HIST 7001 Course Goals

This seminar, required of all first-year doctoral students in the History Department, is designed to introduce students in all fields and periods to the theory, methods, and craft of historical writing and to familiarize them with professional practice in the academy. The primary aim of the seminar is to develop critical perspectives on the art and science of historical writing through close reading and vigorous discussion of a chronologically, geographically, and methodologically diverse array of books and articles selected by the instructor. In the process, readings and discussions will introduce fields, methods, theoretical debates, narrative techniques, and analytical paradigms. As models of historical inquiry, professional scholarship, and nonfiction writing, readings will also facilitate broader conversations on the process of choosing research topics and structuring dissertations. With this shared intellectual foundation, students will be prepared for the transition to the second part of the first-year sequence, the MA Thesis writing seminar, HIST 8001.