The purpose of this course is to provide an in-depth examination, at the graduate level, of European social history from around 1500 to the middle of the twentieth century. It will deal with the historiographical foundations of the study of European social history, especially the history of the family and popular culture, as well as allowing the student to pursue independent research in one social history area.
3 book reports/presentations/discussions (45%): You will read one of the historiographical foundation books (Aries, Stone, Ozment), the Burke book, and a third book to be chosen in consultation with the instructor. For the historiographical and Burke books, you must also locate and read at least two of the following: scholarly reviews of the book, biographical information on the author, evaluations of the place of the authorís work in the field of social history. For the third book, you will locate and read two scholarly reviews. Any major comments or critiques made by these other sources must be addressed in your analysis of the book. This analysis, which will be written and handed in, is also to consider what type(s) of sources the author used and how the author utilized those sources.
We will attempt to arrange additional meeting times outside of the undergraduate class.
One meeting will be devoted to a discussion of the Burke book and popular culture as a field of historical inquiry. At the other meetings, each of you will present his or her historiographical foundation or selected third book to his or her fellow graduate students, not only summarizing the thesis and relating it to the course but including some of the information in the written paper, on use of sources, etc. The other graduate students are required to have read at least one scholarly review of the book (or, for the historiographic work, the author) prior to its presentation, and, based on that information, will be expected to ask questions of the presenter and engage in a discussion of the book. Both the presentation and the ability to ask questions and engage in discussion will be considered in studentsí grades.
If a graduate student is unable to make the discussions, or if there is only one graduate student taking the course, he or she will be required to make a brief presentation on this book to the undergraduate class, summarizing the main thesis of the book and relating it to the course. This will be considered as part of the graduate studentís grade on this project.
Each such book project (report and presentation/discussion) will count for 15% of the studentís final grade.
Research Paper - 45%: The objective of this paper is for you to develop advanced research skills. The paper will be on an "everyday life" topic, dealing with social history, popular culture, etc. By Thursday, September 13, a proposal for the paper must be submitted to the instructor, in the form of a question that will become the thesis of the paper, and this proposal must also have a tentative listing of sources. The final paper will be expected to meet graduate standards in quality of research and analysis; at least 10 sources must be cited in the paper, of which at least 2 MUST be primary sources and NO MORE THAN 2 may be Internet sources. However, the exact number of sources, and length of the paper, will depend on the topic. In order to be counted, a source must not only be listed in your bibliography, but cited in your paper. This paper is due NO LATER than Tuesday, November 30, and will constitute 45% of the studentís final grade.
Oral final exam (10%): Sometime during exam week (December 6 - 10), each graduate student will schedule an oral final exam with the instructor, which will last about 45 minutes and can include questions about the course work, the studentís paper, and/or books the student has written on/presented. This will be the last 10% of the final grade.