Historiography II: Grand Debates in Central European History
The seminar, as indicated in the title, complements the general course of historiography with a detailed discussion of all those historical debates, which related the general paradigms of European or world history to the specific problems of the historical region called East-Central Europe. Conversely, there are also several cases, when the specific interpretations of the history of this region gave rise to the formulation of a more general historical or theoretic problem. Combining readings from various subfields of historical studies (political history, social history, historical anthropology, cultural history, intellectual history), the course provides an insight into some of the national historiographical traditions and also into using a trans-national approach to the study of the region.
The seminar will consist of general introductions to the individual subfields (provided by the two instructors or some invited colleagues from the two departments specialized in the particular issue), and the regular discussion of the assigned readings. The reading list also contains an indicative list of recommended literature. The students will be familiarized with these topics and get an overview of the different approaches of the history of our region. Students will develop the following skills: ability for individual work, a capacity of orienting themselves in a multidisciplinary research and to compare and assess different historiographical approaches.
The main learning outcome is the capacity of critically engaging with a variety of academic debates on the region, placing them into a transnational interpretative framework. Analyzing these debates together will develop both the factual knowledge of the students on the region and also the analytical skills of placing these arguments both into their historical context and thus interpreting their cultural, political and rhetorical setting, but also to see what remains relevant from these debates now for a young historian seeking to place the national historiography into a regional context, and the regional debate into a global one.
Progress in the course will be evaluated as follows:
Term Paper 60%
Class Participation 40%
The term paper is a ten-page case study on one of the authors discussed during the term, chosen by the student and accepted by the instructors, linked to the themes of the seminars. Class participation means regular attendance, in-class comments and questions related to the weekly lectures and readings. In addition to the general requirements doctoral Students who take the course are supposed to focus on the historiographical context of their doctoral research and produce a research paper focusing on the transnational historiographical problem.