Historiography and Historical Methods, Led by Andrew W. Robertson, The Graduate Center at the City University of New York

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Historiography is the study of the history and theory of historical writing. Students will journey through American history guided by Professor Andrew Robertson and seven other professors (Zara Anishanslin, Ned Blackhawk, Kristopher Burrell, Sarah King, Lauren Santangelo, Nora Slonimsky, and Wendy Wall).

Students will read and discuss historical interpretations of the American past as they have changed over time in specific chronological periods—colonial/Revolutionary history, the early nineteenth century to Reconstruction, the Gilded Age to the Cold War, and the 1960s to the present.

This course will also present lectures on the evolving historiographies of African American history, Native American history, and women’s history by scholars specializing in those fields. The historical methods portion of the course will teach students to interrogate primary sources and to read secondary sources with a critical eye.


• Twelve seminar sessions led by Professor Andrew Robertson and seven other professors (Zara Anishanslin, Ned Blackhawk, Kristopher Burrell, Sarah King, Lauren Santalgelo, Nora Slominsky, and Wendy Wall)

Primary source readings that supplement the lectures

• A certificate of completion for 15 hours of professional development credit

Readings: The optional readings for each seminar session are listed in the “Resources” tab on the course page. Please note that you are not required to read or purchase any print materials. Quizzes are based on the content of the seminar recordings rather than the readings.

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Andrew W. Robertson is associate professor of history at the Graduate Center and Lehman College, CUNY. From 2011 to 2017 he was deputy executive officer and then acting executive officer of the History PhD Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. In 2017–2018, he was Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri. He has also served as NEH Distinguished Professor of History and as A. Lindsay O’Connor Visiting Professor of American Institutions at Colgate University. He is working on a forthcoming book, Democracy in the Early Republic: America’s Other “Peculiar Institution.” He is the author of The Language of Democracy: Political Rhetoric in the United States and Britain, 1790–1900 and co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Revolutionary Elections in the Americas, 1800–1910 and Beyond the Founders: New Approaches to the Political History of the Early American Republic. For the past twelve years, Professor Robertson has been involved in collecting, analyzing, and disseminating voting data on the “New Nation Votes” website, jointly sponsored by the American Antiquarian Society and Tufts University. He lectures frequently on early American democracy, the American Revolution, and early US political history.