EIU His 5000, Fall 2010, Newton Key
T 19:00-21:15, Coleman 2750
Syllabus as pdf (brief version)


week 1.

  • History Stories, 24 Aug.
    • Questions
      • How would you characterize the history of history?
        • What periods/changes would you insert?
      • What are the main approaches/types of history today?
    • Supplementary Materials
old books
  • Man has been a hunter for thousands of years….
  • The hunter would have been the first “to tell a story” because he alone was able to read, in the silent, nearly imperceptible tracks left by his prey, a coherent sequence of events….
  • What may be the oldest act in the intellectual history of the human race [is] the hunter squatting on the ground, studying the tracks of his quarry.
  • Carlo Ginzburg, “Clues: Roots of an Evidential Paradigm,” in Clues, Myths and the Historical Method (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1980), 102-3, 105.

week 2.

  • Arts and Sciences, 31 Aug.
Caspar David Friedrich, Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (1818)

week 3.


week 4.


week 5.

  • Marx Class [Dr. Anita Shelton], 21 Sept.
    • Readings
      • Erich Fromm, Marx’s Concept of Man (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1961, 1966), preface and chs. 1-8 (pp. 1-83) AS HANDOUT
      • Georg G. Iggers, “Marxism and Modern Social History,” New Directions in European Historiography, rev. ed. (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1984), 123-74. AS OnR
      • Karl Marx, “Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts,” in Marx’s Concept of Man, trans. T.B. Bottomore (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1961, 1966), 93-109. AS OnR
      • E.P. Thompson, “Exploitation,” The Houses of History, ed. Anna Green and Kathleen Troup. (New York: New York University Press, 1999), originally from The Making of the English Working Class (1963). As HANDOUT
    • Supplementary Materials

Karl Marx, 1839

E. P. Thompson

week 6.

  • Turner, History, and National Identity [Dr. Lynne Curry], 28 Sept.
    • Readings
      • Frederick Jackson Turner, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” American Historical Association. Annual Report for the Year 1893 (Washington, DC: American Historical Association. 1894), 1-37. LC OnR
      • The World's Columbian Exposition: Idea, Experience, Aftermath,” American Studies, Univ. of Virginia, 1996
        iii. Frederick J. Turner, "Social Forces in American History," AHR 16, 2 (1911): 217-33. LC ElJ
      • Merrill Lewis, "Language, Literature, Rhetoric, and the Shaping of the Historical Imagination of Frederick Jackson Turner," Pacific Historical Review 45, 3 (1976): 399-424. LC ElJ
      • Martin Ridge, "Turner the Historian: A Long Shadow," Journal of the Early Republic 13, 2 (1993): 133-44. LC ElJ
      • David Rollinson, “Marxism,” in Writing Early Modern History, ed. Garthine Walker (London: Hodder Arnold, 2005), 3-24 NK OnR


Frederick Jackson's History Semianr, 1893-94

week 7.

  • Macrohistory vs. Microhistory, 5 Oct.
    • Readings
      • Annales and Macrohistory
        • Lynn Hunt, “French History in the Last Twenty Years: The Rise and Fall of the Annales Paradigm,” Journal of Contemporary History 21, 2 (1986): 209-24. ElJ
        • Peter Burke, The French Historical Revolution: The Annales School 1929-89 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990), 6-11, 32-64 (esp. 43-64), and glossary (112-6). OnR
      • Microhistory
        • Edward Muir, “Introduction: Observing Trifles,” in Microhistory and the Lost Peoples of Europe, ed. Muir and Guido Ruggiero (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1991), vii-xxvii. OnR
        • Jill Lepore, “Historians Who Love Too Much: Reflections on Microhistory and Biography,” JAH 88, 1 (2001): 129-44. ElJ
      • Macro and Micro
      • Evans, In Defence, ch. 7
    • Supplementary Materials
Carlo Ginzburg

week 8.

