Saint-Louis University - Bruxelles

HIST1111 - Source Criticism

Credits : 5

Lecturer :
Teaching assistant :
Mode of delivery :
Face-to-face , first term, 30 hours of theory and 15 hours of exercises.

Timetable :
First term
Wednesday from 10:45 to 11:45 at 119 Marais 3200
Wednesday from 16:45 to 17:45 at 119 Marais 3100
Thursday from 08:30 to 10:30 at 119 Marais 2100

Language of instruction :

Learning outcomes :
The course aims to develop and systematise a critical approach towards information, with the critical methods developed by historians as a starting point. Therefore the aim is twofold : on the one hand to understand to what extent a historian's discourse may be considered scientific and on the other hand to take advantage of the methods historians have developed to apply them to the analysis of a present-day documents in the field of Humanities or in everyday life.

Prerequisites :

Co-requisites :

Course contents :
The first part of the course is devoted to the study of the foundations of historical methods (« critique historique »), seen in the context of the emergence and development of Humanities since at the the nineteenth century (including the post-modern reassessments). The second part will systematically study the rules of external criticism, internal criticism and confrontation, and then the organisation of data, causality and narration, and finally the function of the historian in society. Special attention will be given to the rules of criticism of testimony outside the traditional scope of written documents (material, iconographic, audio-visual and audio documents). Each point of theory will be illustrated by examples.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods :
Ex-cathedra lecture based on cases and problem-situations, accompanied by a reading file. Documents are presented and analysed or discussed during the class.
The reading file is mandatory. Each student has to read the included papers and to integrate their content within the larger frame of the lectures. However, not mandatory classes by the teaching assistant are offered in order the help students in integrating their readings as well as more generally to understand and study the content of the course.
Attendance to the lectures is mandatory. Attendance to the classes by the teaching assistant is not mandatory.

Assessment methods and criteria :
Oral examination (with written preparation) assessing the knowledge of the course and mandatory readings.

Recommended or required reading :
The bibliography is included in the framework-syllabus and will be commented in class. Several historical criticism manuals by different authors are available at the library.

Other information :
Outline-syllabus that includes a thematic bibliography.
Syllabus of additional readings.
Powerpoint presentation (available on the Moodle platform of the course).