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CAC8011 : The Writing of History (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Federico Santangelo
  • Lecturer: Dr Jon Davies, Dr Rowland Smith
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module focuses on the writing of history in antiquity and beyond. In terms of the structure of the MA programme in Classics and Ancient History, this module serves as a signature research specialism for the ancient history pathway. Emphasis will be placed on the active development of research skills, in the first instance through dialogue around a carefully chosen series of sub-fields connected with the writing of history (to be based around the teaching staff’s own research specialisms), in which scholarly and theoretical approaches, new research directions, and evidentiary corpora will be foregrounded and subject to searching scrutiny.

It is also the aim of this module to foster the development of the students’ own research trajectories through including in the contact hours and in the assessment conspectus the delivery of a workshop-style oral research paper. All student papers will be hosted at an end-of-module colloquium (alongside its sister module, CAC8009: Performance and Text), and preparatory support will also be provided through briefings and individual supervisions. This assessed oral paper will also feed into the other assessment component of the module, namely the written research-essay.

A major aim behind the conception and the design of the module is to promote a productive alignment between the module’s content and the active research culture of the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, as represented particularly by the School-wide strategic research strand named ‘The Writing of History’. This will be achieved by two principal means: (i) teaching on the module will be research-led, i.e. drawn from the strand-affiliated teaching staff’s own research, including ongoing projects; and (ii) students themselves will contribute to the research culture of the School and the strand, through both the nature of the teaching activities (e.g. discussions of ongoing research) and the methods of assessment (in particular the research workshop at the culmination of the module).

Outline Of Syllabus

Typically, this module will be structured around major research case-studies relating to the writing of history, to be presented by teaching staff and discussed with students in a dialogic, seminar-style forum, before moving onto support for the students’ own oral research-papers, all of which will be delivered at an interactive colloquium at the end of the module. The breakdown of the contact hours will thus typically take the following form:

Introduction and briefing for the module
Research case-study I
Research case-study II
Research case-study III
Briefing on oral research-paper
Supervisory sessions with individual faculty members
End-of-module online colloquium: presentation of research-papers
Summary of feedback on the colloquium, plus briefing on research-essay

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture11:001:00Introduction to the module
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1121:00112:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading351:0035:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching92:0018:00Research-based seminar teaching - present in person
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities93:0027:00Reading in preparation for a synchronous session
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops13:003:00Student presentations
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity30:201:00Canvas quizzes - formative assessment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision31:003:00Supervision for presentations
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The learning outcomes, both knowledge and skills, for this module fundamentally underpin the teaching and learning methods employed.

Seminars will principally consist of teacher-introduced case-studies which will serve as the basis for discussion over several sessions. Reading will be assigned in advance and will inform this discussion. Ultimately, the aim is to open up a productive, two-way dialogue on original research relating to the writing of history. This type of learning activity aligns with knowledge outcomes 1 & 2, and skills outcomes 1, 2, & 5.

After coverage of major case-studies in seminar form, one-on-one supervisions will be introduced which aim to ensure that each student receives tailored, expert guidance on the forthcoming task of researching, writing, and delivering an oral research-paper. This activity aligns with knowledge outcome 3 and skills outcomes 2, 3, & 5.

After the supervisions have been completed, the extended workshop will be the site for the delivery and assessment of the oral research-papers, to be performed together in an end-of-module colloquium held in the style of an academic research workshop, with each speaker allocated twenty minutes for the paper plus ten minutes for audience-facing Q&A. This activity aligns with knowledge outcomes 2 & 3, and with skills outcomes 1, 2, 3, & 5.

The final seminar of the module provides a summary of feedback from the oral research-papers, which will serve as formative feedback ahead of the final assessment, a written research-essay, the nature of which will also receive a full briefing. This activity aligns with knowledge outcome 3 and skills outcome 4.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation152M35Oral research-paper followed by Q&A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A653,000-word research-essay
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment2MThree Canvas quizzes to be set on each of the three case-studies.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment for this module has been designed in tandem with the learning outcomes and with the chosen teaching and learning activities.

The oral research-paper will be fifteen minutes long, followed by ten minutes of Q&A. This assessment component aligns with knowledge outcomes 1, 2, & 3, and with skills outcomes 1, 3, & 5.

The written research-essay, 3,000 words long and due after the close of teaching for the semester, builds on the content introduced in the oral research-paper and is positioned so as to allow reflection on the formative feedback obtained from that task (both from the teaching staff and from student peers in the form of Q&A). This assessment component aligns with knowledge outcomes 1, 2, & 3, and with skills outcomes 1, 4, & 5.

A formative assessment is also assessed: three sets of Canvas quizzes on each of the three case-studies, to be set in the week following the end of the relevant section of the module.

Reading Lists