History 280B/285B: Society and Politics in Early Modern England

Instructor: Professor Ethan Shagan

This course fulfills an elective requirement for the DE in REMS.

This course is an introduction for graduate students to society and politics in England, focused on the seventeenth century but more broadly covering the years 1500-1800. We will read recent secondary scholarship, almost entirely published since the year 2000 and much of it published in the last few years, in order to introduce students to current trends and debates in the field. My interest is particularly to problematize the traditional distinction between social history and political history, emphasizing that these fields have converged around issues of power, hierarchy, and the public maintenance of order.

For students taking this course as a 280—which I assume will be all or almost all of you—grades will be based upon (1) vigorous class participation and (2) a historiographical essay of roughly 20 pages, essentially a critical review of the current secondary literature on some topic of your choice, due on Thursday, December 14. If any students are taking this course as a 285, we will negotiate a limited reading load so that you can produce an article-length essay based on primary source research.

All texts for the course will be available on reserve in Graduate Services, on the 2nd floor of Doe Library, with two exceptions: 1. Books that are not yet available in our library system; I will try to scan these for the class if they remain unavailable; and 2. Books and articles that are available electronically through our library. I do not expect you to buy any books for this class, although of course you are welcome to do so.

Section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes