The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of History Department of History
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HIST2002B Historiography (Advanced)

Semester 2 (2019-2020)

Lecture TimeThursday 10:30am-12:15pm

VenueLSK 304


Lecturer Stuart MCMANUS ((852) 3943 7858 /

Teaching Assistant LEE Wai Ho (

Course Description

Course Description

What is history and how should we practice it?  This course looks at the ways scholars have theorized and practiced history from antiquity to the present.  Here, the focus will be on the most influential approaches to history writing (in the West and the world at large), including: Marxism, gender and sexuality, social history, cultural history, race and ethnicity and digital history.  An important focus of the course will be on developing the ability to synthesize and apply complex approaches, both orally and in writing.        


Grade Descriptors

Grade A Outstanding performance on all learning outcomes.

Grade A- Generally outstanding performance on all (or almost all) learning outcomes.

Grade B Substantial performance on all learning outcomes, OR high performance on some learning outcomes which compensates for less satisfactory performance on others, resulting in overall

substantial performance.

Grade C Satisfactory performance on the majority of learning outcomes, possibly with a few weaknesses.

Grade D Barely satisfactory performance on a number of learning outcomes.

Grade F Unsatisfactory performance on a number of learning outcomes, OR failure to meet specified assessment requirements.


Course Outcomes 

At the end of the course, students should be able to achieve the following objectives:

1. Gain a solid training in the craftsmanship of academic presentation and historiographical writing;

2. Identify, understand, and critically analyze major schools of thoughts in historiography;

3. Demonstrate profound understanding and critical analysis of various historical methods, including data-driven digital history.


Introductory Reading 

Students looking for an introduction to historiography should refer to:

Wang, Q.E. & G.G. Iggers, eds., Turning Points in Historiography: A Cross-cultural Perspective (Rochester, N.Y.: University of Rochester Press, 2002) [2hr loan in UL] 


Lecture 01 (Jan 9): Introduction: Historical knowledge and the historian’s craft. How to read a book workshop.
Prologues to Livy, Thucydides, Herodotus [in pdf on Blackboard].
Collingwood, R.G., “Who killed John Doe? The problem of testimony” from The Idea of History, in Winks, R.W., ed., The Historian as Detective (New York: Harper & Row, 1968), pp.39-60.


Lecture 02 (Jan 16): Marx, Weber and other theorists and historical research  
Marx, Manifesto of the Communist Party. (14-27)
Wang, Q. Edward. “Between Marxism and Nationalism: Chinese Historiography and the Soviet Influence, 1949-1963.” Journal of Contemporary China 9, no. 23 (2000): 95-111.
Yale lecture on Weber


Lecture 03 (Jan 23): Examples of historical research: from political/institutional history to social history
Skim: Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class (reserve in UB)
WEB DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk, Forethought & sections I-II
Frank Snowden, “The Negro in Classical Italy,” AJP 70 (1947) 266-92; “The Negro in Ancient Greece,” American Anthropologist 50,1 (1948) 31-44. 


Lecture 04 (Feb 6): Cultural history and historical research 
Skim: P Burke, What Is Cultural History? [on hold in UB]
Peter Burke, “Cultural History and its Neighbors”
Grafton, Anthony. “The History of Ideas: Precept and Practice, 1950-2000 and Beyond.” Journal of the History of Ideas 67.1 (2006): 1-32.


Lecture 05 (Feb 13): Historical geography and historical research
Adelman, “Is global history still possible..?”
Drayton, Richard, and David Motadel. “Discussion: The Futures of Global History.” Journal of Global History 13.1 (2018): 1-21.
Skim: Carlo Ginzburg, The Cheese and the Worms [UL reserve]
Skim: Timothy Brook, Vermeer’s Hat [UL reserve]


Lecture 06 (Feb 20): Gender, Sexuality and Intersectionality
Scott, J.W., “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis,” in J.W. Scott, ed., Feminism and History
Kimberlé Crenshaw, “Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: a Black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory and antiracist politics”. University of Chicago Legal Forum. 1989: 139–168.
Skim: Chauncey, George. Gay New York: Gender, Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890–1940. New York: BasicBooks, 1994. (Ebook online)


Lecture 07 (Feb 27): Economic history and historical research
Haskell, Thomas L. (October 2, 1975). “The True & Tragical History of ‘Time on the Cross'”. The New York Review of Books
Walter Scheidel, Slavery in the Roman Economy.
Skim: Braudel, F., trans. Ranum, P.M., Afterthoughts on Material Civilization and Capitalism(Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977).
Skim: David Brion Davis, The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture
Book review only: Orlando Patterson, Freedom.


