Schedule of Readings & Assignments


This syllabus is a guide, not a contract. As a living document that changes depending on how things are going, you’ll want to bookmark and consult the online version of this syllabus frequently. Important links to online assignment guides and other instructions will appear throughout the course, and I will always announce important changes in class. No significant changes will be made to the overall workload. If you print out the syllabus, be sure you keep your paper version up to date with the online version.

Week 1

19: Syllabus, Expectations, Tools

  • Introduction to the course
  • Introduction to Zotero

21: What is Historiography?

  • From Herodotus to H-Net, “What is Historiography?”, 1-24.
  • Introduction to Github

Week 2

26: Philosophy of History

  • PoH, 1-13.

28: Pre-classical History + Greco-Roman History

  • PoH, 14-27; 28-44.

Week 3

2: NO CLASS (Labor Day)

4: Medieval History

  • PoH, 45-73.

Week 4

9: Early Modern Historiographical Revolutions

  • PoH, 74-106.
  • Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, 5-19. (These are really small pages.) Everyone should come to class prepared to discuss: What examples from The Prince illustrate what’s in the chapter? How does it draw from previous historiographic traditions?

11: Interlude?

  • PoH, 107-126.
  • Discussion of Intro Guide assignment due Monday.

Week 5

16: Giambattista Vico (1668-1744)

  • PoH, 127-167. Skim 137-160. You should still read these pages—they are actually quite interesting as perhaps the first comprehensive theory of history—but read quickly as to not get bogged down in the details.

18: Enlightenment

  • PoH, 168-200.
  • Discussion of editing assignment due next week

Week 6

23: Hegel

  • PoH, 201-237.

25: Marx

  • PoH, 238-277.

Week 7

30: Leopold von Ranke and Professional History

  • Jeremy D. Popkin, From Herodotus to H-Net, “The 19th century and the rise of academic scholarship”, 68-96.
  • Thomas Gil, “Leopold Ranke”, 383-92.

2: The Annales School

  • Georg Iggers, “From Macro- to Microhistory: The History of Everyday Life”, 101-117.
  • Anna Green and Kathleen Troup, eds., The Houses of History, “The Annales”, 87-109.

Week 8

7: Quantitative History

  • Anna Green and Kathleen Troup, eds., The Houses of History, “Quantitative History”, 141-50; skim 151-71.
  • Margo Anderson, “Qualitative History”, 246-59.

9: NO CLASS: Enjoy Fall Break!!!

Week 9: What are we doing?

14: What IS History?

  • PoH, 281-89
  • PoH, 290-322.
  • Regular groups for this section.

  • DECIDE ON A TOPIC. Review existing Intro Guide and come to class with a specific topic in mind. We will discuss proposed topics to manage overlap amongst ourselves and existing essays.

16: What is History FOR?

  • PoH, 323-56.
  • Regular groups responses for this reading.
  • Notes on forking repositories and developing your essay. These instructions are written out under next Monday’s class, but we’ll go over them today.

Week 10: All hell breaks loose

21: Postmodernism I

  • Jeremy D. Popkin, From Herodotus to H-Net, “Glorious Confusion”, 127-65.
  • Fork the intro-guide. Go to the intro-guide repository, and click the Fork button in the upper right corner (don’t click the number).
  • You’ll see a popup window asking you where you want to fork it, and you’ll click on your username (you should only have one choice).
  • Notice where you are! You are looking at the intro-guide repository under YOUR OWN ACCOUNT. This is evident from the URL and the top left of the GitHub page. Our collection will always have unm=-historiography in it, and yours will have your GitHub username. But the files look exactly the same!
  • Turn on your own repository’s GitHub Pages website. Under the settings tab, scroll down to the GitHub Pages section (second from the bottom), and under source, change it from none to master branch. Scroll back down to the GitHub Pages section, and notice that it gives you a URL for your version of the intro-guide. It will look like
  • Working in YOUR repository (which will look like, go into the essays folder and appropriate subfolder, and create a new page for your essay.
  • Copy and paste the standard page header from the Code Examples page or copy the code from an existing page.
  • Copy and paste image code from the Loading Images page or copy code from an existing page. You want to get one image to appear, just to make sure you have working code for it.
  • Write a 1-2 paragraph abstract of what you’d intend to do in your essay. This is a starting point, not a final commitment, but be thorough.
  • You can test your page by going to, where FOLDER is the folder in which you created a new file, and FILENAME is the name of your file.
  • Get your page looking like you want within YOUR repository. Make sure there are no page build errors (you will get an email about them).
  • You’re done! We’ll talk about integrating your new page with everyone else’s later.

23: Postmodernism II

  • PoH, 359-89.

Week 11

28: NO CLASS: Work on your essays!

30: Discursive History

  • Foucault, Archeology of Knowledge, 3-17; 21-30; 31-39.

Week 12

4: Essay Drafts I

6: Narrative history

Week 13

11: Gender Histories

13: Postcolonial Histories

  • Dipesh Chakrabarty, “Postcoloniality and the Artifice of History: Who Speaks for ‘Indian’ Pasts?”, 1-27.
  • Essay assignments for review

Week 14

18: Reader Reports

20: Scales of history

  • Kieran Healy, “Fuck nuance”, 1-13.

Week 15: Postmodern discursive history

25: Finish Revisions


  • Lingering technical questions
  • Final essay spot checking and suggestions (for you)
  • Final site suggestions (for me)
  • A final quiz?

  • I summarize (since you won’t be reading it):
    • What is History For?, 31–58.
    • What is History For?, 59–84.

27: The Future of History

One last (and new) reading to discuss:

Week 16



All course work due by Dec 13!