HIST 6350

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2016-2017.

This graduate seminar approaches the writing of history as a problem rather than a given, as a craft or even an art rather than a standard method of presenting research. We'll consider as many kinds of history writing as possible, including some that are more traditional and some that are more experimental. To get at the complexity of the problem, we'll approach it from at least three distinct angles, examining the actual history of the writing of history (going back to Herodotus, "The Father of Lies"); the theory and philosophy of the writing of history; and current writing practices. Readings will range widely through time and space and will be assessed not just for the quality of their arguments or their place in a given historiography but also for their success as pieces of writing. We'll discuss such topics as narrative structure, the role of the first person, tone, character development, and the basic use of language. Students will also be expected to do a fair amount of writing for this class and to share their papers in a workshop setting-though no new research will be required during the semester. Obviously, the course is geared toward students in the History department, but anyone doing historical writing in any discipline whatsoever-English, Science and Technology Studies, Sociology, etc.-is warmly invited to sign up.

When Offered Spring.

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  • 4 Credits Stdnt Opt