Lecture 08 (Mar 5): Basics of historical research (i): identifying errors in source materials and the challenges of digital history
“Concepts and Readings,” 1A-1B, (just read, do not do exercises)
Introduction to Statistics,
“Math & Art History”
Skim: Jakub Kabala, “Computational authorship attribution in medieval Latin corpora: the case of the Monk of Lido (ca. 1101–08) and Gallus Anonymous (ca. 1113–17),” Language Resources and Evaluation (2018), 1-32. 
Skim: Alex Borucki, David Eltis and David Wheat. “Atlantic History and the Slave Trade to Spanish America,” American Historical Review, 120 (2015): 433-461.


Lecture 09 (Mar 12): Basics of historical research (ii): data, examining archives and conducting field work
Read: 2B-5A, , (just read, do not do exercises)
Download Transatlantic Slave Trade Database EXCEL sheets: expanded dataInter-American TradeBritish Atlantic.  Here is the manual for understanding it all [questions: what is the data; how was it created; what are the potential problems with it; how is it presented?]
Do Tableau tutorial: (this might also be helpful:
Create some Tableau visualizations answering a hypothetical research question about Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database using the EXCEL sheets, and bring them to class (USB or email to TA and we can discuss them). 
If you have a laptop, please bring it to class.
For the final projects, students might also be interested in: Scottish Witchcraft Trials ; Civil Unrest Events ; US government data, etc.


Lecture 10 (Mar 19): Basics of historical research (iii): analyzing and inferring from historical documents and other sources
Read 5B-8A, (just read, do not do exercises)
Do Text Analysis tutorial ;
Apply one of these techniques to a text of your choice and bring your results to class.
Look at African Names Database, and think about how you might apply digital methods to it.
Do ArcGIS mapping: set up a free account at
Do these tutorials: ;
Please make one map (it can be very simple and bring it to class).
If you have a laptop, please bring it to class.


Lecture 11 (Mar 26): Displaying historical research and public history: cases of historical research.
Read 2A, 8B-10B, (just read, do not do exercises)
Glassberg, David. “Public History and the Study of Memory.” The Public Historian 18.2 (1996): 7-23.
Either visit the Hong Kong Museum of History (“The Hong Kong Story” wing), if you have not already, or Slavery and Global Public History.
If you have a laptop, please bring it to class.


Lecture 12 (Apr 2): No class – reading week!


Lecture 13 (Apr 9):  Trouble-shooting digital projects
Please send any problems or questions you have about your project (24 hours ahead of class), and we will solve them as a class.
12 noon Teaching Evaluation


Lecture 14 (Apr 16): Presentations and Discussions of Digital Projects.
Please email or bring your presentation on a USB.

Assessment & Assignments

Attendance and Active Participation in class: 20%
Active participation entails making at least one and preferably two comments/asking questions per class. 


6*1-page Response Papers (=300 words): 30%
on readings from weeks 2-8 that answer the question: “What is the key point of this week’s reading?” (each worth 5%).Due via email to the Professor 1-hour (60mins!) before the lecture.  You may submit more, but only the best 6 grades will count. 


Digital Essay: 25%
Produce one data-driven inquiry and present it in weeks 15 (5-10 mins).  It should total approximately 5 pages in pdf of text, images, screen shot, etc.  Topics to be covered will include, e.g. discussion of research problem, data, methodology, conclusions, problems encountered, areas for future research).    Some examples are here and here.


