Theory and Methodology of History

Instructor(s): Dimitris Stamatopoulos, Vlassis Vlassidis

Course abstract:

The course will focus on the presentation of the dominant historiographical schools and the correspondent theoretical trends in the history of Western historiography in the last two centuries as well as of their methodological outgrowths regarding the finding, selection and utilization of historical sources. It will approach also the classical definitions of History as description of historical events (res gestae) or as hermeneutical understanding of the historical past as well as of the derivative concepts of what can be considered as source, description, narration and interpretation of the latter.

The theoretical currents that have been extensively analyzed will be the following: the Historical Positivism as expressed in political and diplomatic history with Leopold von Ranke as leading representative; the Historicism as expressed mainly in the Hegelian philosophical tradition; the Social and Economic History, mainly through the ideas and theses of the first and second generation of the School of Annales (Lucien Febvre, Mark Bloch, Fernard Braudel and Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, François Furet and others, respectively); the Marxist historiography, especially as expressed by the Warsaw circle and the British Marxist historians (such as E.P. Thomson, Perry Anderson and Eric Hobsbaum); Cultural history and the history of mentalities and emotions (mainly through the analysis of the theses of the third generation of the School of Annales: Michel de Certeau, Georges Duby, Jacques Le Goff, Jean-Pierre Vernant); History of Ideas (Arthur O. Lovejoy, Leo Spitzer, Isaiah Berlin, Christopher Hill, JGA Pocock); Intellectual History (Michel Foucault, Carlo Ginzburg, Reinhart Koselleck)∙ New Historicism (Stephen Greenblatt). Finally the latest trends in history like Oral history (that gives priority to the reconstruction of memory, public and private) and Microhistory (that gives priority to social history “from below”). For all the above theoretical currents (but especially for those of the Historical Positivism, the Economic and Social History, Cultural History, Intellectual History and Oral History) the course will analyze the methodological directions that everyone chooses to approach issues of sources, narrative strategies and interpretive compositions. Finally the lecture course will insist on how we use sources of the past, in both categories: a) written sources (archives, records, documents, newspapers, literature) and b) representational sources (visual, audio, tactile sources).

Indicative bibliography:

Ανδριάκαινα Ελένη, Πέραν του Θετικισμού και του μεταμοντερνισμού. Δοκίμια στην ιστορική κοινωνιολογία, Αθήνα, 2009

Ασδραχάς Σπύρος, Ζητήματα ιστορίας, Αθήνα, 1983

Βέικος Θεόφιλος, Ζητήματα και μεθοδολογία της Ιστορίας, Αθήνα, 1987

Bloch Marc, Απολογία για την ιστορία. Το επάγγελμα του ιστορικού σήμερα, Αθήνα, 1994

Braudel Fernand, Μελέτες για την ιστορία, Αθήνα, 1987

Burke Peter, Αυτοψία : Οι χρήσεις των εικόνων ως ιστορικών μαρτυριών, Αθήνα, 2003

Burke Peter (ed.), New Perspectives on Historical writing, London New York 1991

Cannadine David (ed.), Τι είναι ιστορία σήμερα, Αθήνα, 2007

Fouchault Michel, Αρχαιολογία της Γνώσης, Αθήνα, 1987

Hobsbawm Eric, On History, London, 1997

Iggers Georg, Η ιστοριογραφία στον εικοστό αιώνα : Από την επιστημονική αντικειμενικότητα στην πρόκληση του μεταμοντερνισμού, Αθήνα, 1999

Le Goff Jacques, Ιστορία και μνήμη, Αθήνα, 1998

Λιάκος Αντώνης, «Η νεοελληνική ιστοριογραφία στο τελευταίο τέταρτο του 20ου αιώνα», Σύγχρονα Θέματα , 76-77 (2001), 72-91.

Νικολαίδης Θεοδόσης (επιμ.), Ο Φουκώ και οι ιστορικοί, Αθήνα, 2008

Samaran Charles (επιμ.), Ιστορία και μέθοδοί της, Αθήνα, 1979

Thompson, E.P., The Making of the English Working Class, London 1963

Ψυχοπαίδης Κοσμάς, Ιστορία και μέθοδος, Αθήνα, 1994