**shiver** The nights are drawing in. There is a cold wind blowing from the east. Berries weigh down the hedgerows. Fungus sprouts on your lawn overnight. The traffic in your inbox has increased tenfold in the last week. That’s right. Term is coming!
September finds many of us emerging from the archive into the daylight and turning our sore eyes to teaching once again. As I write, another module handbook will be finished off, another final item will be added to a module bibliography. So to help ease us all through this difficult time, I have put together a list of some of the many-headed monster posts that go particularly well with teaching. I hope they bring you comfort in the wars weeks to come.
Quick introductions for students:
What is history for? Or: Doing history/thinking historically.
Self-explanatory. Some key characteristics of the discipline in a post that provides a useful starting point for discussion.
Are microhistories defined by their small scale? What makes a microhistory a microhistory? What’s the place of microhistory in the discipline today? This series of posts tackles these questions and more.
On periodisation (mini-series).
The introduction to a series of posts on historical chronologies, examining the ways in which we chop up the past into more digestible chunks.
Understanding sources: the source of it all (mini-series).
A series of posts on different types of early modern primary materials. Includes a survey of what is available; diaries; quantitative approaches; court depositions; churchwarden accounts.
Food for thought: an introduction to theory via the history of food and drink.
Three posts that introduce students to theory, using the case study of food and drink history. (1) Anthropology and Structuralism (2) Sociology: Civility and Habitus (3) A Literary Critic and the Carnivalesque.
The rabble that cannot read? Ordinary People’s Literacy in 17th-century England.
To what extent could the lower classes of England actually read and write in the seventeenth century? Mark revisits David Cressy’s famous article and suggests a new approach.
Asking questions of speakers: top tips.
The sorts of things that it might make sense to ask about after a presentation.
In more depth:
History from Below Online Symposium.
A collection of guest authored posts asking: can history form below contribute to contemporary scholarship and the wider world? How should it be adapted or reoriented in the coming years? What new tools or techniques could strengthen it? Where will it fit in the wider academic and social landscape?
The Voices of the People Online Symposium.
A collection of guest authored posts that showcase of some of the best of academic ‘history from below’, intended to demonstrate the merits of this type of history. Theses posts look to recover the voices of people across a range of geographical and historical contexts, not just in early modern England.
After Iconophobia? An Online Symposium.
A collection of guest authored posts on a key debate in reformation studies – what was the impact of religion on culture, and of culture on religion, in post-reformation England? What is the current consensus regarding ‘iconoclasm’, ‘iconophobia’, ‘the second English reformation’, and the relationship between them? Posts cover religious drama, songs and ballads, and pictorial art.
If you are interested in early modern drinking cultures, good fellowship and ritual humiliation, then this is the series for you!
For tutors writing new modules:
Little monsters part I: putting together a successful course on early modern history (or anything else for that matter).
A few pointers for teaching an old module or coming up with a new one.
Marooned on an Island Monographs (mini-series).
A collection of posts inspired by the question: what 5 history monographs would you take with you to a deserted island? Each blog thus functions as a brief reading list on a particular topic or type of history. Themes covered: early modern social, economic and religious history, masculinities, femininities, medicine, drinking,
What should prospective history students read over the summer?
It’s probably a bit late for this now … but for next year, a long crowd sourced (from twitter) list, and a short list picked by the author.
A reading list of scholarship by people of colour on slavery and colonialism, c. 1500-1750.
Another crowd sourced list with lots of suggestions for your own bibliography.
Employability: the role of the academic tutor.
Some thoughts and an exercise thinking about if tutors should/how we should deal with employability when teaching.
Advice for postgraduates:
Thinking about doing a PhD: who, where and how?
Self-explanatory, key and candid advice for anyone thinking about taking on a PhD.
Posts on the academic job market for historians.
Not necessarily happy reading, but again essential information on career prospects for anyone thinking of doing a PhD.
It’s nearly the end of term! Celebrate by dipping into this collection of festive posts and find out how the early moderns marked the Christmas season.