Sunday, August 21, 2005

Course Description

HIST 6001 is a study of historical interpretations and the
techniques of historical research and preparation for
publication. This course focuses on developing your
understanding of the nature of history as a discipline. What
exactly do historians do and how do they do it? How does an
inquiry using the historical method differ from a literary
investigation or a scientific experiment? What exactly counts as
a “fact”? What issues arise when interpreting one’s evidence and
what kinds of evidence is there? History is a truly vibrant and
exciting discipline. During our initial sessions, we will
discover that the nature of history as a discipline has evolved,
and we will trace out various types of historical inquiry
beginning in antiquity and continuing through the modern era. We
will expose ourselves to various methodologies and attempt to
explore various archives, tools, and other resources for
researching historical topics. Among the topics to be covered
* Analytical techniques
* Use of Internet sources and other primary and secondary sources
* Researching social history
* Oral History techniques
* Biographical strategies
* Researching census records
* Writing Fundamentals

Does anyone have any questions after our first week about the course, our use of iPods, and BLOGS?


At 4:48 AM, Blogger donna said...

Good morning!

This works. Got in on the first try...

During our class last night, I kept thinking about what an astounding responsibility historians have when putting the historical "puzzle" together. Our interpretations could be studied as fact five years from now, so the burden to make sure that the interpretation is accurate and objective is important. I think that this course will certainly make me a better "consumer" of history...

I look forward to learning with all of you this semester.

At 7:27 AM, Blogger Dr. Deborah Vess said...

I am glad you were able to log on so easily. Your point about the longevity of interpretations is well taken. Historians have created "received wisdom" that often they are very reluctant to modify in favor of other interpretive schemes.

At 7:12 PM, Blogger Dr. Deborah Vess said...

Make sure, too, to pay attention to E.H. Carr's discussion of fact in the assigned text for next week. You may be surprised by the amount of subjectivity involved in constructing a fact.

At 10:04 AM, Blogger Joey said...

Carr's text is an excellent example of the longetivity of historians. He masters the art of pulling out examples from previous historians to prove his points. I enjoyed learning as much about previous historians as I did about Carr's thesis.


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