Dr Laura Sangha

Teaching

Content

As an early modern historian of England, I design and teach modules on a period of study that is similar to our own, yet which in many ways is also strange and bizarre. Not quite modern, but certainly not medieval, the early modern is often seen as a transitional stage, a time of both continuity and change. My modules on supernatural beliefs, Tudor England and early modern societies encourage students to delve into this extraordinary world to learn about and try to understand earlier societies, and to uncover just what made people tick. Early modern sources are rich and diverse, and in my teaching I make the most of this variety, drawing on books, pamphlets, ballads, diaries, letters, law codes, court proceedings, state papers, plays, paintings, sculpture, woodcuts, music, furniture, maps and much more to bring these subjects to life.

Method

At the heart of my teaching are three principles. First, I want students to think critically about why we study history, and what it’s place might be in human society. Why do people write histories, how do they choose what to write about, and why is history written and presented in certain ways at certain times? Is history powerful and perhaps even dangerous or irrelevant? Secondly, I want students to critically engage with how historians have studied history – both in the past and present. What sources have historians used, and how have they interpreted them? What have they argued about the past and are their arguments convincing in light of the evidence? In the process of trying to answer these questions, I hope that my students will become better historians, reflecting on what sources they should use, and how they should interpret them. As part of this process, I encourage students to think about and reflect on how they research and read, as well as how they write and analyse. Finally, I believe that history is exciting, engaging and entertaining, and I hope that my modules are too. I use music, podcasts, online resources, primary material, forums, and a dedicated twitter feed @_drsang to reveal history in all it’s glory, inviting students to engage with me and with the discipline of history outside of the classroom, and setting it free from the page.

Modules taught