HST3000: The Uses of History
20 credits (semester 2)
A pass in at least two history modules at level two.
This module offers an opportunity for students to reflect on their experience of studying History at university. It encourages and guides reflection on the nature of History as a discipline, and on the questions raised by representations of the past in both academic and non-academic settings. In doing so, the module provides a capstone to undergraduate study, enabling students to bring together the experience and knowledge they have gained across the degree course, to engage in debate about important questions facing historians in the present, and to consider ideas about the role and purposes of History as an academic subject. It also allows students an opportunity to look ahead to the ways in which they might continue to draw on their training as historians in life beyond graduation.
What can we know about the past? Can we learn from the past? What is the purpose of studying History? Do we need history as a heritage? Is a value-free enquiry of the past possible? What is the relation between academic research and the wider public? The lectures and seminars for this module will provide opportunities to examine these important issues, focusing on discussion of texts and other sources which have been influential, controversial and thought-provoking.
There are eight lectures and five seminars for this module. The lectures move on from issues of knowledge and heritage to the question of whether 'learning' from the past is possible and if a study of history can be led by values and inform citizenship. The 90-minute seminars will allow for an in-depth discussion of some of the points raised in the lecture series and of the key questions which guide the module. Each seminar is based on a set reading – or in one case a film - which will be introduced and contextualised through a brief group-presentation.
|1||The Uses of History: Introduction||Knowledge about the Past|
|2||History and the Diversity of Time||History and the Problems of Heritage|
|3||Language and the Knowledge of History||History on the Screen|
|4||The Burden of the Past: Pros and Cons of Heritage||Lessons of the Past?|
|5||Facts and Fiction: The Public Representation of History||Ethics, morals, values: a training in citizenship?|
|6||Learning from the past: or, can History teach us how to live?|
|7||The Scholar as Citizen: Research and Values|
|8||The Uses of History: Conclusion|
This module will be assessed by coursework and an unseen examination. The coursework, an essay of 2500 words (including footnotes, but excluding the bibliography), constitutes 33% of the overall mark. The remaining 67% will be derived from a two-hour, two-question examination.
- J. Black, Using History (2005)
- M. Bloch, The Historian's Craft (1992)
- M. L. Davies, Historics. Why History Dominates Contemporary Society (2005)
- L. Jordanova, History in Practice (2000)
- B. Southgate, Why bother with history? Ancient, modern and postmodern motivations (1996/2000)
- J. Tosh, The Pursuit of History, 4th edn. (1999, 2006)
Intended Learning Outcomes