Reading List – Historical Methods

Provided by professor Daragh Grant, Senior Lecturer, University of Chicago, and Diana S. Kim, Assistant Professor in School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.


Readings on historical methods

History as Craft, History as Social Science

Mark Bloch, The Historian’s Craft, trans. Peter Putnam (Knopf, 1953).

Fernand Braudel, “History and the Social Sciences,” in Economy & Society in Early Modern Europe: Essays from Annales, ed. Peter Burke (Harper and Row, 1972), 11-42.

E.H. Carr, What is History? (Random House, 1961).

David Landes and Charles Tilly, eds., History as Social Science (Prentice Hall, 1971).

Jacques Revel, “History and the Social Sciences,” in The Cambridge History of Science, Vol. 7: The Moder Social Sciences, eds. Theodore M. Porter and Dorothy Ross (Cambridge University Press, 2003), 391-404.

William H. Sewell Jr., Logics of History: Social Theory and Social Transformation (University of Chicago Press,2005).

Intellectual History

Reinhardt Koselleck, The Practice of Conceptual History: Timing History, Spacing Concepts, trans. by Todd Samuel Presner and others (Stanford University Press, 2002).

Reinhardt Koselleck, Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time, trans. by Keith Tribe (Columbia University Press, 2004).

Dominick LaCapra, “Rethinking Intellectual History and Reading Texts,” in Rethinking Intellectual History: Texts, Contexts, Language (Cornell University Press, 1983), 23-71.

Melvin Richter, “Begriffsgeschichte and the History of Ideas,” Journal of the History of Ideas, 48 (1987): 247-263.

Quentin Skinner, Visions of Politics: Volume 1, Regarding Method (Cambridge University Press, 2002).

Archival Research

Arlette Farge, The Allure of the Archives, trans. Thomas Scott-Railton (Yale University Press, 2013).

Randolph Head, “Knowing the State: The Transformation of Political Knowledge in Swiss Archives, 1450-1770,” Journal of Modern History 75 (2003): 745-82.

Carolyn Steedman. “Something She Called a Fever: Michelet, Derrida, and Dust.” American Historical Review 106 (2001): 1159-80.

Ann Laura Stoler, Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense (Princeton University Press, 2009).

Problems of Evidence

James Chandler, Harry Harootunian and Arnold Davidson, eds. Questions of Evidence: Proof, Practice, and Persuasion across the Disciplines (University of Chicago Press, 1994).

Carlo Ginzburg, “Checking the Evidence: The Judge and the Historian,” Critical Inquiry 18 (1991): 79-92.

Carlo Ginzburg, “Clues: Roots of a Scientific Paradigm,” Theory and Society 7 (1979): 273-88.

Ranajit Guha, “The Prose of Counter Insurgency,” in Ranajit Guha and Gayatri Spivak, eds., Selected Subaltern Studies (Oxford University Press 1988), 45-86.

Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (Beacon Press, 1995).