Epistemology and scientific communication in history

lhist2450  2021-2022  Louvain-la-Neuve

Epistemology and scientific communication in history
5 credits
22.5 h
Q1 and Q2
Main themes
The first part of the course (Epistemology) aims at examining the value of the methods used by the historian to elaborate his knowledge. The methodology is based upon the experience of each participant, at the level of the making of the master thesis.
Every step of the historical research initiates a debate about a number of theoretical questions concerning epistemology applied to history. Every participant will base the answers on his/her own practice as an historian. The answers will be written down in a document to defend during the exam.
The second part of the course (Scientific communication) aims at deepening the competences of the students in terms of conceptualisation and use of semiotic data applied to the different types of historical stories.
The course proposes a number of training modules including a theoretical part (concepts) and a practical part (works and exercises) approaching different communication supports in history : textual (written, oral speech, electronic publication) and mixed (partially using the relation between text and image as a vector of communication). Several dimensions of communication will be approached (narrative semiology, visual rhetoric,..).

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 This course proposes a deeper study of the development and the circulation of knowledge in history. It consists in proposing a common reflection about the models, the concepts, the methods and the scientific research and communication tools in history. The student will be stimulated to develop ways of epistemological reflection and scientific communication.
After the course the student will: - master the fundamental concepts borrowed to the theories of language, as a linguistic code and representation mode, as well as a vector of communication that founds relationships between the talking subjects and the context of production and reception.
- be able to reflect critically upon the semiotic stakes (modalities of representation) used in contemporary historian productions.
- master the conventions and techniques that rule the elaboration of the historical discourse and within it the operational transfer of scientific contents between the different modes of story (texts, images, mixed messages)
The methodology for the part relating to epistemology aims to raise students' awareness of the use of concepts in history. It introduces them to their reappropriation through contemporary historiographical trends. For the part relating to scientific communication in history, the course recalls the main conventions of scientific writing (how to structure and write a scientific text) and introduces the basic rules of typography and layout of university texts as well as electronic publishing.
Teaching methods
Both theoretical and practical. Presentation of methodologies and realization of individual and collective exercises.
Evaluation methods
Continuous evaluation based on 4 written works (scientific review, scientific synthesis, layout of a scientific article, writing a Wikipedia notice).
Other information
English-friendly course: course taught in French but offering facilities in English.
The part on epistemology will be taught in English this year 2021-22 by a Taiwanese professor (block course in Q2).
Online resources
See Moodle LHIST 2450.
Voir Moodle.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [120] in History