Honours Seminar and Tutorials

For third year honours students, a typical programme consists of HIST 333 (the third-year seminar) and six credits of honours tutorials (HIST 321)

For fourth year honours students, a typical programme consists of HIST 433 (the fourth-year seminar), HIST 449 (the honours graduating essay), and six credits of honours tutorials (HIST 421)

In addition to the requirements specific to the third year and the fourth year, students must complete in either the third or fourth year:

  • HIST 490 (or one of its equivalents) (3 credits): History department upper division seminar
  • 9 upper division history credits which must include a course in a field related to essay topic; and
  • an exam confirming reading knowledge of a foreign language


History 333, 001 Third year seminar:  (Full-year, September 2020 to April 2021)

Instructor: Prof. L. Paris, leslie.paris@ubc.ca     

A History of History

This course, designed for all third-year History honours students, will introduce them to the evolving nature of historical scholarship and to various genres and uses of history. We will explore for this purpose a series of studies, some classic and others more recent, that provide models and illustrate different approaches to writing and thinking about history. Drawing on a variety of materials, from conventional narrative histories to theoretical reflections to sources other than written texts, we will consider history and historical methods as they have been conceived, disseminated, and challenged over time; questions of methodology and interpretation; genre and narrative; and the politics of memory.

HIST 433, 001 Fourth year seminar: (Full-year, September 2020 to April 2021)

Instructor: Prof. R. Brain, rbrain@mail.ubc.ca

 Manifesting History: Narrative, Research, Memory

This course, which is mandatory for all fourth-year Honours students, has two primary objectives. The first is to introduce students to some fundamental issues of historical theory and practice. We shall examine not only how people remember, forget, and restructure the past as an ongoing part of the construction of themselves and their worlds, but also the expression of this construct in diverse forms and genres, with their attendant possibilities and constraints. The readings and topics will be general and not limited to any historical period or geography.  The second goal of the course is to help students conceptualize and write their honours graduating essays.  To support this objective we read about and discuss many of the practical elements of historical research, including archival research, digital techniques, and more.

We will read a range of texts selected both for their thematical content and for their utility as models of historical writing. In the first semester, close readings of texts will allow students to explore the “nuts and bolts” of how writers ask historical questions, make their arguments, find and use sources, and situate their work in relation to relevant historiographies. The second semester will focus closely on students’ own theses in progress. The focus of these class meetings will be critical (but supportive and constructive) engagement with one another’s writing. Course evaluations will be based on participation in discussion and various writing assignments.

History 321A, 101/421A, 101 Honours Tutorial (Term 1, September to December 2020)

Instructor: Prof. K. McCormick, kelly.mccormick@ubc.ca  

History Through Images

This course explores how historians might learn to see better, how we might learn to “read” images and objects by pulling information from them, and how images change our relationship with the past. We will engage theoretical works to explore the nature of images as historical evidence and address how scholars and critics have taken up – or in some cases dismissed - the study of visual and material culture and to what ends? During the first weeks of the class, we'll read debates over the nature of sight and the kind of evidence provided by photographic images; during the following weeks, we'll focus on photography as a social and discursive practice; finally, we’ll address the ways that historians have used photographs as evidence to write histories of different regions of the world. The seminar will combine short background lectures with active group discussions and activities, visual analysis of photographs, film viewings, visits to Rare Books and Special Collections, MOA, close readings of primary sources, and writing exercises.

History 321B, 101/421B, 101 Honours Tutorial (Term 1, September to December 2020)

Instructor: Prof. D. Morton, david.morton@ubc.ca   

Pan-Africanism

Description: tba

History 321D, 201/421D, 201 Honours Tutorial (Term 2, January to April 2021)

Instructor: Prof. W. French, wfrench@mail.ubc.ca

History of the Future

This course explores changing conceptions, understandings and imaginings of the future from early writings on the apocalypse, to millenarian movements, to Enlightenment beliefs in progress, to modernist understandings of the future, to the prospects of a future without us under the impact of global warming and climate change.  Exploring how some of those in the past, and up to the present, have imagined and engaged with the future, through such things as writings on utopias, the mounting of exhibitions at world fairs, the construction of model capital cities, science fiction and the writing of futurists, movies, and changes in computer and digital technology, among other kinds of texts, provides the means for those taking the course to begin to write their own history of the future.

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