Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 840028-B-6
Historical Methodology
Course info
Course module840028-B-6
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryBA (Bachelor)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byTilburg University; Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences; TSHD: Liberal Arts and Sciences; Liberal Arts and Sciences;
Is part of
B Liberal Arts and Sciences
prof. dr. A.J.A. Bijsterveld
Other course modules lecturer
dr. R.B.J.M. Welten
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2020
Starting block
SM 1
Course mode
RemarksCaution: this information is subject to change
Registration openfrom 20/08/2020 up to and including 20/08/2021
After completing this course, the student is able to:
  • Evaluate primary sources, secondary literature (both historical and literary non-fiction) and visual renderings of the past by means of several philosophical viewpoints (hermeneutics, phenomenology, deconstruction, collective memory theories and philosophical understanding of place and time in historiography) on history and memory, as discussed in the course.
  • Use primary sources, secondary literature and visual renderings of the past to write an essay in which historical and philosophical viewpoints are addressed.
  • question the nature of the past, in historical and philosophical terms

There will be 14 workshops of two to three hours each. For each class, students have to read texts from primary sources in advance and/or complementary literature, which will be analysed and discussed during class. For every class, students have to hand in an assignment, which will be graded and will contribute 40 % of the final grade. The final assessment will consist of the writing of a 15-page paper in which a specific historical subject is analyzed using sources and secondary literature. This will contribute 60 % of the final grade.

Note that the reader is compulsory.

For non-LAS students the number of places in this course is limited. For registration, please contact Gerwin van der Laan ( at least three weeks prior to the start of the course

Required Prerequisites
Bachelor 1
  • This course deals with the issue how historians and others trying to reconstruct and to account for past events and developments make use of their own and other people’s memories and of oral and written records and sources. What happens in the trajectory from witnessing (an) event(s) to the creation of individual and collective memories and finally to the written accounts (or images or documentaries) representing the past?
  • In the course students are introduced to the basic aspects of the historian’s craft and trained to work with them. They learn how to assemble primary sources (textual and other) and secondary literature (heuristics) and how these need to be critically assessed, analysed, and interpreted. The latter will be elaborated from hermeneutical and philosophical viewpoints, such as the questions of the relationship between personal and collective memory, and between self-reflection and history, the responsibility of the historian, and the role of historical narrativity.
  • Further, the students will get acquainted with different types of sources as well as with different ways of dealing with sources, that is, with the main issues of historical methodology pertinent to European history. These issues can be listed as follows:
    • Historical heuristics of sources and secondary literature, including the use of existing traditional and modern search instruments and engines.
    • Reliability of the sources used, in terms of authorship, credibility of the author, and the authenticity or corruption of the text (internal and external criticism);
    • Historiographical traditions or frameworks: overview of the major historiographical traditions, such as the Marxist or Annales Schools, et cetera.
This course is taught using University College Tilburg's "Team Teaching"-Method, which entails two lecturers (often from different fields) teaching the course at the same time.

Compulsory Reading
  1. To be announced during the first workshop.
Course available for exchange students
Conditions of admission apply
Contact person
dr. R.B.J.M. Welten
Timetable information
Historical Methodology
Required materials
List of literature
available via Canvas
Recommended materials
Final Result

Weekly assigments (40%)

Paper (60%)

Kies de Nederlandse taal