The Practising Historian (HIST*2450) | College of Arts

The Practising Historian (HIST*2450)

Code and section: HIST*2450*01

Term: Fall 2021

Instructor: Norman Smith


Method of Delivery:

There are generally two lectures and one seminar per week. All “lectures” are on Zoom. Some seminar will be offered in a virtual format, while other sections have been planned with in-person face-to-face seminars. Students can enroll in their preferred format during course selection.

Posted “Lecture Times”: Tuesdays, Thursdays: 8.30-9.50. However, the format of this course will be organized in the following manner:

Pre-recorded 30-50 minute lectures will be complemented with 20-minute synchronous discussions starting at 9:30 am during each scheduled “lecture” time + a separate 50-minute seminar each week. The pre-recorded lectures (commentary over power-point presentations) will be uploaded to Courselink every Friday by 4 pm. Students can watch at their leisure but should have all materials read/watched before the live discussions.

  • Tuesdays, Thursdays – 8:30-9:30 am = No meeting. Students can use this time to prepare for the “live” discussion.
  • Tuesdays, Thursdays – 9:30-9:50 am = “live” (synchronous) on Zoom for discussion of readings, lectures and responding to questions and other matters arising.
  • + one weekly synchronous 50-minute seminar (either virtual or in-person depending on section)

Course Description/ Learning Objectives

The Practicing Historian examines the discipline of history, with special focus on developments from the nineteenth century. Students will strengthen critical and creative thinking skills through on-line engagement, critical reading exercises, and the writing of a term paper and two exams. Students will learn how to identify and evaluate primary and secondary sources, and incorporate them into their work. Communication skills will be enhanced through writing as well as through participation in seminar discussions and a presentation. Through the course of the term, students will become familiar with major differences in approaches to the understanding and study of history and will assess their own determinations of changes in the field of history. Global understanding will be enhanced by consideration of the importance of history in various societies around the world. Professional and ethical behaviour will be enhanced through encouraging critical and respectful approaches to varied forms of historical study and through the development of research techniques. 


There are no prerequisites for this course


There are five grade components:

Critical Evaluation / Presentation Assignment (15%)
Mid-term Exam (25%)
Term Paper (25%)
Final Exam (25%)
Participation in Seminar (10%)

Reading Materials:

There is no textbook for this course. All readings will be accessible through Course-link.

**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 will be distributed in the first class of the semester.**