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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Christoph Giebel
HIST 494
Seattle Campus

Colloquium in Historiography

Advanced seminar examining central issues in historiography. Emphasizes reading, discussion, and writing.

Class description

This course fulfills the senior seminar requirement for the History major. Regardless of subject matter, the colloquium provides an in-depth engagement with various issues related to historiography. In Autumn quarter 2009, the course focuses on "Historiography of Modern Viet Nam," i.e., recent contributions to, and debates in, the field of modern Vietnamese history. As part of the course, each student will write an individual research paper relevant to the seminar’s themes. Active participation by students is expected. The course is reading intensive.

Student learning goals

critical reading

critical thinking

critical argumentation

historiographical contextualization

formulating research ideas and agendas

research and writing skills

General method of instruction

seminar with presentations and discussions

Recommended preparation

None required, although some knowledge of modern Asian, Southeast Asian, and/or Vietnamese history or of colonialism and post-colonial Asia is strongly recommended.

Class assignments and grading

1) To have completed the readings and assignments before class and contribute to class discussion (about 25% of course grade); 2) To serve as “discussion jolter” (DJ). On the evening before class (latest by 11 p.m.), the DJ will distribute per e-mail a list of discussion questions (minimum of three) and at least one quotation from the readings that the DJ finds particularly significant. (about 9% of course grade); 3) To hand in two 2 pp. thought pieces on any two of the assigned books (excl. the one to be “DJ-ed”). These are due at the beginning of class on days when books are scheduled (8 + 8 = 16% of course grade); a third thought piece is optional (bonus); 4) To write a course paper of 15-25 pages on a subject matter related to the course theme. Specific topics should be chosen in consultation with the instructor by the third or, latest, fourth week (50% of course grade); 5) To distribute per e-mail an abstract or draft of the course paper at least 24 hours before the class is scheduled to discuss it. The later in the course, the more complete the drafts are expected to be.

see assignments above


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 Christoph Giebel
Date: 04/16/2009