Invitation to History: The Celts (HIST*1050) | College of Arts

Invitation to History: The Celts (HIST*1050)

Code and section: HIST*1050*02

Term: Winter 2021

Instructor: James Fraser


Instructor Office: all consultations in W21 conducted virtually
Instructor contact: all consultations in W21 conducted virtually

Method of Delivery:

Two remote synchronous lectures per week (1.5 hours each)


This course introduces students to the basics—or the fundamentals—of the historian’s craft, including interpreting primary sources of evidence, locating and critically analyzing secondary sources of information, and writing for the discipline of History. Utilizing small classes of fifty students or less, it highlights and provides students with the tools they will need for success in a History major, minor or area of concentration.

The specific topic that will be studied in striving to achieve these aims is the Celts, a collection of ancient, medieval and modern peoples who, in the eighteenth century, came to be regarded as constituting a single racial, cultural and ethnic group. The course examines select topics in the history of these “Celtic” peoples from antiquity until the recent past, before turning its attention to the history of how these peoples came to be classified by moderns as “Celts”, and how that classification became controversial at the end of the twentieth century. By the end of the course, students will have grappled with Celtic history, as well as the power of modern identities and ideologies to shape—even to pervert—the history that we study.

Required Texts:

TEXT BOOK: B. Meier, The Celts: a history from earliest times to the present (Edinburgh, 2003)

Method of Evaluation and Weighting:

  • History in the news - 15% - due January 29th
  • Midterm exam (remote) - 20% - due February 12th
  • Essay proposal - 10% - due February 26th
  • Research essay - 25% - due March 26th
  • Participation - 10% - due April 6th
  • Final exam (remote) - 20% - due April 9th

Please Note: This is a preliminary web course description only. The Department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description. The final, binding course outline is distributed in the first class of the semester.