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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Lynn M. Thomas
HIST 395
Seattle Campus

Modern Historical Writing, Honors Seminar

New types of problems examined by historians and new techniques that have evolved for solution. Brief historiographical introduction, reaching back to the "scientific" historians of the mid-nineteenth century, then continues by examining the impact on historians of new disciplines such as psychology, sociology, and economics, and of new techniques such as statistics and prosopography. Readings are in the theorists and in those who followed their lead. Admission by departmental invitation only.

Class description

This is a seminar for honors students in history. It introduces students to historiography, the "study of the study of history." The goal of the seminar is three-fold: 1) to acquaint students with the variety of ways in which historians have defined and approached their craft; 2) to provide insight into the numerous factors that influence historians' representations of the past; and 3) to develop the skills of effectively assessing and critiquing historical scholarship.

Student learning goals

enhance analytical thinking, speaking, and writing skills

appreciate the diversity of approaches to studying the past and the debates they engender

develop the skills of effectively assessing and critiquing historical scholarship

General method of instruction

Seminar discussion of readings, one-on-one consultations, and comments on writing assignments.

Recommended preparation

Acceptance into the History Honors program.

Class assignments and grading

The class will meet once per week for discussion of the readings and writing assignments. You will be expected to come to each class prepared to discuss and debate the assigned readings. The assignments consist of readings, class participation, and various writing assignments. There will be not midterms or final exam.

Class participation: 20% Writing assignments: 80%


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Lynn M. Thomas
Date: 01/30/2012