Apr 21, 2024  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
2022-2023 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

HIS 100-01 - Introduction to Historical Inquiry

4 credits (Fall)
How History Works. Many history classes focus on one particular time and place in the human past, but this course provides an introduction to issues of historical causation, argumentation, and evidence by pursuing a series of questions, big and small, illustrating how historical thinking can change how we see the world. Is there really a difference between “history” and “prehistory”? When are fairy tales and folklore useful historical sources? Was the Roman emperor Caligula actually crazy, and how can we know for sure? How is being a historian like being a spy, and how can scholars understand the opinions and worldview of people who lived under brutal dictatorships or in cultures alien from our own? By pursuing questions like these, students will learn both about the forces that have shaped the past and about the ways that historians understand the world around them. 

Prerequisite: None.
Instructor: Cohn