Primary Sources and Historical Reasoning

Module Leader:
Andor Kelenhegyi
2020-2021 Summer
Immersion 1
Arts and Humanities

The module offers a detailed introduction into the concepts and methodologies of historical analysis. Among other things, we will look into the practices of understanding, contextualizing and interpreting sources. We will cover a broad range of questions related to thinking in historical narratives (e.g. how to contextualize, contrast and colligate sources; what are the possible forms of relationship between events; why it is important to reflect upon our own biases etc.). Students will have to prepare for the close reading and analysis of selected source texts for each session. These texts and the problems of interpretation emerging from them will serve as the basis for our discussions about the nature and difficulties of interpretation and the nature of thinking about history.

The course focuses on the development of the students’ ability of treating and analyzing sources and forming arguments about events of the past or the present. Students are not expected to have an expertise in any historical discipline, but a broad understanding of related high school curricula is important for participating in discussions and orderly accomplish in-class and at-home assignments.

The module primarily covers topics related to historical analysis. Students with an ambition to study history, classics, archeology or theology are highly advised to take up this module. However, we will look into a variety of themes relevant for students with farther-lying interests, so the module is recommended also for students interested in philosophy, law, english literature, politics or area studies.

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