HST6059: Early Modernities
45 credits (semester 1: 2009-10) 30 credits (semester 1: 2010-11)
Dr. James Shaw
(2009-10), TBC (2010-11)
,Dr. Tom Leng
(2009-10), Team TBC (2010-11)
This core module involves a critical analysis of the many ways in which assumptions about the characteristics of 'pre-modern' and 'modern' cultures and societies, and the transition from the former to the latter, have shaped historians' approaches to the early modern period. These assumptions have considerable implications for the ways that source materials are interpreted, the choice of interpretative models which are deployed, and the manner in which early modern history is written. A series of seminars will introduce students to theme and topics in early modern history, analysing and evaluating the interpretative models proposed by a number of scholars, and focusing on the issues of 'individuality' and 'self-hood' in the early modern period. The sources available to those writing early modern history will be a complementary focus of the module, which will also introduce students to the technical and methodological problems associated with the effective use and interpretation of a range of pre-modern sources, but concentrating on personal diaries and journals as a genre for exploring individuality. In the final module unit students undertake a detailed historical analysis of a historical building of the period (Bolsover Castle).
This module aims to introduce students intending to specialise in the history of the early modern period to key themes and debates in current research. A series of seminars will address historiographical developments in early modern history and allow students to explore a broad range of themes and key issues in the study of this period, concentrating on issues of 'self-hood' and 'individualism'. The module aims to equip students with the historiographical grounding and methodological understanding with which to underpin their own independent research and so also introduces students to the technical and methodological problems involved in using source materials that survive from this period. Some seminars will therefore take the form of source-criticism classes, focusing on a specific type of source in order to introduce students to issues of authentication, contextualization and the analysis of discourse and genre. In their first assignment for the course, students will undertake an independent analysis of a particular journal or autobiogaphy, putting into practice the learning and techniques acquired during the course. In the final unit of the module, students undertake a more detailed and collaborative investigation (with two on-site visits) of a historical building (Bolsover Castle). The aim here is to develop student awareness of the specificity and material cultural aspects of their study, as well as their ability to work collaboratively and to convey their historical understanding to a non-specialist audience. Overall, the module will equip students with the confidence and technical vocabulary to talk and write about a diverse range of written, visual and material sources intelligently and to use them confidently in support of independent scholarly argument.
The principal mode of contact will be fifteen two-hour seminar classes. Within this standard format, students will be offered.
- A series of content-specific seminars, looking at a range of historical topics, issues, and problems that take the student through a particular historical period (in this case, the medieval period), providing both an introduction to the advanced study of the period and the historical and historiographical context from which to undertake practice=based research.
- A series of material culture seminars, including two on-site sessions at Bolsover Castle, with accompanying sessions on using 'dreamweaver' software for the preparation of their website assignment for this part of the course.
Students will be set preparatory reading in advance for all seminars. They will be expected to share their knowledge of historiographical developments, debate controversial topics and listen and respond to the views of others in a structured environment. In addition, students attend regular individual tutorials, in which they identify topics for written papers, develop their reading around these topics, and discuss the structure and content of their written work. Students will work collaboratively on their studies under (b). Feedback on submitted work is again given in individual tutorials.
|1||Introduction - what is Early Modern?||Introduction - what is Early Modern?||This session is in the HRI and is open to all EM/C18th staff and PGR|
|2||Documentary Contexts - I (Eighteenth-Century: Research Approaches with English Literature)||Documentary Contexts - I (Eighteenth-Century: Research Approaches with English Literature)||These sessions are timetabled separately, depending upon the number of students registered for each module.|
|3||Documentary Contexts for Early Modernity - II||Documentary Contexts for Early Modernity - II||This session is in the Western Bank Library Special Collections Suite|
|4||Documentary Contexts - III (Eighteenth-Century: Research Approaches with English Literature)||Documentary Contexts - III (Early Modernities)||These sessions are timetabled separately, depending upon the number of students registered for each module.|
|5||Documentary Contexts - IV||Documentary Contexts - IV (Early Modernities)||These sessions are timetabled separately, depending upon the number of students registered for each module.|
|6-10||Historical Constructs of Early Modernity||Historical Constructs of Early Modernity||There are various options for classes and the groups will decide at the beginning of the course which ones to pursue|
|11||Conclusion (Eighteenth-Century: Research Approaches)||Historical Constructs of Early Modernity - V|
|12-14||Writing Early Modernity I-III|
|15||Students on HST6812 are welcome to join the group for this concluding session if they wish to do so||Conclusion: Varieties of Early Modernity||Session to take place in Bolsover Castle|
Students will complete a 6,000-word paper on a journal or autobiographical source that allows the student to evaluate notions of 'self-hood' and 'individuality' and other issues of current historiography, and to show their ability to present a scholarly argument in writing.
You will also be assessed on your contribution to a Bolsover wiki. Bolsover Coursework Submission details are as follows:
- You need to submit a printed copy of your MediaWiki page(s). This may be in black & white rather than colour. Its purpose is to establish a record of the page at the time of submission. In addition, you submission should have a cover page detailing the your name, module name and the url(s) of your MediaWiki page(s).
- You need to create a text file or word document containing all the text from your MediaWiki page for submission to turnitin. The file should be text only - do not include any images or video links. To submit the file, go to the MOLE page for HST6059, click the 'Turnitin' link and then the 'Bolsover Web Text' link. After submission, you will receive an on-screen digital receipt to confirm that your file upload has been successful. You may wish to print this off as proof of submission. Both the hard and electronic copies must be submitted before the deadline of Midday on Wednesday 19 May 2010.
|Intended Learning Outcomes|
By the end of the module a candidate will be able to demonstrate an ability to:
- Recognise and be aware of the distinctive presuppositions that underlie historical writing on the early modern period and the notion of 'early modernity'.
- Recognise the contribution made by other academic disciplines to the recent study of early modern politics, culture and society.
- Identify and engage critically with historiographical debates about the early modern period.
- Elaborate and defend an intellectual position to other members of the seminar group, presenting complex scholarly arguments succinctly and accurately.
- Present conclusions in a fluent written form, demonstrating a mastery of bibliographical materials (including electronic resources) referencing their sources appropriately.
- Evaluate a range of early modern primary sources, including material culture, employing appropriate analytical techniques and theoretical approaches.
- Speak confidently, using technical language, when discussing early-modern sources of different types and using them to support scholarly argument.
- Work collaboratively in their research and understanding of historical context and period.
- Develop their ability to present their historical conclusions to a non-specialist audience.
- Construct visually attractive and coherent web-pages with a basic familiarity of an HTML editor (Dreamweaver).