The module offers a detailed introduction into the primary concepts and techniques of historical thinking and into understanding, contextualizing and interpreting sources. We will cover a broad range of questions and issues 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.). Furthermore, students will 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 informed 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.
Although the module is devised in a way to cover topics of thinking about the past, it is recommended for not only students considering to study historical disciplines. We are going to discuss a number of topics that may prove relevant for those interested in philosophy, politics or social sciences.