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Historical Theory and Historical Methods - 30 credits (HST644)

The MA core module in Historical Theory and Historical Methods seeks to introduce students to the theoretical approaches used by contemporary historians, how historical theories have developed, and how theory has been used in historical writing. Taught via two-hour fortnightly tutorials, the course explores problems of objectivity and evidence, the "scientific" status of history as a discipline, and the problem of explanation. Approaches ranging from Marxism, poststructuralism, gender, anthropology, and economic and social theory are addressed alongside historical approaches like history from below and subaltern studies. These subjects are closely related to individual texts, which provide an opportunity to explore individual theories and to relate them to historical writing. The course aims to be challenging and stimulating with the theory and methods discussed designed to be applicable to historiography of the medieval, early modern, and modern periods in a European and non-European context.

Assessment: One 4,000 word essay; one 2 hour unseen examination