Tutorial Case-Study Exercises: 25%
5% for pre-submitted sources and 1-page discussions of how methodology might be applied to it (due 1hr before tutorial via email to TA); 20% for participation in discussions


Venue: TBD
Time: TBD

The Tutorials, which will be held in weeks 4, 6, 7 and 8, will be focused on applying the historiographical techniques learned in the lectures.
Tutorial 1: Marx, Weber, social history cultural history
Tutorial 2: Geography
Tutorial 3: Gender & Sexuality
Tutorial 4: Economic history

Every tutorial, All students must bring one very short extract from historical sources (c. 250 words, or image, object) of their choosing to class and discuss how they might apply one of the methodologies studied to them.  In advance of the tutorial students should submit the source to the TA and a 1-page outline of how one of the methodologies might be applied to it (due 1hr before tutorial via email). This will aid the subsequent discussion.

  • 梁啟超:《中國歷史研究法》
  • 嚴耕望:《治史經驗談》
  • 黃進興:〈論方法及方法論--以近代中國史學意識為系絡〉,載康樂、黃進興編:《歷史學與社會科學》
  • 龐卓恆等:《史學概論》
  • 許冠三:《史學與史學方法》(上、下)
  • 龐卓恆等:《史學概論》
  • 姚蒙:《法國當代史學主流》
  • 徐浩、侯建新:《當代西方史學流派》
  • 賴建誠譯著:《年鑑學派管窺》(上)
  • 項觀奇編:《歷史比較研究法》
  • 張玉法:《歷史學的新領域》
  • 周樑楷:〈年鑑學派的史學傳統及其轉變〉,載周樑楷著:《近代歐洲史家及史學思想》
  • 王淵明:〈美國公共史學〉,《史學理論》,3(1989)
  • 〈婦女史與社會性別的啟示〉,《史學理論研究》,3(2004)
  • 余英時:〈中國史的現階段:反省與展望〉,載氏著:《史學與傳統》
  • 古偉瀛、王晴佳:《後現代與歷史學:中西比較》
  • 楊念群等主編:《新史學》(下)
  • Elton, G. R., The Practice of History
  • Carr, E.H., What is History?
  • Barzun, J. & H.F. Graff, The Modern Researcher
  • Bloch, M., The Historian’s Craft
  • Burke, P., ed., New Perspectives on Historical Writing
  • Barraclough, G. Main, Trends of Research in the Social and Human Sciences: History
  • Himmelfarb, Gertrude, The New history and the Old: Critical Essays and Reappraisals
  • Berger, S., et al., eds., Writing History: Theory and Practice
  • Clark, Stuart, ed., The Annales School: Critical Assessments, Vol. 1.
  • Mahoney, J. & D. Rueschemeyer, eds., Comparative Historical Analysis in the Social Sciences
  • Kelley, R., Public History: Its Origins, Nature, and Prospects? The Public Historian, 1:1 (1978)
  • Thompson, P., The Voice of the Past: Oral History
  • Jorgensen, D.L., Participant Observation
  • Hunt, L., ed., The New Cultural History
  • Scott, J.W., “Introduction,” “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis,” in J.W. Scott, ed., Feminismand History
  • Iggers, G.G., Historiography in the Twentieth Century: From Scientific Objectivity to the Postmodern Challenge
  • Introduction to Digital Humanities
Honesty in Academic Work

Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations. Details may be found at

With each assignment, students will be required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of these policies, regulations, guidelines and procedures.

  • In the case of group projects, all members of the group should be asked to sign the declaration, each of whom is responsible and liable to disciplinary actions, irrespective of whether he/she has signed the declaration and whether he/she has contributed, directly or indirectly, to the problematic contents.
  • For assignments in the form of a computer-generated document that is principally text-based and submitted via VeriGuide, the statement, in the form of a receipt, will be issued by the system upon students’ uploading of the soft copy of the assignment.

Assignments without the properly signed declaration will not be graded by teachers.

Only the final version of the assignment should be submitted via VeriGuide.

The submission of a piece of work, or a part of a piece of work, for more than one purpose (e.g. to satisfy the requirements in two different courses) without declaration to this effect shall be regarded as having committed undeclared multiple submissions. It is common and acceptable to reuse a turn of phrase or a sentence or two from one’s own work; but wholesale reuse is problematic. In any case, agreement from the course teacher(s) concerned should be obtained prior to the submission of the piece of work.

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