Historiography Workshop

Tomorrow we will have a historiography workshop in class. You should bring three to five secondary sources that you will discuss. Be sure to bring a mix of sources. A majority should be books.


In class you will perform two roles: presenter and audience member.

Presenters: Discuss the sources you brought with you using a historiographical approach. Educate your classmates on the authors, their arguments, and their relationships with each other. Are they asking similar or different research questions? If similar, on what points do they agree? Where do they disagree? If the authors are asking different questions, why? What do they hope to teach us about the topic that other sources had not?

Audience Members: Listen to each presentation carefully. If the presenter has done a good job you should be able to list the authors discussed, the discipline or occupation of each author, the titles of the sources, the years they were published, the key arguments, and the relationships between sources.

Consider making a chart or, at minimum, taking notes on the presentation. The audience will use the presentation to reflect back to the presenter what they learned and offer questions or advice for how to write about the sources.


Presenters should be prepared to discuss the sources you have chosen and should bring the sources with you. You may refer to notes but you may not simply read from prepared remarks. Presenters will have between 5 and 10 minutes.

Audience members should be ready to critically engage with the presentations and offer feedback. One purpose of this workshop is to help authors work on clearly explaining the historiography of the topic. Your role is crucial in achieving this purpose.

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