School: Social Sciences
Academic Unit: Social Anthropology and History
Level of studies: Postgraduate
Course code: SHA-Η-1 Semester: 3st
Course Title: Historical Anthropology: Historiographical Approaches and the Poetics of Historical Knowledge
Independent teaching activities Weekly teaching hours Credits
3 10
Course type: Seminar (compulsory)
Prerequisite courses: All courses of first year
Language of instruction and examinations: Greek
Is the course offered to erasmus students:
Course website (Url):


    Learning outcomes: 

    Students are expected to:
    • Acquire a widen knowledge of recent historical thinking
    • Engage with interdisciplinary approaches
    • Deepen their knowledge on historiographical methodologies and practices
    • Use analytical concepts and approaches in their essays and dissertation and apply them in the study of past.

    The seminar deals with historiographical questions that occupy a central place in a variety of disciplines (in particular history and social anthropology) and fields, analyzing them through an interdisciplinary perspective. The introduction of concepts such as memory, temporality, testimony, culture, experience, gender, subjectivity and identity and the focus on issues such as representativity, interpretation, sources, archive and narrative in historical research marked transformations in the epistemology or poetics of historical knowledge. According to Jacques Rancière, the poetics of historical knowledge is the study of norms according to which historical knowledge is written, read and formed as a special type of discourse. At the center of the transformations of historical knowledge is social anthropology in the sense that it informed historiography with new analytical tools, but also problematized the very boundaries of scientific fields.
    The seminar examines historiographical practices that were distinguished for crossing the boundaries of the discipline and for providing historical method and study with new analytical tools and approaches. Oral history, history of mentalities, microhistory, gender history, history of the body and sexuality, and history of emotions challenged historiographical thought and writing through their innovative methodological, theoretical and hermeneutic perspectives. We are going to study historiographical texts that were distinguished for their contribution to the renewal of historical method and writing.

    General Competences: 
    Search for, analysis and synthesis of data and information.
    Working independently.
    Respect for difference and multiculturalism.
    Showing social, professional and ethical responsibility and sensitivity to gender issues, ethnicity and religious beliefs.
    Criticism and self-criticism.
    Production of free, creative and inductive thinking.

    (3) SYLLABUS

    1 Introduction: Conceptualization of the field of historical anthropology
    2 Space, time, mentalities: The Annales School
    3 The introduction of the concept of culture in history: The New Cultural History
    4. Microhistory as practice and its features: Religion, heterodoxies, identity
    5 The concept of discourse and power in the works of Michel Foucault
    6 The New Social History: The concept of culture and experience in the formation of the working class
    7 The concept of memory
    8 Testimony and the oral history methodology
    9 Subjectivity, autobiography, biography
    10 The cultural history of fascism
    11 History of emotion
    12 History of the body
    13 The concept of experience


    Delivery: Face-to face
    Use of information and communications technology : Use of ICT in teaching and communication with students.
    Students have access to internet courses, which are connected to special themes of the course. Students are taught to investigate bibliographical sources.
    Teaching methods:  Activity Semester workload
    Lectures 39
    Personal study 50
    Weekly response to texts 60
    Short essay 40
    Essay writing 61
    Course total: 250
    Student performance evaluation: Language of evaluation: Greek
    Participation to the seminar (presentations, “reaction” to texts).
    Students submit for assessment one 2,500 and one 5,000 word essay.


    Suggested bibliography:

    Brian Keith Axel, 2002. “Introduction: Historical Anthropology and its Vicissitudes” στο Brian Keith Axel (επιμ.), From the Margins: Historical Anthropology and its Futures. Duke University Press, Λονδίνο.
    Clifford Geertz, “History and Anthropology”. New Literary History, Vol. 21, No. 2, (1990), pp. 321-335.
    Natalie Zemon Davis, “The Possibilities of the Past”. Journal of Interdisciplinary History: 267-275.
    Carlo Ginzburg, “The Possibilities of the Past [A Comment]”. Journal of Interdisciplinary History: 277-278.
    Peter Burke, 1987. The Historical Anthropology of Early Modern Italy: Essays on Perception and Communication. Κέιμπριτζ: Cambride University Press.
    A. Burguière, “L’anthropologie historique et l’école des Annales”. Réflections Historiographiques 22 (1999): 39-60.
    Penelope Papailias, 2005. Genres of recollection: archival poetics and modern Greece. Palgrave.
    Carolyn Steedman, 2001. Dust: The Archive and Cultural History, Manchester: Manchester UP.
    Ρίκα Μπενβενίστε, «Ιστορία και Ανθρωπολογία». Σύγχρονα Θέματα 56 (1995): 44-49.
    Ευθύμιος Παπαταξιάρχης, 1993. «Το παρελθόν στο παρόν. Ανθρωπολογία, ιστορία και μελέτη της νεοελληνικής κοινωνίας». Στο Ε. Παπαταξιάρχης και Θ. Παραδέλλης (επιμ.), Ανθρωπολογία και παρελθόν. Συμβολές στην Κοινωνική Ιστορία της Νεότερης Ελλάδας. Αθήνα: Αλεξάνδρεια: 13-74.
    Dipesh Chakrabarty, 2000. Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference. Princeton: Princeton UP.
    Έφη Αβδελά, 2002. «Διά λόγους τιμής»: βία, συναισθήματα και αξίες στη μετεμφυλιακή Ελλάδα, Αθήνα, Νεφέλη.
    Thomas Gallant, Η εμπειρία της αποικιακής κυριαρχίας: Πολιτισμός, ταυτότητα και εξουσία στα Επτάνησα, 1817-1864 (μτφ. Π. Μαρκέτου), Αλεξάνδρεια 2014.
    J. Olick, V. Vinitzky-Seroussi, D. Levy (επιμ.) 2011. The Collective Memory Reader, Oxford University Press.

    Related academic journals:

    History and Theory
    Historein: A Review of the Past and Other Stories
    Radical History Review
    Journal of Interdisciplinary history
    Journal of Modern History
    Gender and History
    Past and Present
    Σύγχρονα Θέματα
    Τα Ιστορικά