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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Laurie J Sears
HIST 598
Seattle Campus

Methods of Historical Research

Exploration of new historical and scholarly techniques employed in historical research. Use of social science methodology and literary theory in the evaluation and interpretation of historical sources. Use of feminist theory, deconstruction, critical theory, and orality/literacy studies. Student research paper is based upon a chosen theoretical approach.

Class description

The course this quarter will investigate questions of psychoanalysis, trauma, and colonialism through the work of Ranjana Khanna, S. Freud, Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok, F. Fanon, Jean Laplanche, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, J. Lacan, and Maria Dermout. We will look at questions of history and memory, trauma and archives, and memory and subjectivity. Examples will be drawn from novels and essays about the experiences of colonialism in North Africa and the Dutch Indies and postcolonial Korea. Graduate students will learn how to write a research proposal as the final assignment for the class.

Student learning goals

To write sophisticated analyses of assigned theoretical and literary works.

To attain fluency in the ideas of assigned theoretical writings.

To integrate a chosen theoretical approach with the student's area of research.

To produce a polished research proposal.

General method of instruction

Two students will lead class discussion each week. Students will meet individually with instructor several times during the quarter to discuss and shape their research projects.

Recommended preparation

Come to class ready to engage in intense and informed discussions of the assigned readings.

Class assignments and grading

Assigned readings: R. Khanna, Dark Contintents: Psychoanalysis and Colonialism F. Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks Maria Dermout, The Ten Thousand Things Sigmund Freud, The Penguin Freud Reader Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Dictee Reading packet with selections from Hegel, Lacan, Ruth Leys, Anne Anlin Cheng, and others. Students will turn in 2-2.5 page response papers every other week and produce a finely honed 10 page theoretically informed research proposal related to their particular field of study for the final assignment.

Class participation 20% 4 short essays 40% (10% each) Final research proposal 40%


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 Laurie J Sears
Date: 03/19/2012