INTRODUCTION TO THE GRADUATE STUDY OF HISTORY
Professors Hyams and Strauss
and not the paper handout is
authoritative version of this
Please check here regularly.
Prof. Hyams MG 307 (5-2076, 257-3168) Wed 11 – 12 noon; Thurs 1:30 -2:30 pm
Prof. Strauss MG 324 (5-6743) Tues 1-3 pm, Thurs 10:30-11:30 am
Berman, Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition (1983)
Carretta, Equiano the African: Biography of a Self-Made Man (2005)
Cohen, History in Three Keys The Boxers as Event, Experience, and Myth (new edn., 1998)
Harris, Rethinking the Mediterranean (2005), 1-42
Horden and Purcell, The Corrupting Sea: A Study of Mediterranean History (2000), 1-5, 7, 9-49, 123-152, 172-173, 175-190, 224-230.
Hyams, Rancor and
Reconciliation in Medieval
Parker, The Military Revolution: Military Innovation and the Rise of the West, 1500-1800 (2nd edn., 1998)
Rodgers, Atlantic Crossings. Social Politics in a Progressive Age (1998).
Shapin, A Social History of Truth:
Civility and Science in Seventeenth-Century
Smith, The Gender of History: Men, Women, and Historical Practice (1998)
The “Abraham Debate”
In addition, other short readings are required, as detailed in the schedule of weekly assignments. All the above are available on reserve in Olin 301; please treat them as if use was limited to 2 hours, as it would be if on undergraduate reserve in Uris.
We also have other means
to make materials available via: Web
Reserve in Olin 301] = 
Electronically through the Online Catalog = [E]
course is designed to offer incoming graduate students the opportunity
observe how historians use sources, define problems, structure
organize arguments, write up their results, and disagree with
will be using books and other materials illustrative of various
problems across fields and specializations. The general idea is to help
to select the kinds of approach and technical equipment that best suit
research areas and temperament. You will also certainly observe how
(and all other scholars) copy and borrow from each other, sometimes
profit, sometimes with less. (This paragraph is
adapted from one crafted
by Professors Norton and
Each student will be expected to have read the materials carefully by the class and to participate thoughtfully in the discussions as well as carrying out the following assignments.
1. Short “report” (max. 250 words or 1 side of TS) on readings for Weeks II-X, perhaps consisting only of pertinent questions you want to discuss in class. This will not be graded beyond an S/U basis. To be submitted by class-time, so that one of us can continue the dialogue later.
3. Introduce session one week with a short talk (a maximum of 10 mins.) on the main reading (book). You can focus on your perceptions of its contribution and/or any of the following: how the book was reviewed, how it has been used since (use the Web of Science: Arts and Humanities Citation Index, best approached through the Library Gateway), the accuracy of its foot-noting. The discussion leader can then conduct the first hour of the class the way he or she wants it.
4. Substantial essay (c. 20-25 pp.) on a topic of historiography or research methods of your choice (to be cleared with one of us) due in 2 copies (hard copy to Strauss, electronic to Hyams) at our last session in Week XIV.
I. Sept 3 Introduction(s)
The “Abraham Case”
may be interested to read a recent paper of a Cornell colleague on
comparable academic controversies in neighboring "disciplines".
Cf. Sidney Tarrow, "Polarization and Convergence in Academic Controversies", Theory and Society (2008 online first) [E]
Idem, “Olauda Equiano or Gustavus Vassa: New Light on an 18th-Century Question of Identity”, Slavery & Abolition 20 (1999), 96-105
IV. Sept. 24 Cohen, History in Three Keys
“Inside Rumor”, American
Psychologist 46 (1991), 484-96 [E]
CREDIT AND BLAME By Charles Tilly reviewed NYT 8-15-08.
“Black Swan thesis”: http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/ & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nassim_Taleb.
VI. Oct 8 Class ends 4 pm for Yom Kippur
Smith, The Gender of History
"Gender and Historical Understanding," in Lloyd Kramer, et al., eds. Learning
Judith Bennett, History Matters : Patriarchy and the Challenge of Feminism (2006) HQ1121 .B424 2006
and Purcell, The Corrupting Sea,
1-5, 7, 9-49, 123-152, 172-173, 175-190, 224-230;
Harris, Rethinking the Mediterranean, 1-42;
Shaw, "Challenging Braudel: A New Vision of the Mediterranean,"
Journal of Roman Archaeology 14 (2001): 419-453;
F. Braudel, Memory and the Mediterranean (New York 2001) ix-xx, 3-16
Shapin, A Social
History of Truth
1968X. Nov 5 Parker, The Military Revolution
Downing, The Military Revolution
Political Change: Origins of Democracy and Autocracy in Early Modern
XI. Nov 12 Peter Hirtle (Library) on Copyright Questions
Cohen and Roy Rosensweig, Digital History at http://chnm.gmu.edu/digitalhistory/copyright/index.php
, the chapter on "Owning the Past?"
Roy Rosenzweig, "Can History Be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past" Journal of American History (2006).
Dr. Hirtle expects to
use as his
Crews, Copyright law and the doctoral dissertation
: guidelines to your legal rights & responsibilities (
XII. Nov 19 Berman, Law and Revolution
Helmholz, “The Character
of the Western Legal Tradition: Assessing Harold Berman’s Contribution
Western Legal History”, and perhaps
J. Witte, “A New Concordance of Discordant Canons: Harold J. Berman on Law and Religion”, both from The integrative jurisprudence of Harold J. Berman, ed. Howard O. Hunter (Boulder CO, 1996)
XIII. Dec 3 Final Discussion
Dec 7-10 STUDY PERIOD
Dec 10-19 EXAM PERIOD
E&OE, PRH/BSS, 8-08