HISTORICAL METHODS 5104

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					                               HISTORICAL METHODS 5104
                                          SPRING 2005
                  *Syllabus subject to change at the discretion of the professor.*


Professor: Dr. Beverly Bunch-Lyons
Office: 1101 King Street, Suite 611
Phone: 703.518.2973
Email: blyons@vt.edu
Office Hours: By appointment

Course Description:
This course is designed as an introduction to two intersecting aspects of the historian's craft:
historiography, which is the study of how history has been written—it incorporates examinations
of theories and theorists. The other aspect is historical methods, the methods used to do historical
research and writing. This course is based on the cognitive and constructive model of learning;
therefore a holistic approach will be taken. The interpretative nature of history lends itself well to
this approach. We will integrate knowledge, skills, and procedures in ways that are useful for
interpreting situations and solving problems. We will explore fundamental questions that define
the discipline of history; examine notions of historical truth, and the nature and analysis of
evidence; and introduce major themes and historiographical traditions that have evolved into
modern practice. We will also allot time to discussions of professional ethics as related to the
field of history.


 Course Objectives:
Identify the major themes, questions, and interpretations in the discipline of History. Identify and
critically evaluate primary and secondary sources. Conduct historical research in libraries,
archives, and other repositories where historical records may be housed. Communicate historical
findings orally in a clear and coherent manner. Transform primary and secondary sources into
historical writing that is clear, cohesive and analytical.

Texts: (Available in the Bookstore on the Falls Church campus)

Anderson, Walter Truett. THE TRUTH ABOUT THE TRUTH: DE-CONFUSING AND RE-
CONSTRUCTING THE POSTMODERN WORLD.

Berkhofer, Robert. BEYOND THE GREAT STORY: HISTORY AS TEXT AND DISCOURSE.

Booth, Wayne and Gregory Colomb. THE CRAFT OF RESEARCH: FROM PLANNING TO
REPORTING.

Griffin, Larry and Marcel van der Linden. NEW METHODS IN SOCIAL HISTORY.

Haskell, Thomas. OBJECTIVITY IS NOT NEUTRALITY: EXPLANATORY SCHEMES IN
HISTORY.

Hudson, Pat. HISTORY BY NUMBERS: AN INTRODUCTION TO QUANTITATIVE
APPROACHES.
Iggers, George. HISTORIOGRAPHY IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY: FROM SCIENTIFIC
OBJECTIVITY TO THE POSTMODERN CHALLENGE.

Jenkins, Keith. RE-THINKING HISTORY.

Marwick, Arthur. THE NEW NATURE OF HISTORY: KNOWLEDGE, EVIDENCE,
LANGUAGE.

Rosenstone, Robert. VISIONS OF THE PAST: THE CHALLENGE OF FILM TO OUR IDEAS
OF HISTORY.

Wittenberg, Kate. “Digital Technology and Historical Scholarship” JOURNAL OF THE
ASSOCIATION FOR HISTORY COMPUTING, 5 (Nov. 2002).
http://mcel.pacificu.edu/JAHC/jahcindex.htm.

Assignments:
Each Assignment is worth 25% of your course grade.
    1. Serve as discussion facilitator 2-3 times depending on class size. 25%
    2. Participate fully in class discussions through dialogue and reading analysis notes, or RAN
       (which are weekly writing assignments of 2-3 pages in which you demonstrate your
       understanding of the assigned reading material). A full description of RAN will be
       distributed in class. 25%
    3. History Repository site visit and data collection. A full description will be distributed in
       class. 25%
    4. Research Project. The research project is broken into distinct parts that will comprise
       your final paper. A copy of the research design is below. Full details distributed in class.
       25%




                                     COURSE CALENDAR

January 20
Introduction, Aims of Course, Explanation of Assignments
Action items:
1. Bring in a small personal item that tells something about you.
2. Subscribe to a History Listserve of your choice.

January 27
Topic: What is History?
Action items:
1. Read—Marwick, preface-page 151; Jenkins, preface- page 57.
2. Reading Analysis Notes due in class

February 03
Topic: Theoretical Frameworks




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Action items:
1. Read—Anderson, entire text; Marwick, pages 241-263.
2. Due—Introduction/Abstract. Be prepared to discuss.
3. RAN due in class.

February 10
Topic: Methods & Discourse
Action items:
1. Read—Griffin&van der Linden, entire text; Hudson, entire text.
2. Read—Berkhofer, parts, II, III, IV, V & VIII.
3. RAN due in class.

February 17
Topic: Questions of Objectivity, Part I
Action items:
1. Read—Iggers, preface-page 200.
2. Berkhofer, part III.
3. RAN due in class.

February 24
Topic: Questions of Objectivity, Part II
Action items:
1. Read—Iggers, pages 200-end
2. RAN due in class.

March 03
Topic: Primary & Secondary Sources
Action items:
1. Read—Marwick, pages 152-194
2. Bring in listserve assignment and be prepared to discuss.
3. RAN due in class.

March 10
SPRING BREAK

March 17
Field trip/History Repository

March 24
Topic: The Craft: Doing History, Part I
Action items:
1. Read—Jenkins, pages 70 -84; Marwick, pages 195-227; Berkhofer, part IX.
2. Due—Literature Review&Bibliography. Be prepared to discuss.
3. RAN due in class.

March 31
Topic: The Craft: Doing History, Part II
Action items:
1. Read—Booth, entire text.
2. Due—Research Questions, Be prepared to discuss.
3. RAN due in class.


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April 07
Topic: Multimedia Approaches to History
Action items:
1. Read—Marwick, pages 239-279; Wittenberg, entire article.
2. View & Discuss Historical Film in class.
3. RAN due in class.


April 14
Draft clinic and open Q&A concerning ongoing challenges
2-3 Volunteers present their work for group critique.

April 21
Draft clinic and open Q&A concerning ongoing challenges
2-3 Volunteers present their work for group critique.

April 28
LAST CLASS/Final Drafts Due

May 05
Completed Research Project Due

Research Design Outline (Adapted from P. Ethington)

   I.      Introduction/Abstract
           A. This is a study of ____. It argues that___.
           B. Work in this/these areas (s) have/has achieved x and y but not z.
           C. This study will achieve ____.
   II.     Literature Review
   III.    Research Questions (These grow out of Section II).
   IV.     Bibliography
           A. Primary Sources
           B. Secondary Sources




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