Tonight my graduate seminar on “Philosophy of History and Historiography” meets for the first time. Your many wonderful comments and suggestions on my post a few weeks back, which I will share with my students, have helped me better conceptualize the course. I also added a few readings to fill major gaps. Based on several recommendations, I added E.H. Carr’s What Is History? as a sort of primer on how many if not most twentieth-century historians theorized their craft. And based on SB’s suggestion, I added a conservative text (or rather, a text that represents skepticism of most modern historical theories): Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory. Moreover, I heeded the advice given by several of you about which films to show. So thank you!
I now turn once again to the USIH hive mind for help. I am posting selections of my syllabus below (I’ve redacted quite a bit). Take special note of the final paper. I am requiring that students write short intellectual biographies of “groundbreaking historians.” I’ve given the students a necessarily arbitrary list of suggestions. But I would like them to have many more such suggestions. So, in the comments section, give us your recommendations. There are no parameters, but feel free to explain or justify your choices. I am looking for diversity in terms of time, place, subject matter, and perspective. Cheers. Continue reading