PVDHM1 Historical methodology I. New trends in hist.methodology and their application in research I

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2022
Extent and Intensity
0/2/0. 10 credit(s). Type of Completion: z (credit).
Dr. phil. Klára Hübnerová (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
Mgr. Petr Elbel, Ph.D.
Department of Auxiliary Historical Sciences and Archive Studies – Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Olga Barová
Supplier department: Department of Auxiliary Historical Sciences and Archive Studies – Faculty of Arts
Tue 10:00–11:40 B2.11
Designed for students doctoral studies. The prerequisites are the ability to critique sources and read foreign-language (German, English) methodology literature.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.

The capacity limit for the course is 1 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 0/1, only registered: 0/1
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
Today's discussions on the truthfulness of facts and the point of their scientific, rational interpretation relates to a series of questions which historians have been occupied with since the time of Herodotus: where are the boundaries for the critique of sources and how does methodology help us to make up for gaps in the material? Does a 'historical methodology' in fact exist? Why do we write the way we write? What is scientific work based on and how best can it be applied? The uncertainty and dynamics of historical work will be examined from a theoretical and practical perspective. The first part will provide an overview of the methodological trends in historical research today. Many of these emerged in the second half of the 20th century, i.e. the theory of social networks, communication, representation, performance and propaganda, historical semantics and the ´linguistic turn´, or the new cultural and social developments influenced by various approaches (gender and queer studies, cultural history of politics). It will also include influences from related disciplines, the most important being sociology, art history, information science, archaeology and psychology. We will examine the ideas of theoreticians such as Max Weber, František Graus, Pierre Bourdieu, Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Wolfgang Reinhard, Ludwik Fleck, Barbara Stollberg-Rillinger, Michael Clanchy, Samuel Huntington and Umberto Eco. The basis will be Czech, German and English theoretical texts which will be discussed as part of the seminar. The second part of the course focuses on practical work with history methodology. This will mainly involve students applying these methodologies on their own historical research. The year-long course is designed for advanced students at master's or doctorate level. The prerequisites are an ability to critique sources, read foreign-language (German and English) methodological literature, and be willing to reflect on what has been read.
Learning outcomes
Students will recognize the main trends in historical-methodological thought in the second half of the 20th century. They will be able to list the main thinkers and critically distinguish the origins of their main theories. In addition to their academic knowledge, there will be a focus on their oral argumentative skills, based on extensive discussions as part of the seminars and text studies. Another objective is to acquire knowledge of specialist vocabulary in a foreign language (German, English and French).
  • Block 1: Uncertain history: The Source and Historiography - the conflict between historical material and writing traditions, the influences of ideology and prejudice, objectivity and the subject scientist - from historiography to investigative journalism - memory in the Middle Ages: damnatio memoriae, places of memory - František Graus, Ludwik Fleck, Michael Clanchy, etc. Block 2: Inside the historical material: historical semantics - objective charter – subjective letter? The influence of literary science, 'the linguistic turn' - theory of communication and propaganda - Jacques Derrida, Werner Goetz, Umberto Eco, etc.
  • Arnold Esch; Überlieferungs-Chance und Überliferungs-Zufall als methodisches Problem des Historikers, in: Historische Zeitschrift 240 (1985), s. 529-570.
  • Victor Klemperer; LTI. Notzibuch eines Philologen, Stuttgart 2007 (2).
  • Hans-Henning Korthüm; Otto Brunner über Otto den Grossen. Aus den letzten Tagen der reichsdeutschen Mediävistik, in: Historische Zeitschrift 299 (2014), s. 297-333.
Teaching methods
Text analysis, active discussion, short oral presentations at the seminars.
Assessment methods
Credit based on active participation in the seminars, a final "workshop" on a previously agreed topic (methodological issues from students’ own work, sources).
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
General note: Předmět nahrazuje Obecnou metodologii 1.
Information on course enrolment limitations: Pouze pro studenty doktorského studia.
Listed among pre-requisites of other courses
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2017, Autumn 2018, Autumn 2019, Autumn 2020, Autumn 2021.
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