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Disciplines of History II: Varieties of Historical Practice - HIS00113I

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  • Department: History
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Tom Johnson
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module summary

Disciplines of History 2 is a required module for Single Subject History students in Year Two of the History programme. It exposes students to various sub-disciplinary modes of contemporary historical practice through a combination of foundational theoretical texts for the sub-disciplines in question, and historical texts that apply those sub-disciplinary approaches.

The specific mix of sub-disciplines will be at the discretion of individual staff members, who will choose at least one sub-discipline from each of the four ‘Bands’ (see the Teaching Programme for more information).

Exploring a minimum of four historical sub-disciplines will provide every student with a strong reflexive basis for making strategic disciplinary choices in their independent historical practice. The module will also help them further contextualise their practice within a wider field of historiographical engagement.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Summer Term 2022-23

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To familiarise students with a range of different historical sub-disciplines and exemplary recent applications
  • To enable students to make informed, critical, and self-reflexive choices about sub-disciplinary practice in their independent research
  • To develop and supplement students' historiographical and methodological analysis skills

Module learning outcomes

Students who complete this module successfully will:

  • Be able to link historiographical sub-disciplinary debates to their applications in specific historical studies
  • Be able to produce informed commentary about the practice, value, and pitfalls of at least four different sub-disciplinary approaches to writing history
  • Be able prospectively to apply or relate critical knowledge of different sub-disciplinary practices to their independent research agendas

Module content

Teaching Programme
The teaching programme will consist of four 2-hour seminar meetings, one weekly in weeks 1-4 of the summer term.

Seminar topics may include ONE of the following sub-disciplinary areas of history PER BAND, at the tutor’s discretion:

Seminar 1: Band A

  1. Economic History / Historical Materialism
  2. Transnational History / History of Empire
  3. World Ecology
  4. Religious History

Seminar 2: Band B

  1. Material History
  2. History of Science / Medicine / Technology
  3. Microhistory
  4. Environmental History

Seminar 3: Band C

  1. Gender History
  2. Critical Race Theory
  3. Social History

Seminar 4: Band D

  1. Intellectual History
  2. Political History / Diplomatic History
  3. Cultural History


Task Length % of module mark
1,000 word essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Students will submit a 1,000-word essay of 1-2 module text/s (chosen in consultation with the seminar instructor) that focuses on core sub-disciplinary and theoretical problems of the relevant sub-discipline/s in week 5 for summative assessment. Students will be asked to situate the specific texts under analysis within a broader critical knowledge of the sub-discipline(s) to which they relate.


Task Length % of module mark
1,000 word essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

For the summative assessment task, students will receive their provisional mark and written feedback within 20 working days of the submission deadline. Their tutor will then be available during student hours for follow-up guidance if required. For more information, see the Statement on Assessment.

Indicative reading

For term time reading, please refer to the module VLE site. Before the course starts, we encourage you to look at the following items of preliminary reading:

Zemon Davis, Natalie Zemon. The Return of Martin Guerre. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1984.

Kelley, Robin D.G. Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination. Boston: Beacon Press, 2002.

Sewell, Jr, William H. Logics of History: Social Theory and Social Transformation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.