Convener: Dr B Kar

Course entry requirements: Acceptance for an honours programme.

This seminar course, compulsory for all honours students in the Department of Historical Studies, invites students to engage some of the key conceptual and methodological issues concerning the nature of the historical discipline and its modes of writing and enquiry. It is organised around the notion of ‘archives’, which we understand in its many different registers, both as an institutionalised order of evidence and as a shorthand for an entire epistemological complex. Taught by a team of historians, anthropologists, literary critics and sociologists over eight intensive weeks at the beginning of the first semester, this course aims at providing students with both a critical understanding of conceptual issues and a hands-on experience of the so-called primary sources. We engage with governmental, oral, ethnographic, mnemonic, statistical, literary, visual, digital, material, sonic and somatic archives in this course, trying to introduce students to the emergent styles of historical enquiry and reflect on the complex relationship between the academic discipline and its several popular and public variants. In the second semester students build upon these discussions to write customised course essays.