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Modernity and the Work of History

HIST 333
Fall 2011 not offered
Crosslisting: AFAM 333
Certificates: Social, Cultural and Critical Theory

This course examines the origins and implications of historicism, the modern practice of the writing of history as that of recounting the actual past. We shall begin with an investigation of the late-Renaissance lay humanist revolution that made historical thinking possible with a shift from a purely theocentric interpretation of the social reality (where being was supernatural and timeless) to a secular (being within time) understanding of reality (if only partial). Related to this new narrative of history would be a representation of European society existing in a direct line of descent from Troy, what Richard Waswo has argued constitutes the "founding myth of Western civilization." The course will examine the transformations of the Enlightenment in which our modern understanding of history would be born, central to which would be the concept of objectivity as its raison d'ĂȘtre. We shall also examine the transference of historicism to the U.S. context in the 19th century, which remained an indispensable element in the nation-building process. Moreover, in this respect, the role of the ideology of race will also be investigated to further elucidate the intellectual foundations of the historical enterprise.

Essential Capabilities: None
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: None
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None

Last Updated on JUL-19-2024
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