University of New Mexico, Fall Semester 2016

History 491: Historiography
T/R:  11AM-12:15PM; in Mesa Vista Hall, 1101


Professor Enrique A. Sanabria

Office:  Mesa Vista Hall, 2082

Telephone: (505) 277-2267; Email:


Office Hours:

Mondays, 1:30-3PM; Wednesdays, 10:30-Noon or by appt.

Course Web Page:


Course Description:

This course is a capstone seminar designed for History majors that will explore the theory of history and how history is “done” (i.e. historical methodologies) through a careful reading and discussion of historical documents and texts from classical times to the present. In this seminar we will not only just look at the “history of History”, but also explore different and influential approaches to history as well as the philosophical underpinnings that inform our assumptions in understanding the past, and thereby emerge with a critical understanding of the discipline and profession of being an historian. By its very nature, a historiography course can never be “complete,” but we will read widely across geographical and temporal borders, sample a range of perspectives on the writing of history, and consider a number of theoretical approaches that have been especially influential in the field.

Capstone Student Learning Outcomes for History 491 (Historiography)

1. By the senior year, each major will demonstrate ethical use of sources and provide accurate and properly formatted citations in all formal papers for either capstone course (491 or 492).

2. Each major will demonstrate in their research project(s) for either capstone course (491 or 492) or the Honors research semester (493) the abilities: to distinguish between primary and secondary sources; to identify and evaluate evidence.

3. Each major will demonstrate, in either capstone course and/or in writing the Honors thesis (494), the ability to formulate a clear argument, support the argument with appropriate and thorough evidence, and reach a convincing conclusion.

4. Each major will demonstrate the ability to compare and contrast different processes, modes of thought, and modes of expression from different historical time periods and in different geographic areas.

5. Each major will demonstrate in research topic choices and resulting papers the ability to recognize and articulate the diversity of human experience, including ethnicity, race, language, sex, gender, as well as political, economic, social, and cultural structures over time and space.


Required Reading (available at UNM Bookstore):


* William Cronon, Changes in the Land (Boston: Bedford St. Martin’s, 2003). ISBN: 9780142002407

*Natalie Zemon Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre (Cambridge, MA, 1983).  ISBN:  978-0-674-76691-4

* Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality. Volume 1:  An Introduction (New York, ISBN: 978-0-679-72469-8

* Sigmund Freud, Dora: Analysis of a Case of Hysteria (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997). ISBN: 9780684829463

* Sigmund Freud, Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (New York: W. W. Norton, 2011). ISBN: 9781614270539

* Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Silencing the Past:  Power and the Production of History (Boston, 1995).  ISBN:  978-0-8070-8053-5

* Sonja O. Rose, What is Gender History (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons, 2010). ISBN: 9780745646152

* Edward Said, Orientalism (New York, 1979).  ISBN:  978-0-394-74067-6

* Carolyn Kay Steedman, Landscape for a Good Woman:  A Story of Two Lives (New Brunswick, NJ, 1987)

* John Tosh, The Pursuit of History:  Aims, Methods and New Directions in the Study of History, Sixth Edition (London, 2015).  ISBN:  978-1-138-80808-9

* Additional Readings online (via and the internet).  I would recommend that you either print out these readings to have during our meetings, or that you have the readings open on your laptops or tablets so that you can refer to them as needed.


Course Format and Advice: 


We will meet twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11AM to 12:15PM in Mesa Vista Hall, 1101.  It is imperative that you understand from the get-go, that one of the most important things I would like to inculcate in you is that this historiography seminar will give you a taste of how graduate school in History works, and how professors and graduate students engage very deeply with each week’s readings.  We will have a really great opportunity to work collaboratively through the issues raised by the reading, and thus, the success of the seminar will be dependent on the participation of all the members. I expect that everyone will come to class having both read the material and given it some thought. 


