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Historical Controversies


Admission requirements



This course explores the work of five great thinkers, non-historians, who have influenced history and might, perhaps should, influence you: Max Weber, Sigmund Freud, Edward Said, Michel Foucault en John Maynard Keynes. Two sessions are devoted to each thinker. Students are required to attend, prepare, participate, write a 1000 word essay on each of these five great minds, and a 5000 word final paper on one of them, under supervision of the instructor who taught the corresponding class.

Course objectives

The purpose of this course is to (re-)introduce students to five important thinkers from outside the field of history. In each case one aspect of their work that might be specifically relevant to historians wil be selected and explored. Thus students will be stimulated to ponder the uses of these theories to the historical profession in general and their own work in particular.


See course schedule.

Mode of instruction

Research Seminar.

Assessment method

Students will write a 1000 word paper on each of these five thinkers, plus a 5000 word essay on one of them. Participation in class will also be reflected in the grade.



Reading list

No general reading, specific reading to be announced.


Via uSis.

Contact information

E-mail: Dr. B.E. van der Boom


The students (c. 25) will be split into two groups, see course schedule. By January 2013 the students will get more information by email.