harvard University Press, 1997).
Further reading:
Michael Adas, Machines as the Measure of Men: Science, Technology, and Ideologies of Western
Dominance (1989)
Glenn J.Ames and Ronald S.Love (eds), Distant Lands and Diverse Cultures: The French Experience
in Asia, 1600-1700 (2002)
Sunil Amrith, “Tamil Diasporas Across the Bay of Bengal,” American Historical Review, 114, no 3
(June 2009): 547-72
Arjun Appadurai, Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization (University of Minnesota
Press, 1996)
Ros Ballaster, Fabulous Orients: Fictions of the East in England, 1662-1785 (2005)
Stephen Castles and Mark Miller, Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the
Modern World (4th ed. Palgrave, 2009)
Kumkum Chatterjee and Clement Hawes (eds), Europe Observed: Multiple Gazes in Early Modern
Encounters (2008)
Pheng Cheah, Inhuman Conditions: On Cosmopolitanism and Human Rights (Harvard University
Press, 2006)
Robin Cohen, Global Diasporas: An Introduction, 2nd edn (Routledge, 2008)
Bernard Cohn, Colonialism and its Forms of Knowledge: The British in India (Columbia University
Press, 1996)
Michael Curtis, Orientalism and Islam: Thinkers on Muslim Government in the Middle East and India
(Cambridge University Press, 2009)
Stephane Dufoix, Diasporas (University of California Press, 2007)
Linda Gregerson and Susan Juster (eds), Empires of God: Religious Encounters in the Early Modern
Atlantic (2010)
Stuart Hall, ‘Cultural Identity and Diaspora’, in J. Rutherford (ed.), Identity: Community, Culture,
Difference (Lawrence & Wishart, 1990).
T.N. Harper, “Empires, Diaspora and the Languages of Globalism, 1850-1914,” in: A.G. Hopkins (ed.),
Globalization in World History (Pimlico, 2001)
Peter Hulme, Remnants of Conquest: The Island Caribs and their Visitors, 1877-1998 (Cambridge,
A L Macfie, Orientalism: A Reader (Edinburgh University Press, 2000)
John M MacKenzie, Orientalism: History, Theory and the Arts (Manchester University Press, 1995)
Adam McKeown, ‘Global Migration 1846-1940’, Journal of World History, 15, 2 (2004)
Karen Ordahl Kupperman, Indians and English: Facing Off in Early America (Ithaca, NY, 2000).
Lewis Pyenson, “Prerogatives of European Intellect: Historians of Science and the Promotion of
Western Civilization,” History of Science, 31 (1993)
Joan-Pau Rubiés, Travel and Ethnology in the Renaissance: South India through European Eyes
1250-1625 (Cambridge, 2000).
Edward W Said, Orientalism (Penguin, 1978; with new afterword, 1995; with new preface, 2003)
Stuart B. Schwartz (ed.), Implicit Understandings: Observing, Reporting, and Reflecting on the
Encounters between Europeans and Other Peoples in the Early Modern Era (Cambridge, 1994).
Charles Taylor, Multiculturalism and the Politics of Recognition (Princeton University Press, 1992)
9.) Monday, 28 November 2011
Readers and Audiences
All historians have to give some thought to the readers and audiences for whom they are writing. This
lecture will explore the development of a number of different audiences for books on history. What do
we know about past readerships of historical works, and how did they differ from today's? How can
we explain the spread of popular history, a genre of historiography often defined in opposition to socalled "dry-biscuit" academic history? How should we judge the rise of popular history? Do
professional standards of academic historians have to be sacrificed in popular or public history? What
roles can and should history play outside the academy?
Key reading:
Ludmilla Jordanova, History in Practice (London, 2000), chap. 6 (‘Public history’), 141-71.
Robert Darnton, ‘History of Reading’ in Peter Burke, ed., New Perspectives on Historical Writing
(Cambridge, 2001), 157-186.
Further reading:
‘AHR Forum: How Revolutionary was the Print Revolution?’, articles by A. Grafton, E. L. Eisenstein,
and A. Johns, American Historical Review, 107 (2002), 84-128.
Neeladri Bhattacharya, "Predicaments of Secular Histories", Public Culture, Vol.20, No.1, 2007
Kathleen Burk, Troublemaker: The Life And History Of A.J.P. Taylor (2000) – esp. chap. 7, "The
business history of the history business: how Taylor built his freelance career, 1938-1990", 369-407.
David Cannadine (ed.), History and the Media (2007)
Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, How to Write the History of the New World: Historiographies,
Epistemologies, and Identities in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World (2001).
Cavallo, Guglielmo and Roger Chartier, eds, A History of Reading in the West (1999).
Stefan Collini, "Writing 'the national history': Trevelyan and after", in: Stefan Collini, English pasts:
Essays in history and culture (1999)
Stefan Collini, Common Reading: Critics, Historians, Publics (2008)
R.Darnton, "How to read a book", New York Review of Books, 6 June 1996.
