Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Studying History

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit will be centred around the generic, but highly significant question, 'What is history?' Key themes to be addressed will be the difference between 'the past' and 'history', and 'history' and 'historiography', as categories of analysis: are they the same? are they distinct? do they overlap? how do such questions apply to the Maltese context? Using classical works on the subject like E.H. Carr's 'What is history?' to more recent works, this study-unit will strive to get students to engage with these questions and come to appreciate the multiple answers there can be to it.

Thanks to contributions from areas like geography, archaeology, history of arts, and others, the question 'What is history?' will be approached within a comparative framework.

Study-Unit Aims:

• To offer students insights into the study of history as a discipline;
• To highlight developments in historiographical studies;
• To make students aware of debates within history, and historical-related fields, about the nature of the subject;
• To underscore the interaction between the past and the present in the dynamics of the study of history.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• better understand what history is as a discipline;
• proceed with greater ease to the study of specific areas in Maltese history that will be explored in detail in specific study-units within the Diploma;
• know what the key names are in the field of historiography;
• appreciate what is necessary to undertake proper historical research.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• engage in informed discussions about history and historiography;
• explain key developments in the field of historical studies;
• engage critically with works on history and historiography, including those with a Maltese / Mediterranean angle;
• show an awareness that there are divergent points-of-view about history as a discipline.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

• E.H. Carr, What is history? (1961)
• John H. Arnold, History: A Very Short Introduction (2000)
• Sayer, Faye, Public history: A practical guide (2015)
• Horden, Peregrine, and Kinoshita, Sharon, (eds.), A companion to Mediterranean history, (2014)
• Simon Gunn and Lucy Faire (eds.), Research methods for history (2012)
• Ann Williams and Roger Vella Bonavita (ds.), Maltese History: What Future? (1971)
• Emanuel Buttigieg and Simone Azzopardi, ‘Outlines of Maltese History and Ġrajjet Malta: An Analysis of Representations of Colonialism in Maltese History Textbooks’, Melita Historica, 17:1, (2017), 110-39.

Supplementary Readings:

• Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, A concise history of the world, (2015)
• Monique O'Connell & Eric R. Dursteler, The Mediterranean world: from the fall of Rome to the rise of Napoleon, (2016)
• Peter N. Miller, History and its objects: antiquarianism and material culture since 1500 (2017)
• Jan Loop, Alastair Hamilton, Charles Burnett (eds.), The teaching and learning of Arabic in early modern Europe (2017)
• Florike Egmond and Peter Mason, The mammoth and the mouse: microhistory and morphology (1997)
• Sergio Luzzatto, Prima lezione di metodo storico, (2010).

• A selection of short readings will also be made available to students.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Claudia Garradas
Sarah Azzopardi Ljubibratic
Maxine Anastasi
Mario Aquilina
Simone Azzopardi
Francesca Balzan
Emanuel Buttigieg (Co-ord.)
Michael Pio Deguara
Charles Farrugia
Adrian Grima
John A. Schembri
Charlene Vella
Yosanne Vella

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.