A good historian needs, more than anything else, historical imagination: he needs to be able to apprehend an age in its own terms. A good student of literature needs, more than anything else, historical sense, so he can evaluate accurately what he is reading. This module, which works both as a history and as a literature course, attempts to “read time”: to approach history, on the widest scale, by studying, in some depth, extracts from a few very great writers. We will also consider the value and dangers of such a ‘New Historicist’ approach. We will be developing the skills of the historian (analysis, model-building, assessment of sources, arrangement of evidence, evaluation of competing viewpoints) and of the cultural critic (formal and textual analysis, aesthetic evaluation, critical judgment). It will also be generally useful in building competencies in argument, comprehension, writing and debate.
Module Leader:Richard Major
Division:Arts and Humanities