Our meetings also represent opportunities for you to get to know each other, and because none of us work in isolation, the building a supportive community is a vital part of the scholarly enterprise. Some students are more comfortable than others at participating in discussion, but it is vital that everyone comes to class ready to contribute and actually contributes.  My role will be to facilitate the conversation and I will offer some guidance as needed, but I will not lecture extensively in our seminar meetings.


As you read each week’s materials, I recommend that you consider both the big picture (the author’s argument, or where they fit into the larger historiographical debate or unfolding of historiography) as well as the details that build an argument (case studies, use of evidence, language, etc.). As you read, take lots of notes, and truly think about how each author’s arguments relates, disputes, builds upon, etc. the work of other scholars. Doing so will force you to think about these issues in advance of the class session, and help you to both remember but also participate in our discussions. Always evaluate how persuasive is an argument? And why is it persuasive?  What kind of evidence does it use, and how successfully?


I will take attendance as both your attendance and your participation are part of your final grade. Excused absences (religious holidays, a note from your doctor when you get ill, for example) will not affect your participation grade, but you must communicate with me and know that more than two unexcused absences will affect your grade negatively since the work for this course is so focused on discussion.




All assignments must be completed in order to release a grade and pass the course.  Your final grade will consist of the following:


·         Engagement/Participation - 20%. This part of the grade is my assessment of your preparation, involvement, and attendance in the classroom. I will randomly take roll, and you should be aware that more than four unexcused absences will have an adverse effect on your grade. You are expected to come to each session well prepared and ready and willing to participate in classroom discussions.

·         Weekly Response Papers -15%. Beginning with the Thursday of Week Two, each student is to prepare an approximately 500-word response to each week’s reading that is to be turned in at the end of that class. Papers are due at the end of the meetings on Tuesday, October 13th and on Tuesday, November 22nd. These papers are NOT meant to be summaries, but a discussion of points on theory or method within the readings, as a foundation for what will be discussed in class. The grade for these 15 papers will be averaged out for the final grade.

·         Leading Discussion -15%. Beginning with Week Three, each student will choose one of the ELIGIBLE class sessions in which to assume the responsibility for leading that meeting’s discussion. This task will include, of course, reading ahead of the seminar meeting, researching and telling us a little bit about the author’s background, and organizing the discussion for his or her chosen meeting. This can be done in any number of ways: perhaps you can prepare and email your classmates 7-10 questions to help get the conversation started/going; or perhaps you want to break the seminar up into smaller discussion groups who will discuss questions you provide each group; or perhaps, if applicable, you can assign teams who will debate the most salient issues in your week’s reading. You get to be the boss, and so you see why it is imperative you come to each class ready to contribute to the discussion or activities.  

·         Book Reviews (2 X 10% each=20% total). Everyone will be expected to write two book reviews during the semester. Students will choose the books from those texts (except for Tosh’s book) assigned for meetings scheduled after September 29th. The reviews should be four to five pages long and double-spaced. They should be turned in before the class meetings in which these books will be discussed. Note that you may not review a book that you are planning to introduce to the class. A book review should provide a brief summary of the main themes and arguments found in your book of choice and also give the student's opinion of its strengths and weaknesses.

·         Historiographical Essay—30%.  Students are to prepare a 10-12 page (not including notes and a bibliography), double spaced Historiographic Essay on a topic of their choice based on the 5 to 7 of the most important historical works (books and/or articles) on the topic. More details on this survey of the historical literature will be forthcoming. This assignment is due of all students on Tuesday, 13 December 2016, no later than Noon.  Late Penalties begin to accrue at Noon.



Schedule of Topics and Readings (* denotes selection on our course Learn page (; [JS] denotes availability on JSTOR; and E-book selections are included in internet links:


Week One

Course and Historiography Introductions


Aug. 23:   Course Introductions, What do we think Historiography means today?, and Our Stories


Aug. 25:  Some points of departure.

Reading: John Tosh, The Pursuit of History:  Aims, Methods, and New Directions in the Study of History (Sixth Edition), Chs. 1-3; Robert Forster, “Achievements of the Annales School,” Journal of Economic History, Vol. 38, no. 1 (March 1978), 58-76 [JS]



Week Two

Sources, Facts, and History

Ancient Fathers of History


August 30:  Sources, Facts, and the limits of History

Reading:  Tosh, The Pursuit of History, Chs. 4-7, and 9.


September 1:  Ancient Western Histories

Reading:  Homer, The Odyssey, Books IX and XI (available as a free e-book at: ; Herodotus, The Histories, book 1, paragraphs 1-91 (available as a free e-book at: ; Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, Book 2, Ch 6 (available as a free e-book at:



Week Three

Time, Anachronism, and History/Historicity


September 6: The Whig Interpretation of History, Part 1

Reading: Herbert Butterfield, The Whig Interpretation of History, (1931), Introduction, Ch. 1-4 [available at: or


September 8: The Whig Interpretation of History, Part II and Marc Block

Reading:  Butterfield, The Whig Interpretation, Chs. 5-7 [available, see above];

*Marc Bloch, The Historian’s Craft:  Reflections on the Nature and Uses of History and the Techniques and Methods of the Men who write it , Translated by Peter Putnam (New York, 1953), 138-189.



Week Four

Foundational Texts of Marxism and

History and Social Theory


September 13:  Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

Reading: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto (available throughout the internet, including: (the many international prefaces are interesting but not necessary, so read pp. 14-66, which includes the Manifesto and other important documents; Friedrich Engels, Conditions of the Working Class in England, Chapters 2-7 (from “Introduction to Results”, available here: )


September 15: Criticism of Marxist History (NOT ELIGIBLE FOR STUDENT LEAD)

Reading:  Tosh, The Pursuit of History, Ch. 8



Week Five

Class and modernity

National Identity


September 20:  E.P. Thompson and the Making of the English Working Class

Readings:  *E. P. Thompson, “Preface” to The Making of the English Working Class (New York: Vintage Books, 1963); E.P. Thompson, “Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism.” Past and Present 38 (Dec., 1967): 56-97 [JS]; E. P. Thompson, “The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth Century,” Past and Present 50, 1 (1971): 76-136 [JS]


September 22:  Imagined Community

Reading:  Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities:  Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London, 2006), Chs. 1-4 [available among many places at



Week Six

History’s Cultural Turn


September 27:  Anthropology, Clifford Geertz, and History

Reading:  Tosh, Ch. 9; Clifford Geertz, “Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture,” in Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures:  Selected Essays, (available at ); Clifford Geertz, “Deep Play:  Notes on the Balinese Cockfight,” Daedalus, Vol. 101, no. 1 (Winter, 1972), pp. 1-37 [JS]

September 29:  More Cultural History Example (NOT ELIGIBLE FOR STUDENT LEAD)

Reading: *Robert Darnton, “Workers Revolt:  the Great Cat Massacre of the Rue St.-Séverin,” in Robert Darnton, The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History (New York, 1985), pp. 75-104.



Week Seven

Micro History


October 4:  The Case of One Martin Guerre

Reading:  Natalie Zemon Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre


October 6:  Reaction and Response to The Return of Martin Guerre

Reading:  Robert Finlay, “The Refashioning of Martin Guerre” American Historical Review 93, no. 3 (Jun., 1988), pp. 553-571 [JS]; and reply by Davis, “On the Lame,” American Historical Review 93, no. 3 (June, 1988), pp. 572-603 [JS]; Carlo Ginzburg and John and Anne Tedeschi, “Microhistory: Two or Three Things I Know about It,” Critical Inquiry 20/1 (1993): 10-35. [JS]



Week Eight



October 11:  Gender as a Category of Analysis 

Readings: Tosh, Ch. 10; Sonja Rose, What is Gender History and Bonnie Smith, “Gender and the Practices of Scientific History,” American Historical Review 100:4 (October, 1995), pp. 1150-1176 [JS].


October 13:  No Meeting (Fall Break)



Week Nine



October 18:  Said’s Orientalism

Reading:  Edward Said, Orientalism, Ch. 1; revisit Tosh, The Pursuit of History, Ch. 10


October 20:  Said’s Orientalism, continued

Reading:  Said, Orientalism, Ch. 2


Week Ten

The Legacy of Orientalism and Post-Colonial Studies


October 25:  “Orientalism Now” 

Reading:  Said, Ch. 3


October 27:  Re-Orientalizing Orientalism?

Reading:  Graham Huggan, “(Not) Reading “Orientalism,” Research in African Literatures 36:3 (2005): 124-36 [JS]; and Dipesh Chakrabarty, “Postcoloniality and the Artifice of History: Who Speaks for ‘Indian’ Pasts?” Representations 37 (Winter 1992): 1-26 [JS]


Week Eleven



November 1:  “Dora”, Freud’s Case Study

Reading:  Sigmund Freud, Fragment of Analysis of a Case of Hysteria


November 3:  On Mothers, Daughters, and Class

Reading:  Carolyn Kay Steedman, Landscape for a Good Woman:  A Story of Two Lives



Week Twelve

Freud, Foucault, and Sexuality


November 8: Freud on Sexuality

Reading:  Sigmund Freud, Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex.


November 10:  Michel Foucalt’s History of Sexuality

Reading:  Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality. Volume 1:  An Introduction



Week Thirteen

Power, History, and the Silencing of History


November 15:  Silencing the Haitian Slave Revolt, Part One

Reading:  Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Silencing the Past:  Power and the Production of History, Preface, Ch. 1-3


November 17:  Silencing the Haitian Slave Revolt, continued

Reading:  Trouillot, Silencing the Past¸Ch. 4-5, Epilogue.



Week Fourteen

An Introduction to Environmental History


November 22:  William Cronon, Environmental History Pioneer

Reading:  William Cronon, Changes in the Land


November 24:  No Meeting (Thanksgiving Holiday)



Week Fifteen

Environmental History, continued

American Exceptionalism


November 29:  Other Environmental Studies Paths

Readings:  William Cronon, “The Trouble With Wilderness: Or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature Environmental History 1, no. 1 (Jan., 1996): 7-28 [JS]; * Jake Kosek, “Smokey the Bear is a White Racist Pig,” Ch. 5 in Understories:  the Political Life of Forests in Northern New Mexico (Durham, NC, 2010).


December 1:  Turner’s Frontier Thesis

Readings:  Frederick Jackson Turner, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” (first published in Proceedings of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin (1893) reprinted in F. J. Turner, The Frontier in American History (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1921) [available at or ].



Week Sixteen

Historical Fraud(?)


Decmeber 6:  The Bellesiles Case

Reading:  Michael A. Bellesiles, “The Origins of Gun Culture in the United States, 1760-1866,” Journal of American History 83, no. 2 (Sep., 1996): 425-455 [JS]; Clayton Cramer, “Fraud in Michael Bellesiles’s Arming America ; Eric Rentschler, “The Fascination of a Fake: The Hitler Diaries” New German Critique 90 (Autumn, 2003): 177-192 [JS]


December 8:  Final Thoughts (NOT ELIGIBLE FOR STUDENT LEAD), Evaluations

Reading:  Tosh, The Pursuit of History, Ch. 12 and Conclusion




























1. Late Work and Make-Up Exams:

Late papers will lose 1/3 grade for every day they are late, including weekends and holidays. Thus, a B paper one day late will become a B-. No make-up exams will be administered unless students requesting them can produce documented evidence of illness, disability, accident or other legitimate cause beyond their control accounting for absence. Please keep me aware of the reasons for your absences in order to prevent me from dropping you from the course.

