Critical Approaches to Early Modern History (HISM001)
|Staff||Dr Freyja Cox Jensen - Convenor|
|Duration of Module||Term 1: 11 weeks;|
This module is designed to enhance students’ understanding of the main themes and approaches in the study of early modern history. Students will engage with the key theories informing particular approaches to the study of early modern people, places, and societies; they will investigate the sources through which the early modern past can be studied; and they will consider the advantages and difficulties of using various methods. The module will therefore provide students with an essential toolkit for their further study of early modern history.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Understand and evaluate the main themes and approaches in the study of early modern history
- 2. Possess detailed knowledge of the key historiographical and theoretical debates informing the study of early modern history
- 3. Assess critically the role of primary sources in informing the study of early modern history
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 4. Demonstrate the ability to analyse and synthesise different types of historical material and evidence.
- 5. Demonstrate a critical understanding of key historical concepts and debates, and recognise the differences between different approaches and source types.
- 6. Develop practical research skills in the primary and secondary evidence.
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 7. Demonstrate capacity for independent critical research, study and thought, including developing the ability to construct and defend a sustained argument, both in written form and orally, using primary and secondary materials.
- 8. Work as an individual and with a tutor and peers in an independent, constructive and responsive way.
- 9. Apply key bibliographical skills to independent study.
Over the course of one term, potential seminar topics include (these will vary depending on staff expertise and student choice): What is Renaissance/Early Modern history?; Feminist approaches; Religion; Sex and sexuality; Print, books, reading; Commercialisation, capitalism, globalisation; Class and social order; Political thought and intellectual history; Visual and material culture; Anthropology and demography; Politics and state-building; and Performance
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||22||11 x 2 hour seminars|
|Guided independent study||278||Independent study|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Essay Plan||2-sides A4 maximum||1-9||Verbal and written feedback|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Book Review||33.3||2,000 words||1-9||Written and verbal feedback|
|Essay||66.7||4,000 words||1-9||Written and verbal feedback|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Book Review||Book Review||1-9||Referral/deferral period|
The re-assessment consists of a 1,000 book review and 4,000 word essay as in the original assessment.
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
M. De Grazia, ‘the Modern Divide: from Either Side’, Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 37 (2007)
Merry E. Weisner, Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe, Cambridge, 2000
Kaspar von Greyerz, Religion and Culture in Early Modern Europe Oxford, 2008
Thomas Benjamin, The Atlantic World: Europeans, Africans, Indians, and Their Shared History 1400-1900, Cambridge, 2009
Jennifer Andersen and Elizabeth Sauer eds, Books and Readers in Early Modern England, Philadelphia, PA, 2002
Martin van Gelderen and Quentin Skinner eds, Republicanism: A Shared European Heritage, Cambridge, 2005
P. Erickson and C. Hulse eds, Early Modern Visual Culture: Representation, Race, and Empire in Renaissance England, Philadelphia, PA, 2000
L. Neal and J.G. Williamson eds., The Cambridge History of Capitalism, Volume 1: The Rise of Capitalism: From Ancient Origins to 1848, Cambridge, 2015
P. Crawford ed., Blood, Bodies, and Families in Early Modern England, London, 2004
R. Bonney, The Rise of the Fiscal State in Europe, Oxford, 1999
Joan W. Scott, ‘Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis’ in Joan W. Scott ed. Feminism and History, Oxford, 1996
Judith M. Bennett, History Matters: Patriarchy and the Challenge of Feminism Manchester, 2006
J.G.A. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment, Princeton, 1975
Eamon Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars (Yale, 1992)
Laura Sangha and Jonathan Willis eds., Understanding Early Modern Primary Sources (Abingdon, 2016)
Alexandra Walsham, Providence in Early Modern England (Oxford, 1999)
Ulinka Rublack, Reformation Europe (Cambridge, 2005)
Alec Ryrie, Being Protestantin Reformation Britain (Oxford, 2013)
T.H. Aston and C.H.E. Philpin eds. The Brenner Debate: Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-Industrial Europe, Cambridge, 1985
Fernand Braudel, Civilization and Capitalism 15th-18th Century, 3 Vols, London, 1981-1984
Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic: Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century England, New York, 1971
Peter Laslett, Household and Family in Past Time, Cambridge, 1972
E.A. Wrigley and R.S. Schofield, The Population History of England 1541-1871: A Reconstruction, Cambridge, 1981
Jack Goody, Joan Thirsk and E.P.Thompson, Family and Inheritance: Rural Society in Western Europe 1200-1800, Cambridge, 1976
James C. Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts, Yale, 1990
Web based and electronic resources:
The University Short Title Catalogue www.ustc.ac.uk/
Early English Books Online www.eebo.chadwyck.com
English Broadside Ballad Archive www.ebba.english.ucsb.edu
Records of Early English Drama http://reed.utoronto.ca/
Early Modern London Theatres http://www.emlot.kcl.ac.uk/
Datasets via CAMPOP http://www.campop.geog.cam.ac.uk/datasets/
Module has an active ELE page?
Available as distance learning?
Last revision date
Key words search
Renaissance; early modern; social; economic; intellectual