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Regular version of the site

Critical Analysis of Historical Sources and Introduction to General History

2018/2019
Academic Year
ENG
Instruction in English
3
ECTS credits
Course type:
Bridging course
When:
1 year, 1, 2 module

Instructor

Course Syllabus

Abstract

«L'histoire se fait avec des documents», “the history is made on the basis of documents” – this was a famous dictum of two nineteenth century French historians, Charles Victor Langlois and Charles Seignobos, the statement that opened the first chapter of their classic textbook Introduction to the Study of History (1898). In this course we will explore the ways professional historians use documents, as well as other types of primary sources, in their research. We will consider the role archives play in shaping collective memory of the past, and will examine in details the peculiarities of institutional records, statistics, court and law files, surveillance reports, diaries, letters and memoirs, newspapers and fiction, maps, oral and visual sources.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • In this course we will explore the ways professional historians use documents, as well as other types of primary sources, in their research. We will consider the role archives play in shaping collective memory of the past, and will examine in details the peculiarities of institutional records, statistics, court and law files, surveillance reports, diaries, letters and memoirs, newspapers and fiction, maps, oral and visual sources.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • A student is able to evaluate and rework the learned scientific and activity methods
  • masters new research methods independently, changes the scientific and production profile of his/her activities
  • Student is able to analyze, verify, evaluate the completeness of information in the course of professional activities, to add and synthesize missing information if necessary
  • Student is able to perform research with modern research methods and techniques, using knowledge of the humanities and social sciences and close scientific fields of knowledge
  • Student is able to analyze historical sources in Russian and foreign languages
  • Student is able to create and use normative documents within the limits of the professional duties
  • Student is able to create and edit popular texts, to present complex historical information in a publicly accessible form
  • Student is capable of creating, describing and responsibly monitoring compliance with technological requirements and standards in professional activities
  • Student is able to search, analyze and present information, to work with humanities' databases
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction. Historians and source criticism
    The term ‘sources’ and its understanding by historians. Historians and source criticism from the Renaissance to the 20th century
  • Archives and archival research
    Institutions, their documentary record and social memory. The rise of history as an academic discipline and state archives. Political, diplomatic and military history. Institutional records and the decision-making process. Declassifying state documents for political purposes. Bureaucratic culture, political rhetoric and actual policies.
  • Statistics and opinion polls
    Statistics: Statistics and statecraft in early modern and modern Europe. Descriptive and quantitative statistics. Methods of statistical research. Statistics and the construction of social categories. Opinion polls and the rise of empirical social research in the 20th century. Opinion polls and public opinion: reflecting or influencing? Opinion polls and social norms.
  • Law and court files, surveillance reports
    Law and its application. Early court files and the inquisition. 20th century historians, popular culture and court files. Grids and filters of investigative procedure: the language of interrogation, the complexity of interaction between oral and written communication, juridical procedures. The dialogic nature of court files. Remission letters: narrative patterns and plots employed to construct a pardonable exception to the rule of law. Surveillance reports and historical perspective on dictatorships: from „top-down‟ to revisionists approaches. Surveillance reports as the means to assess popular opinion: the picture of dissent confined to personal grievances. Surveillance reports and recent research on the rise of modern „national security states‟ in the 20th century. Early modern surveillance reports and post-modern deconstruction of the established narrative about the Enlightenment.
  • Diaries, letters, memoirs
    Letters and diaries of great men as sources for political and intellectual history. Ordinary letters and social historians. Diaries and autobiographies: the birth of the genre and modern self-reflexivity. Gender roles and different diary cultures. Self-writing, experiences and emotions. Letters, diaries and identity-construction. The meaning of correspondence networks. Letter-writing manuals and censorship. Published diaries and editorial practices. Public letters, letters to newspapers and the acquisition of political literacy.
  • Fiction and journalism
    Journalism – recording or structuring reality? Production and consumption of news: their format, content and institutional history. The speed of news. Nineteenth century novels: realism and objectivity. History of the book, reading practices and intertextuality. Popular and mass literature. Literary criticism in the twentieth century: structuralism and its refusal to examine historical context. Post-structuralism and new cultural history.
  • Oral history
    Historians and oral narratives. The rise of oral history in the US and Europe after WWII. The question of reliability of oral sources and the historians‟ interest in collective memory in the 1980s. Interview method: the role of the scholar, the context of an interview. Interviews and intertextuality. Publishing oral sources. Oral history databases.
  • Visual arts, photography and film
    Functions of art images in historical research. History of art and general history. Photography, its history, the advancement of technology and its social functions. Photographic image – a direct witness?
  • Maps
    Maps, location and spatial pattern. Cartography and state-making in historical perspective. Mapping and selection of content. Map scales and perspectives. Language and cartographic communication. Cartographic sources and map compilation. Maps as a tool of persuasion in science and public affairs. Maps and geopolitics.
  • On-line databases for historical research
    Seminar only – team presentations
