Theories and Methods in the Study of History

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The Main Reading Room of the United States Library of Congress is the primary entrance into the Library's research collections, and the principal reading room for work in the humanities and social sciences. (Photo courtesy of maveric2003 on Flickr.)


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Fall 2010



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Course Description

We will doggedly ask two questions in this class: "What is history?" and "How do you do it in 2010?" In pursuit of the answers, we will survey a variety of approaches to the past used by historians writing in the last several decades. We will examine how these historians conceive of their object of study, how they use primary sources as a basis for their accounts, how they structure the narrative and analytical discussion of their topic, and the advantages and limitations of their approaches.

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Jeffrey Ravel. 21H.991 Theories and Methods in the Study of History. Fall 2010. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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