The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of History Department of History
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HIST 2001 B Historiography (Introductory)

Term 1, 2014-2015

Lecturer:Prof. Ian Morley
Phone: (852) 3943-7116 
Office: Room 129, Fung King Hey Building 

Tutor: Ms Ng Yee Ka, Abby

Lecture Time: 2.30-4.15 pm, Thursdays

Classroom: Room 308, Lee Shau Kee Building

Tutorial Time: 4.30-5.15 pm (on Thursday of weeks 3, 4, 9, and 10)

Classroom: Room in Lee Shau Kee Building yet to be confirmed

Class Language: English

Course Description

The programme provides an introduction to the theory, study and writing of History, and includes an analysis of the changes in the methods, assumptions and purposes of historical investigation over time. Students during the course learn to appreciate how historiography when applied to the study of History can change the interpretation of, and approaches to, comprehending the causes, evolution and effects of a particular historical process or event, or to the understanding of a particular historical field. Different traditions of historical thinking and writing therefore form a significant component of the module.

In order for all students to grasp the theory of historical study and historical writing selected reading by distinguished historians shall be utilised. This will introduce basic conceptual and methodological matters within the field of History, and help bring to the fore areas of theoretical interest to past and present-day historians. Within tutorials many of these issues shall be further explored so that students can apply learning in these areas to controlled historical writing exercises. By the end of the course it is hoped that all students are able to utilise any source material that is presented to them, be it a written or visual text, in an analytical manner appropriate to ‘proper’ historical study.

The course is split into a number of clearly defined parts which harmonise to form a structured overture of what History and historical writing consists of. The first section surveys the development of the discipline of History. The second part of the course focuses on introducing methodological themes connected to History in order to demonstrate how historical materials, interviews, etc., and perspectives can come together in the production of History. Importantly this element of the programme will allow students the opportunity to be aware of the association between historians, society, ideology, and the diffusion and control of ideas. The third part of the course touches upon matters related to writing, such as research methods, reading and critical thinking, analysis and the basics of historical composition writing. This particular part of ‘Historiography (introductory)’ will help all learners value the necessary skills needed to be a successful historian regardless of the language(s) they use.