What is history?

Course Dates: 27/10/19
Time: 10:30 - 15:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street

This course explores some different ways of looking at, and understanding, history.


What is the course about?

E.H. Carr once wrote: "facts … are like fish on the fishmonger’s slab. The historian collects them, takes them home and cooks and serves them."

This course explores different ways in which historians 'serve' history. We will discuss the nature of historical facts, the role of the historian, objectivity in historical study, and how to conceive of history as a human process.
We will interrogate these ideas through the study of a number of different ways of understanding history, discussing and debating the merits and demerits of these. In discussing these we will touch on key themes in the modern discipline of history.
Alongside interrogating competing theories, we will seek to apply some of these theories to historical events, seeking to understand how different perspectives can provide us with different understandings of historical events.

What will we cover?

- The historian and historical facts
- E.H. Carr on History
- Marxist History
- The Use and Abuse of History
- Postmodernism in History.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Describe some prominent theories of history
- Critically assess historical texts, and the author's point of view
- Situate historical subjects within a broader understanding of the discipline of history.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an introductory course and requires no particular skills other than an open mind and willingness to engage with new ideas. There will be some reading and discussion in class so students should have a good grasp of English.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The course will be taught through tutor-led presentation, group and class discussion, as well as some in class reading. Videos, audio and other media may be used to enhance learning.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

There are no extra costs. A pen and paper, or a laptop, to write notes on will be useful.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Have a look at our range of history and politics courses available on our website or in our prospectus.

Tutor Biographies
Benjamin Chwistek

Ben is the Coordinator for World History, Politics, Economics, Anthropology and Current Affairs. He studied Modern History at the University of London, obtaining a First Class Honours degree with a specialisation in Victorian Intellectual History. He then studied a Masters Degree in Political Philosophy at the University of York, where he graduated top of his class and obtained an award for his dissertation on the philosophies of history of Michel Foucault and Walter Benjamin. Ben went on to complete his PhD at the University of York, where he researched the subject of myth and violence in the work of Georges Sorel, Walter Benjamin and Carl Schmitt. For his PhD research, Ben received a scholarship from the WWI centenary ‘Legacies of War’ project. Ben has taught Philosophy, Politics and History from 1st year undergraduates to MA students at the universities of York, Leeds and Antwerp. He has also taught A Level History and Politics to sixth form students at a school in West London, and has taught English at a school in Thailand. Alongside this, he has spoken at conferences and events around the UK and Europe, primarily on topics relating to myth, violence, and democracy.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: HMI03

Sun, day, 27 Oct - 27 Oct '19

Duration: 1 session

Full fee: £39.00
Senior fee: £31.00
Concession: £20.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Download form & post

Any questions? humanities@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 7492 2652

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.