History | Seminar in U.S. History
H750 | 3036 | Thelen


A portion of the above section reserved for majors
Above section meets with HIST H780

TOPIC:  MICROHISTORICAL METHODS

Course will explore theory and practice of "micro-history as research
and writing perspective.  First part of course will be readings that
problematize relations of individual actors to micro-contexts to
the "cultural tools" they use to act.  Early readings will also
attend to how historians work "in the middle" between themselves,
subjects, and audiences and how to construct that space and
implications for micro-historical scholarship.  The basic tension is
that (a) individuals make their own history but (b) under
circumstances only partly of their own making (Engels, Marx) but
those circumstances are of their own construction (Sartre).  We
explore the "irreducible tension between agent and tools used to act
(Wertsch).  Bulk of class time will be used to write a research
project based on primary sources to explore some aspect of broad
theme. Materials not only from US.  Course is not limited to
specialists in US history.