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking seminars
  • non-blocking team presentations
  • non-blocking essay
  • non-blocking oral exam
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    0.32 * seminars + 0.4 * essay + 0.2 * oral exam + 0.08 * team presentations
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Blitstein, P. A. (2007). Researching Stalin’s nationality policy in the archives. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.5FE820FF
  • Brigid O’Keeffe. (2014). Murder Most Russian. True Crime and Punishment in Late Imperial Russia. Europe-Asia Studies, (8), 1385. https://doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2014.941706
  • Burke, P. (2001). Eyewitnessing : The Uses of Images As Historical Evidence. London: Reaktion Books. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=344015
  • By Fables Alone : Literature and State Ideology in Late Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century Russia. (2014). Netherlands, Europe: Academic Studies Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.CBAD9DC
  • Classen, C., Kinnebrock, S., & Löblich, M. (2015). Towards web history: sources, methods and challenges in the digital age ; an introduction. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.8353624E
  • Darnton, R. (1984). History Today, 34(8), 7. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=f5h&AN=4863851
  • Darnton, R. (1999). The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History. New York, NY: Perseus Books Group. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=200032
  • Darnton, R. (2009). The Great Cat Massacre : And Other Episodes in French Cultural History. New York: Basic Books. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=461193
  • Dierks, K. (1999). Correspondence: Models of Letter-Writing from the Middle Ages to the Nineteenth Century. By Roger Chartier, Alain Boureau and Cecile Dauphin and Until Next Year: Letter Writing and the Mails in the Canadas, 1640-1830. By Jane E. Harrison. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.4BFB40A2
  • Estrada, A. V. (2018). The voice of the past. Oral history, de P. Thompson. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.1A4143C2
  • Estrada, A. V. (2018). The voice of the past. Oral history, de P. Thompson. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.FF7CFC17
  • Gourdon, V., & Rollet, C. (2009). Stillbirths in Nineteenth-Century Paris: Social, Legal and Medical Implications of a Statistical Category. Population (16342941), 64(4), 601–634. https://doi.org/10.3917/pope.904.0601
  • Heinzen, J. (2016). Jason D. Hansen, Mapping the Germans. Statistical Science, Cartography, & the Visualization of the German Nation, 1848-1914. (Oxford Studies in Modern European History.) Oxford, Oxford University Press 2015. Historische Zeitschrift, 302(3), 819–821. https://doi.org/10.1515/hzhz-2016-0242
  • Hillis, F. (2014). Murder Most Russian: True Crime and Punishment in Late Imperial Russia. Journal of Modern History, 86(4), 980–982. https://doi.org/10.1086/678758
  • Holquist, P. (1997). `Information is the alpha and omega of our work’: Bolshevik Surveillance in its Pan-European.. Journal of Modern History, 69(3), 415. https://doi.org/10.1086/245534
  • MARTIN, T. (2007). Interpreting the new archival signals. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.28EF1069
  • Monmonier, M. S. (2004). Rhumb Lines and Map Wars : A Social History of the Mercator Projection. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=347502
  • O’Keeffe, B. (2014). Murder Most Russian. True Crime and Punishment in Late Imperial Russia. Europe-Asia Studies, 66(8), 1385. https://doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2014.941706
  • Peter A. Blitstein. (1999). Researching Stalin’s nationality policy in the archives*. Cahiers Du Monde Russe : Russie, Empire Russe, Union Soviétique, États Indépendants, (1–2), 125. https://doi.org/10.3406/cmr.1999.995
  • por Olga Novikova. (2008). VELERIE KIVELSON: Cartographies of Tsardom. The Land and Its Meaning in Seventeenth-Century Russia, Cornell University Press, Ithaaca y Londres, 2006, 263 págs. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.2B56A0BE
  • PORTER, T. M. (2017). Mapping the Germans: Statistical Science, Cartography, and the Visualization of the German Nation, 1848-1914. American Historical Review, 122(3), 943. https://doi.org/10.1093/ahr/122.3.943
  • Reinke, H. (2012). Statistics, administration, and concepts of crime: remarks on the development of criminal statistics in nineteenth-century Germany. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.B986053
  • Rezension: Jason D. Hansen: Mapping the Germans. Statistical Science, Cartography, and the Visualization of the German Nation, 1848–1914 (rezensiert von Martin Bemmann). (2017). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.441A78BE
  • Terry Martin. (1999). Interpreting the new archival signals [Nationalities policy and the nature of the Soviet bureaucracy]: Nationalities policy and the nature of the Soviet bureaucracy. Cahiers Du Monde Russe : Russie, Empire Russe, Union Soviétique, États Indépendants, (1–2), 113. https://doi.org/10.3406/cmr.1999.994
  • Thompson, P. (2000). Voice of the Past : Oral History. Oxford: OUP Oxford. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1204727
  • Thompson, P. R. (2000). The Voice of the Past : Oral History (Vol. 3rd ed). Oxford [England]: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=155690
  • Thompson, P., & Bornat, J. (2017). The Voice of the Past : Oral History (Vol. Fourth edition). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1467545
  • Verhoeven, C. (2009). The Odd Man Karakozov : Imperial Russia, Modernity, and the Birth of Terrorism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=673747
  • Zorin, A. (2014). By Fables Alone : Literature and State Ideology in Late Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century Russia. Web server without geographic relation, Web server without geographic relation (org): Academic Studies Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.3CB794E2
  • Zorin, A., & Levitt, M. C. (2014). By Fables Alone : Literature and State Ideology in Late-Eighteenth – Early-Nineteenth-Century Russia. Brighton, MA: Academic Studies Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=798323
  • БОЙЦОВА ОЛЬГА ЮРЬЕВНА. (2011). Picturing Russia: Explorations in Visual Culture / edited by v. Kivelson, J. Neuberger. New Haven; L. : Yale university Press, 2008. 284 p. ; Ill. Русский комикс: сб. Статей / идея Ю. Александрова; составление Ю. Александрова и А. Барзаха. М. : новое литературное обозрение, 2010. 352 с. , ил. , суперобложка-плакат. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.FE5052BA

