HIST 2809B: The Historian’s Craft
Winter 2024

Instructor: Professor Michel Hogue

Description: If, as some suggest, the past is a foreign country, then how do historians find their way around? What tools or methods do they use to navigate this historical terrain? This course offers a hands-on introduction to the ways that historians investigate, assess, and represent the past.  

In short, you will be asked to do the work of an historian: you will locate and examine a wide array of primary and secondary sources and apply some of the varied methods of analysis that historians use to make sense of the past. You will also assess some of the different ways that historians craft their studies and present their findings. These are the methods and skills that you will need to thrive in your other history courses. At the same time, this course is meant to have you develop and reflect on the ways that your work in the classroom might be applied outside of it. To that end, we will keep our eye on the practical applications of the research, writing, and analytical skills that are at the core of your university course work.    

Format: This course will be delivered in a blended format. The three course hours per week will in include an asynchronous, online course module (1 hour/week) and in-person discussions and hands-on activities (2 hours/week).

Evaluation: In the past, students in this course completed an applied research project that asked them to undertake original research and rigorous analysis of historical primary sources. Other activities will include:

  • Weekly quizzes based on the lectures and required readings
  • Regular reflections on a subject or theme covered in class
  • Regular short lab assignments

Readings: While most readings for the course will be made available online, you will also be asked to secure a copy of Jenny Presnell’s The Information-Literate Historian (2019).

If you have any questions please contact me at michel.hogue@carleton.ca