Course entry requirements: Acceptance for an honours programme.
This course is aimed at both acquainting students with the growing historical literature across the world on daily experiences and unspectacular practices, and teaching them the skills of formulating original research questions. Each year this course focuses on an object or a practice or a sentiment usually considered too ordinary, too universal and too familiar to be adequately or excitingly historical, and gradually unpacks the various histories unevenly woven into it. Through a systematic investigation of the experiential contexts and daily praxis, the students are encouraged to think imaginatively and across the boundaries of disciplines. In pointing the students towards the emergent approaches and sites of new research, the course also attempts to train them in moving responsibly and creatively between big theoretical questions and specific, concrete histories. It is comprised of weekly two-hour seminars. In 2017 the course will be discussing the histories of sleep.