The History of History


Details

INSTRUCTOR: Erika Kern

SECTION: U28

SCHEDULE: Tuesday, Thursday, 9:30am – 10:45am


Course Description

We have all heard the sayings. The arc of history bends towards justice. History will be the judge. The ideas expressed in these sayings reveal a view of history as an independent force moving through time and space towards a final goal. In fact, history is a narrative created by human beings trying to make sense of the past based on their own priorities and prejudices. This course will take a critical look at what is history, who writes history, for whom is history written, and why does history exist as an intellectual (and emotional) pursuit. The course will ask the question of how we know what we know and why we believe that this is what we know when it comes to history. Rather than seeing history as something that shapes us, the course will discuss how we shape history. To paraphrase French historian Marc Bloch, the past doesn’t change but our knowledge of it does.