Honours Seminar

Gathering at Grad HouseGathering at Grad House after class

HSTR 496

The year-long Honours seminar combines a history of history and investigation of select debates in recent historical theory and methods. Its first half traces key moments in the course of historical writing from ancient Greece to the nineteenth century. The purpose is not to survey the history of the west but to analyze the range of priorities and approaches in different periods of historical writing and to explore the social and political values which this historical writing underpins. 

The second half shifts attention to the modern era, contrasting comprehensive systems for historical understanding, such as Marxism, with the more recent multiplicity of approaches to and perspectives on the past. It also considers a number of major controversies provoked by post-modern theory. Overall, the course gives students the opportunity to develop their skills and understanding by applying the critical methods of the historian to the discipline of history.