Approaches to Cultural and Social History
Postgraduate: Level 7
Sunday 17 January 2021
Friday 26 March 2021
22 May 2020
Requisites for this module
MA V10012 History,
MA V100MO History,
This module focuses on the theoretical and methodological implications of the 'cultural turn'. It introduces students to key concepts in the field, exploring debates about the meanings of such terms as 'subjectivity', 'identities', and 'discourse'. The latter part of the course pursues the possibilities opened by cultural approaches, as reflected in new and emerging debates and themes such as childhood, public and private, sex, the psyche, and memory.
Throughout we will be asking questions such as: what makes cultural history distinctive? What are its sources? How does an emphasis on representation change or challenge accepted notions of the relationship between language and experience, evidence and interpretation, the economic and the cultural?
This module explores some of the developments that have influenced the writing of social and cultural history over recent decades. Although the confidence that social history displayed during the 1960s to the 1980s has been challenged of late, new theoretical perspectives and new questions and sources are redirecting the subject productively, not least into a closer relationship with cultural history.
By the end of the module you should have come to understand some of the developments that have influenced the writing of social and cultural history over recent decades.
You will want to do some introductory reading, to orientate yourself and make sure you are acquainted with the background to the themes of this module. Your best starting point are the two books cited below of which Peter Burke is sole author, but all those listed will provide useful background and are books you may want to return to over the course of the term.
Peter Burke History and Social Theory, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Polity, 2005)
Peter Burke What is Cultural History?, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Polity, 2008)
Peter Burke ed. New Perspectives in Historical Writing, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Polity, 2001)
Anna Green & Kathleen Troup, eds The Houses of History: a Critical Reader in Twentieth-Century History and Theory (Manchester: Manchester UP, 1999)
Ulinka Rublack ed., A Concise Companion to History (Oxford, 2011 [reprinted with corrections 2012)]
Quentin Skinner ed. Return of Grand Theory in the Human Sciences (Cambridge: CUP, 1985)
1 x 2 hour seminar per week
This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non-essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Xun Zhou, email: email@example.com.
Dr Xun Zhou
Senior Student Administrator, Department of History, Telephone: 01206 872190
Dr Paul Corthorn
Queen's University Belfast
Senior Lecturer in Modern British History
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.
* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.
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