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Abrams, L. (2010). Oral History Theory. Hoboken: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1174806
  • Allen, J. S. (2004). A History of Reading in the West / Correspondence: Models of Letter-Writing from the Middle Ages to the Nineteenth Century. Journal of Modern History, 76(4), 934–936. https://doi.org/10.1086/427573
  • Altman, J. G. (2002). Correspondence: Models of Letter-Writing from the Middle Ages to the Nineteenth Century (Book). Modern Philology, 100(1), 63–68. https://doi.org/10.1086/493151
  • Cvetkovski, R. (2016). Rezension: Michael David-Fox / Peter Holquist / Alexander M. Martin (Hg.): Fascination and Enmity. Russia and Germany as Entangled Histories, 1914–1945 (rezensiert von Roland Cvetkovski). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.4247B3E5
  • Evans Restrepo, M. (2016). Comparative reading of The cheese and the worms by Carlo Ginzburg and The Inheriting Power by Giovanni Levi ; Lectura comparada de El queso y los gusanos de Carlo Ginzburg y La herencia inmaterial de Giovanni Levi. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.87E3D209
  • Holquist, M. (2012). Michael Holquist Interview. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.5DC10D60
  • Michelle Evans Restrepo. (2016). Comparative reading of The cheese and the worms by Carlo Ginzburg and The Inheriting Power by Giovanni Levi. Historia y Sociedad, (30), 105. https://doi.org/10.15446/hys.n30.52472
  • Moine, N. (2009). Peter Holquist, Making war, forging revolution. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.B3624147
  • PIANKEVICH VLADIMIR LEONIDOVICH, TOT YURII VIKTOROVICH, & FLORINSKII MIHAIL FEDOROVICH. (2016). Boris Vasilyevich Anan’ich (1931-2015): Sketches for a Portrait. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.784B5288