  • The Linguistic Turn: History and Postmodernism [Dr. Mark Hubbard], 12 Oct.
    • Readings
      • Bryan Palmer, "Critical Theory, Historical Materialism, and the Ostensible end of Marxism," in The Postmodern History Reader, ed. Keith Jenkins (London: Routledge, 1997), 103-13. MH OnR
      • Roland Barthes, "The Discourse of History," inThe Postmodern History Reader, 120-3. MH OnR
      • Hans Kellner, "Language and Historical Representation," inThe Postmodern History Reader, 127-38. MH OnR
      • Gertrude Himmelfarb, "Telling It as You Like It: Postmodernist history and the flight from fact," inThe Postmodern History Reader, 158-74. MH OnR
      • Lawrence Stone, “History and Postmodernism,” in The Postmodern History Reader, 239-43 [includes introduction to the following letters]. MH OnR
      • Patrick Joyce and Catriona Kelly, “History and Post-Modernism,” Letters, P & P 133 (1991): 204-13. MH ElJ
      • Lawrence Stone and Gabrielle M. Spiegel, “History and Post-Modernism,” Letters, P & P 135 (1992): 189-208. MH ElJ
      • Anthony Grafton, “History’s postmodern fates,” Dædalus (Spring 2006): 54-69. NK ElJ
    • Supplementary Materials
    • Quiz
Past & Present (founding editors)

Lawrence Stone

Patrick Joyce

week 9.

  • Gender [Dr. Sace Elder], 19 Oct.
    • Readings
      • Joan W. Scott, “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis,” AHR 91, 5 (1986): 1053-75. SE ElJ
      • Joanne Meyerowitz, A History of “Gender,” in AHR Forum: Revisiting “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis,” AHR 113, 5 (2008): 1346-56. SE ElJ
      • Bonnie G. Smith, “Gender and the Practices of Scientific History: The Seminar and Archival Research in the Nineteenth Century,” AHR 100, 4 (1995): 1150-76. SE ElJ
      • Thomas Laqueur, “Orgasm, Generation, and the Politics of Reproductive Biology,” (The Making of the Modern Body: Sexuality and Society in the Nineteenth Century,) Representations 14 (1986): 1-41. SE ElJ
    • Supplementary Materials

Joan Scott

First Women Graduates, University of Glasgow

week 10.

  • Orientalism and the Postcolonial [Dr. Roger Beck], 26 Oct.
    • Readings
      • Edward Said, “Introduction,” Orientalism (1978), 1-30. RB OnR
      • Peter Heehs, “Shades of Orientalism: Paradoxes and Problems in Indian Historiography,” H & T 42, 2 (2003): 169-95. RB ElJ
      • Catherine Hall, “Introduction: Thinking the postcolonial, thinking the empire,” in Cultures of Empire: Colonizers in Britain and the Empire in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries–A Reader, ed. Hall (New York: Routledge, 2000), 1-36.
      • Gyan Prakash, "Orientalism Now," H & T 34, 3 (1995):199-212. NK/RB ElJ
      • Bruce Mazlish, “Terms,” in Palgrave Advances in World Histories, ed. Marnie Hughes-Warrington (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), 18-43. NK OnR
    • Supplementary Materials
    • Quiz


Edward Said


week 11.

  • Cultural Hegemony and Tales of Resistance [Dr. Jon Coit], 2 Nov.
    • Readings
      • Clifford Geertz, “Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture,” The Interpretation of Cultures (New York: Basic Books, 1973), 3-31 JC OnR
      • Robert Darnton, "Cosmology in the Classroom: Fieldnotes on Clifford Geertz," New York Review of Books, 11 January 2007; reprinted as “In Memoriam. Clifford Geertz,” AHA Perspectives (February 2007): 35-7 JC/NK ElJ
      • James C. Scott, “Infrapolitics of Subordinate Groups,” in Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990), 183-201. JC OnR
      • Lawrence Levine, “The Quest for Control: Slave Folk Beliefs,” Black Culture and Black Consciousness: Afro-American Folk Thought from Slavery to Freedom (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977), 55-80 JC OnR
      • Robin Kelley, “Introduction” and “The Riddle of the Zoot: Malcolm Little and Black Cultural Politics during World War II,” Race Rebels: Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class (New York: The Free Press, 1994), 1-13, 161-81, 235-8, 281-7 JC OnR
      • Evans, In Defence, ch. 8. NK
    • Supplementary Materials





week 12.

