21H.931 Seminar in Historical Methods

As taught in: Spring 2004

A black and white print with red tinting of people on a hill over-looking a city with aurora above it.

Artist's rendering of a medieval aura, originally from NASA's Poker Flat Research Range in Fairbanks, Alaska. (Image courtesy of NASA.)

Level:

Undergraduate

Instructors:

Prof. Anne McCants

Course Features

Course Highlights

This course features examples of student work and videos from two class sessions: one featuring a discussion of "The Middle Ages as Fantasy," and another on "The MIT Mix - or How Does a History Department Work?" This course also features archived syllabi from various semesters.

Course Description

This course is designed to acquaint students with a variety of approaches to the past used by historians writing in the twentieth century. The books we read have all made significant contributions to their respective sub-fields and have been selected to give as wide a coverage in both field and methodology as possible in one semester's worth of reading. We examine how historians conceive of their object of study, how they use primary sources as a basis for their accounts, how they structure the narrative and analytic discussion of their topic, and what are the advantages and drawbacks of their various approaches.

Technical Requirements

RealOne™ Player software is required to run the .rm files found on this course site.