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Making History

We are planning a revision of Making History in order to make the 'historical content' more explicit. The idea is that we have a three or four week topic taught by colleagues who share certain interests and who can deliver the 'skills' that are core to the module within a taster theme that also acts as a showcase for second and third year work. The block in the second half of the first term is likely to be given over to the early modernists (the first half being given over to issues of global history), so we need a theme that combines a number of our interests, has good primary sources and interesting secondary material. We can use the topic to a) explore how to write good gobbets and b) introduce them to digital sources that they might use for the project that they will write at the end of the module in term 3. We would have four weeks, each with 2 lectures and one seminar.

In terms of a theme the following seem possibilities to me: the parish, violence or print. Each of these seem to me to unite us and hence to allow lots of different perspectives, so I have sketched out possible scenarios for each of these purely to show you the type of thing we have in mind. You may want to suggest other topics or refine these, and feel free to do so, but we will need to narrow this down quite soon so please do let me know your thoughts. We need a topic which is a) manageable int he timeframe b) does not overlap too much with EW c) allows us to explore different angles and perspectives d) allows us to do some close work with documents e) is a way into on-line resources. We might choose to narrow our topic down quite considerably and unpack it - so for example, we might take a particular parish or a particular incidence of violence or a particular printed work and then contextualise it from lots of different dimensions.

I'd be grateful if you post your thoughts on this as soon as possible. Please add below (rather than deleting anything) but feel free to use coloured highlights or initials to indicate your authorship; or upload a schema of your own here or as an attachment.

Indicative possible topics:

1) The parish. key sources: an extract from Gough's History of Myddle or Martin on Long Melford and a text about a European parish. Lectures exploring: the disruptions of the civil wars; the impact of the reformation on the parish; life-writing; the parish alehouse; space and maps; material culture; neighbourliness and community; the parish officers and their roles; parish relief; the Parish Network; EEBO, Gallica and other sources

I wonder if the theme of 'The Parish' might be better presented as 'Sociability and conflict' (or something less broad) which would encompass all these topics, but perhaps sound more attractive to the uninitiated... PR
Perhaps we could label the theme "Local History", with a special focus on the parish? This might make for an interesting contrast/complement with the global sessions at the beginning of the term. Lectures/seminars could also address the manor, village and/or town, adding a medieval flavour. Happy of course to contribute on European parishes. We could even add a student/teaching section to the My-Parish site. Skills could include examining the structure of charters. BK

2) violence: document(s) relating to student violence in Italy or to violence during the French or British civil wars. Lectures on the Elias thesis; the history of emotions; the historical context of the document(s); gendered violence; visual depictions of violence; ideological justifications of violence; violence and honour; EEBO, Gallica and other sources.

This is the section to which I could most easily contribute. We might also look at judicial violence - torture, punishment and execution - and even conflict resolution! The theme lends itself well to visual depictions which have the added advantage of not having to be (formally) translated if working with foreign sources.PR

Another good 'unifying' topic. Digital sources like the Old Bailey are available, a skills element could be dealing with legal sources. Plenty of colourful tavern brawls and honour conflicts to look at. BK

3) Print: a british ballad and a venetian one; lectures on genres of print; spaces and print; orality and literacy; information and the diffusion of knowledge; ballads and religious culture; the visual and the aural; popular culture; elite collectors; EEBO, Gallica and other sources, the on-line ballad collections at Oxford and Santa Barbara;

 Also possible and interesting, with easy access to electronic resources. One skills element might be maps.