2. Plagiarism:

Students are expected to submit only their work on papers and examinations. While you may discuss the assignments with your colleagues, papers should be based entirely on your own study of the assigned material. The use of secondary material, such as Cliff’s Notes or encyclopedias, is not encouraged. If you copy information from a web page or even retype information from a web site, you will get caught; past students of mine have been, and been given an automatic F for the assignment.  In addition, the Dean of Students shall be notified.  If you do use any outside material, you must explicitly acknowledge your debt to those sources in the notes (i.e. endnotes or footnotes or parenthetical notations).


Turning in someone else’s work as if it were your own constitutes plagiarism, which is an act of intellectual fraud. The academic consequences of plagiarism range from failure for the tainted assignment to failure for the course, depending on the seriousness of the offense(s).


Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to the following: turning in another student’s paper as if it were your own; copying of a part or the whole of another person’s ideas, words or syntax; and quoting, paraphrasing, or borrowing ideas from published or unpublished material written by someone other than yourself, without specific acknowledgment of the source. If you ever have any questions about what constitutes plagiarism, you should consult with your professor. While we will discuss Academic Dishonesty in the course, please study and/or refer to the Department’s policy on the matter:


3. Responsibility and Courtesy to Others:

Students are expected to be prepared for class, to be on time and not disrupt the sessions by arriving late.  Be attentive and ready to participate in class. Please do not use the class session to listen to your media players, read the newspaper, take a nap, and make or receive cell phone calls. You can read all about the UNM Student Code of Conduct in the appendix to your Pathfinder.

4. Documentation Style


Because this is an upper division History course, I would be remiss if I didn’t require you to document your sources using the style used by the historians’ profession: Chicago Manual of Style footnotes or endnotes.  In general, the first citation of a book or article should be complete.  For example:


5  Richard Herr, An Historical Essay on Modern Spain (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1971), p. 47.


Subsequent references to that book can look like this:


6 Herr, 112.


Here’s an example of an article citation:


13 Bruce Lincoln, “Revolutionary Exhumations in Spain, July 1936,” in Comparative Studies in Society and History, 27, no. 2 (April 1985): 241-260.


Any library reference section should have a copy of the Chicago Manual of Style for you to consult, or check out the Quick Guide:



5.  Paper and Grades


I have been tickled pink that one of the consistent critiques of my lower division courses is that I care about expression, grammar, forrmat, etc. on papers as “if this were an English class.”  Well I don’t believe good grammar and expression should be limited to your English classes and you would do well to visit the web pages (  and  ) for tips on writing papers and read about what constitutes an ‘A’ paper compared to ‘B’, ‘C’, etc. papers.  History is not only about facts and memorization!  History is the art of gathering and analyzing a great deal of information, and generating a convincing, articulate, argument based on the evidence accumulated.




You are responsible for attending classes or discussion sections whenever the UNM is open.  In the event of inclement weather you should call 277-SNOW to determine the Opened, delayed, or shut down status of UNM.  I and our graduate assistants will only cancel or delay classes according to the official determinations of the UNM.


7. Important Dates:

In addition to the due dates for assignments noted above, you should be aware of important University/Registrar dates:


The last day to add this course via LoboWeb: September 2nd

The last day to change your grading option is: September 2nd

The last day to drop a course without a grade is: September 9th  

The last day to drop without the Dean’s approval is: November 11th

The last day to drop with the Dean’s approval is: December 9th   


It is important to remember that if you must drop this course, you would be well‑served to do so within the first three weeks of the semester, as no grade will be assigned. If you decide to drop this course during and after the fourth week or later, I must assign you a grade of either a WP (Withdrew Passing) or WF (Withdrew Failing) . WF grades are included as failing grades in your GPA so please be responsible about withdrawing if that unfortunate situation presents itself.  

































Qualified students with disabilities needing appropriate academic adjustments should contact me as soon as possible to ensure your needs are met in a timely manner.  Handouts are available in alternative accessible formats upon request.