  • Post-Modernism and the History of emotions [Dr. David Smith], 9 Nov.
    • Readings
      • Michel Foucault, "We 'Other' Victorians" and "Preface" to The History of Sexuality, Vol. II, from The Foucault Reader, ed. Paul Rabinow (New York: Pantheon Books, 1984), 292-300, 333-9. DS OnR
        • additional commentary: 1, 2
      • Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, "The Concept of Enlightenment," in The Dialectic of Enlightenment (New York: Continuum, 1993), 3-42. DS OnR
        • additional commentary: 1, 2
      • Rachel Weil, "Sometimes a Scepter is Only a Scepter: Pornography and Politics in Restoration England," in The Invention of Pornography, 1500-1800: Obscenity and the Origins of Modernity, ed. Lynn Hunt (New York: Zone Books, 1993), 125-53, 361-6. DS OnR
      • Lynn Hunt, "The Many Bodies of Marie Antoinette: Political Pornography and the Problem of the Feminine in the French Revolution,” in Marie-Antoinette: Writings on the Body of a Queen, ed. Dena Goodman (New York: Routledge, 2003), 108-30. DS OnR
      • Barbara Rosenwein, "Introduction," Emotional Communities in the Early Middle Ages (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2006), 1-31. DS OnR
      • Joyce Appleby, “Knowledge and Postmodernism in Historical Perspective,” in Knowledge and Postmodernism in Historical Perspective, ed. Appleby, et. al. (New York: Routledge, 1996), 1-20. ElJ
    • Supplementary Materials

Michel Foucault

Lynn Hunt

week 13.

  • Beyond the Cultural Turn?, Reviewing the State of Play, 16 Nov.
    • Readings
      • Gaddis, Landscape, chs. 7-8
      • Evans, In Defence, ch. 8
      • Anthony Grafton, “History’s postmodern fates,” Dædalus (Spring 2006): 54-69. NK ElJ
      • Joyce Appleby, “Knowledge and Postmodernism in Historical Perspective,” in Knowledge and Postmodernism in Historical Perspective, ed. Appleby, et. al. (New York: Routledge, 1996), 1-20. ElJ
    • Supplementary Materials
    • Final Papers (description)
    • Quiz
Joyce Appleby

week 14.


week 15.

  • Reports from the front(s) II; Conclusion(s), 7 Dec.
    a. Supplementary Materials
    • Quotes/Glossary
    • Herodotus or Thucydides?
      • 1
      • gossip/rumor or rational actors?
    • Stone or Russell?
      • 1, 2
      • theory/data or knowledge of the archives?
  • Final Papers, due 16 Dec.


His 5000 (#90723) is a seminar on the history of history and required for students admitted to the MA in History program at Eastern Illinois University. This enhanced copy of the syllabus is updated throughout the semester and I invite you to use it. Any syllabus revisions will be limited, will be for pedagogical reasons, and will be announced in advance and posted on the web.

The goals of His 5000

  1. Identify the major themes, approaches, or interpretive stances taken by historians
  2. Develop analytic skills in identifying and critiquing the arguments of professional historians
  3. Learn and deploy the terminology associated with historical arguments, approaches, or interpretative stances
  4. Use these skills and terminology in writing a field-specific historiographical review essay
  5. Be able to write future historiographies/reviews of the literature for papers/theses
  6. Prepare for a historiographical essay or section for MA comprehensive examinations
  7. Discover what kind of historian – approach, theory, method(s) – you are.

requirements, papers, and exams

office hours


last modified on December 7, 2010