R. Darnton, “What Is the History of Books?”, in Carpenter (ed) Books and Society in History, (1983),
D.Finkelstein and McCleery (eds), The Book History Reader (2002).
A. Grafton, The Footnote: A Curious History (1997).
A. Grafton, What Was History? The Art of History in Early Modern Europe (2007) – esp. Chapter 2
J. de Groot, Consuming History: Historians and heritage in contemporary popular culture (2009) –
esp. Introduction, chapters 1-3.
Ved Mehta, Fly and the Fly-Bottle: Encounters with British intellectuals (1983, 1st ed. 1961) –
Chapters 3 & 4.
Stella Tillyard, "All our pasts: the rise of popular history", Times Literary Supplement, October 13 2006
John Tosh, "The Uses of History", in: John Tosh, The Pursuit of History: aims, methods and new
directions in the study of modern history (2nd ed. 1991), 1-29.
H.R.Trevor-Roper, "History: professional and lay" (extract), in: John Tosh (ed), Historians on History:
an anthology (Pearson, 2000), 328-333.
10.) Monday, 5 December 2011
Archives and Sources
We know the past only through the marks which it has left behind. But how those marks survive and
can now be accessed is not a straightforward process. In this lecture we will think about the difference
between ‘secondary’ and ‘primary’ sources, the problems and potentials of eyewitness statements,
and the processes by which the sources of history are preserved. Some parts of history – kings,
governments, the church – furnish us with abundant and obvious primary sources; whereas other
areas – women, daily life, political dissent – may require us to think harder about we can gain access
to these past voices.
Key reading:
Anna Green and Kathleen Troup, The Houses of History: a critical reader in twentieth-century history
and theory (Manchester, 1999) – Chapter 1.
Further reading:
Arens, W., The Man-Eating Myth: Anthropology and Anthropophagy (New York, 1979).
Robert Darnton, e.g. The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France (New York, 1995).
Miriam Dobson and Benjamin Ziemann, eds, Reading Primary Sources: The Interpretation of Texts
from Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century History (London, 2009)
Richard J.Evans, In Defence of History (London, 2000).
John Tosh, The Pursuit of History, 4th edn (London, 2006), chapter 3 ‘The Raw Materials’ (NB this is
chapter 2 in older editions)
L. Jordanova, History in Practice (London, 2000), chapter 2
J. Black and D. M. MacRaild, Studying History, 2nd edn (London, 2000), chapter 4
Joel T Rosenthal, ed., Women and the Sources of Medieval History (Athens, GA, 1990)
M. Perrot, ed., Writing Women’s History (Oxford, 1984)
Carolyn Steedman, Dust: The Archive and Cultural History (Manchester, 2001)
N.Z. Davis, Fiction in the Archives (Stanford, 1987)
Walter Prevenier and Martha Howell, From Reliable Sources: an introduction to historical methods
(Ithaca, 2001)
Ann Laura Stoler, Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense
(Princeton, 2009)
Jan Vansina, Oral Tradition as History (Madison, 1961)
11.) Monday, 12 December 2011
Writing history – how to do it
Historians rarely talk about their working methods or the process of writing. This lecture does. How do
historians do what they do? How do we relate our specific research to broader questions? How do we
join the conversation? How do we (attempt to) make our version of the past plausible for others? By
addressing such questions, this session aims to contribute to students’ active reflection about the
writing of essays and the dissertation. What is crucial for any piece of historical work, whether written
for a degree or for publication, is that it mediates between the chosen specific example and broader
questions, between primary and secondary contexts.
Key reading:
Robert Brentano, The Two Churches: With an Additional Essay by the Author (1988), 353-80.
Further reading:
M. Atwood, Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing (2002) – esp. Chapter 6.
G. Dening, ‘”P 905 .A512 x 100": An Ethnographic Essay’, AHR, 100 (1995), pp. 854-864.
G. Dening, Beach Crossings: Voyages across Times, Cultures and Self (2004), pp. 258-68.
C. Ginzburg, ‘Checking the Evidence: the Judge and the Historian’, Critical Inquiry 18 (1991), pp. 7982.
S. Greenblatt, ‘Writing as Performance’, Harvard Magazine, 110 (2007). Online: (accessed 8 Sep 2010).
L. Jordanova, History in Practice (2nd ed., 2006), ch. 7.
A. P. Norman, ‘Telling it Like it Was: Historical Narratives on their Own Terms’, History and Theory, 30
(1991), pp. 119–35.
M. Pallares-Burke, The New History: Confessions and Conversations (2003).
Stephen Pyne, Voice and Vision: A Guide to Writing History and Other Serioys Nonfiction
(Cambridge, Mass., 2010)
R. Rosenstone and A. Munslow (eds), Experiments in Rethinking History (2004).
K. Thomas, ‘Diary’, London Review of Books, vol. 32, no. 11.
A. Sachs, ‘Letters to a Tenured Historian’, Rethinking History, 14 (2010), pp. 5-38.