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Module

HIS1105 : What is History For?

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Adam Morton
  • Lecturer: Dr David Hope, Dr Nicola Clarke, Dr Matt Perry
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This module has four aims:

1) to introduce students to the development of History as an academic discipline and different types of History (political,
global, social, cultural, gender, post-colonial, and so on);
2) to compare and contrast different approaches to, and uses of, historical writing in different periods and regions;
3) in doing so, to make them consider the role of power-relations and cultural context in shaping the types of historical
knowledge produced by a given culture;
4) and to challenge students to engage with on-going methodological problems and debates in the discipline.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics covered may include:

1) Big Question 1: Does History produce Truth?.
2) Big Question 2: “History” & “the Past”: What’s the Difference?
3) Chronicle & Providence: Truth & the Divine in medieval historical writing.
4) The Renaissance: History as moral truth.
5) 19th Century History: Professionalization, Positivism and Colonialism?
6) Things get better and better: The Whig view of History and progress.
7) The Enlightenment: Reason, Disenchantment and their Legacies?
8) History, the nation state, and patriotism.
9) Marxism & History: Class & Determinism.
10) Peoples' History: History from Below.
11) Subaltern Histories.
12) Gender in History: From Her Story to beyond the binary.
13) Cultural History: Mentalities, Beliefs & Attitudes
14) What about the rest? Non-western views of History as a discipline
15) Orientalism? Global History as a challenge to the discipline?
16) Post-modernism and the problem of Historical ‘truth’.
17) Post-colonialism & History.
18) Understanding ideology: Historians, language, and discourse.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion641:0064:0045% of guided independent study. Preparation for a presentation.
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials182:0036:00Non-synchronous on-line learning
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading641:0064:0045% of guided independent study
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities72:0014:00Article summaries.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops32:006:00Synchronous on-line. Presentation preparation workshops.
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion22:004:00Discussion board activity
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00Synchronous on-line. Drop in surgeries for assessment.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time91:009:00Workshops. Synchronous on-line learning (timetabled). There will be no in-person teaching.
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

LECTURE MATERIALS impart core knowledge and an outline of knowledge that students are expected to acquire and they stimulate development of listening and note-taking skills. They explain historical concepts and set out historical debates and problems. They introduce a range of source material and set out and help to evaluate its historical context and worth. Listening and note taking are practiced in lectures. The lectures for 2020-21 will develop these same skills. There will be more scaffolding to facilitate on-line learning.

WORKSHOPS encourage independent study and promote improvements in oral presentation, interpersonal communication, problem-solving skills and adaptability. The workshops on this module will be more focused than undergraduate seminars – helping stage 1 students to work through key texts, they will complement and develop skills in critical reading, note taking, analysis, and argument which students have developed. The workshops for 2020-21 develop these same skills: they adopt the same format as in-person teaching even though delivered on-line.

Responses to the ERF: Lectures will be delivered via a mixture of Recap recordings and scaffolding materials. Guided learning materials have been expanded to included on-line discussions, on-line skills workshops, and on-line Vlogs (all to guide students through one aspect of the assessment, the oral presentation).

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation51M40Students will deliver individual presentations of 5 minutes in length
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio1A60Portfolio of short written pieces, drawn from weekly formative assessment of 400 words; 2,500 words in total.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessment is intended to develop two core skills in History students – written and oral analysis and persuasion – at Stage 1. The portfolio of writing will test student’s abilities in critical reading and analysis: they will produce short summaries and criticisms of key works in historiography over the course of the semester. This ensures that assessment covers the range of the entire module. The presentation tests student’s abilities to a) present and critique complex material in a concise manner and b) to construct persuasive arguments.

All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree unless they have compelling reasons not to do so. If this is the case, they are offered the alternative of writing one 3,000 word essay to be handed in by 12.00 p.m. of the Friday of the first week of the assessment period. This will replace all assessment work required of other students on the module. In order to take up this option, students need to discuss it with the Study Abroad Coordinator and their module leader, having checked with their home university that the new assessment will be accepted by them. The Study Abroad Coordinator will have the final say on such issues.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. This will take the form of an alternative assessment, as outlined in the formats below:

Modules assessed by Coursework and Exam:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be one essay in addition to the other coursework assessment (the length of the essay should be adjusted in order to comply with the assessment tariff); to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Exam only:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be two 2,000 word written exercises; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Coursework only:
All semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be expected to complete the standard assessment for the module; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending the whole academic year or semester 2 are required to complete the standard assessment as set out in the MOF under all circumstances.

Reading Lists

Timetable