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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: History and Political Science Department
Course Prefix and Number: HIST 394
Course Title: Modern Historiography: The West and the World
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

This is seminar on the history of modern historical writing, with particular attention to conceptual theories which affect historical investigation. Topics dealt with in this course include connections between nationalism and historiography, the emergence of historical scholarship as a professional endeavor, historiography and decolonization, recent
directions in historical research, and global historiography. The course is highly useful for the senior thesis and is especially recommended for students considering graduate study. Offered even Fall semesters.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

HIST 294 and Junior standing

Course Rotation for Day Program:


Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Required: Select the most recent editions of both required


Instructors are also expected to assign scholarly articles, or excerpts thereof, as examples of selected historiographical approaches. Columbia College library databases will be particularly useful for this.

A Global History of Modern Historiography
By Iggers, George, Q. Edward Wang and Supriya Mukjarhee (Pearson)
Historians on History
By Tosh, John (Pearson)
Chicago Manual of Style or Turabian Manual

Course Learning Outcomes
  • Describe the chief characteristics of important historiographical schools which developed in the west and in the world since c1750.
  • Define key conceptual terms related to various historiographical schools.
  • Analyze selected historical writings as representatives of different historiographical approaches.
  • Compare the benefits and limitations of different historiographical schools.
  • Connect specific topics and readings to larger issues concerned with historical research.
  • Interpret the role of the historian in civil society.
  • Demonstrate effective historical argumentation by presenting ideas, formally and informally, in discussion settings.
  • Write coherently, gracefully, and persuasively about historiography as a concept and in practice.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:

Because the course represents an upper-level history elective, it bears a distinctive responsibility for teaching advanced knowledge within the discipline. It must be distinguished as an advanced course by three structural components: extensive reading, intensive writing, and
historiographical thinking. It must require advanced students to complete both in-class and out-of-class projects (i.e., midterms, finals, team reports, quizzes, research papers). The course reading load should be at
least 1000 pp.; the course writing assignments should total c5000 words.

The major topics include but are not limited to the
following areas:

  • Defining historiography as a concept
  •  The characteristics of western historiography as affected by the Enlightenment
  • Muslim history in a time of Ottoman decline
  •  Western interpretations of Indian historical consciousness
  • Nationalism and history in the 19th century: the west, India, and Muslim historiographies
  • Later 19th-century academic history in the west and east Asia
  • Nationalist histories in the globalizing 2oth-century
  •  World wars and the crisis of historicism
  • Decolonization and history: sub-Saharan African developments:
  • Postwar challenges: Marxism between orthodoxy and new directions

  •  Postwar challenges: social history, post-colonialism, postmodernism
  • Postwar challenges: gender and history
  • Islamism and Islamic historiography
  • Historiography after the Cold War


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 12

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: David Karr Date: January 17, 2018
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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