Major Core

HH1001 What is History?
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

“What is History” introduces you to the discipline of history, and helps them to develop the skills to turn data about the past into historical narratives. Through this course, you will become familiar with the methods of historians, learning what kinds of sources historians use, how they use them, and how they write historical essays? Additionally, you will examine and compare the different approaches to history, reading biographies, social history, cultural history, economic history, environmental history, global history, gender history, race history, and micro-history.​ 

HH1002 Asia-Pacific in Global History: Pre-1800
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This course will introduce you to the history of cultures of the Asia-Pacific regions covering the period from the rise of the state until 1800 with a focus on everyday life for the ruling classes and their subject populations. In addition to scholarly accounts of family life, state-formation, sexuality, economics, and religion, you will read literature from a variety of contexts in order to develop an intimate relationship with the individuals and groups in each culture. This literature will include ancient Indian epic, Confucian texts on the state and family, the Kamasutra, and stories from the Tang and Song dynasties. In this course, you will also consider modem anthropological parallels in order to bring to life the familial, cultural, social, and political worlds of pre-colonial India, China, and Southeast Asia. ​

HH1003 Asia-Pacific in Global History: From 1800
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

The history of Asia, global history, and interdisciplinary history are three key areas of the NTU History curriculum. This course will familiarize you with aspects of each of those key areas and their entanglements. It will provide you with an insight into the historical processes that shaped modern Asia, how these processes were connected to global developments such as the expansion of European imperialism, and how they played out in specific areas. To allow you to reflect on interactions from various angles, the course is structured both geographically and thematically. In addition, the course builds up critical thinking skills gradually by drawing on textbook chapters in the first half, followed by academic readings in the second half of the course. The first half of the course discusses developments from 1800 onwards in the regions of East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, but it also pays attention to cross-regional developments. The second half of the course is concerned with developments in Asia with an emphasis on the themes of trade and commodities; wars and national independence; migrations; everyday life; and visions of empire. In the lectures and tutorials, we will also engage with different types of sources, such as maps, historical artefacts, documents, and photographs to help you build analytical historical skills. ​

HH1004 Science and Technology in Historical Perspective
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This is a thematic survey in the history of science and technology, focusing on the modern period after the seventeenth century. Students are expected to explore diverse historical problems in science and technology in the global and local contexts. Through this course, students will be able to understand the importance of science and technology in creating modernity. They are also expected to learn how science and technology are located in the cultural landscape of our society, which shapes and is shaped by knowledge and practice in laboratories, factories, and fields. Students will thus find that science and technology are closely associated with what we do not usually think in related terms, such as religion, political ideologies, morality, gender, entertainment, and even magic. 

HH2001 Singapore: The Making of a Cosmopolitan City-State
Pre-requisite(s): HH1001 What is History? | 3 AUs

This course focuses on the history of Singapore in the regional and global contexts. It will discuss various factors--institutional, cultural, socio-political and international—that have shaped the trajectory of Singapore over the past seven decades. The successful story of Singapore’s economic development will be understood within the domestic multi-ethnic mosaic and complex regional relationships. It is the interplay of these forces that underscores the emergence and challenges of a cosmopolitan global city-state with an emerging national identity. 

HH3001 Historiography: Theory and Methods
Pre-requisite(s): HH1001 What is History? | 3 AUs

What IS history? Who is to say? Can historians ever write “objective” histories? What is lost and gained in the process of turning the traces of a messy past into neatly woven narratives? Are historians unfairly imposing the questions of the present on the past? What is the role of the nation in history-writing today? Is the writing of history ultimately a power game that ensures the dominance of those who possess it? Why do particular books come to be considered ‘classics’? Why do certain types of history become influential at particular moments of time? How have historians questioned and critiqued the power dynamics of their discipline? In an age in which information is widely available, are we in a sense all historians or should the practice be left to those trained at universities and well-versed in the art of using footnotes? In the digital age, what is the value of the written document as a historical source? What can past approaches to the writing of history teach us about what it means to be a historian today?  

This course will provide answers to these and many other questions pertaining to the craft of the historian. Building on the basic skills acquired in HH1001: What is History, this course offers a more advanced introduction to the theories and methodologies underpinning the historical discipline. We will discuss issues of class, race, gender, colonialism, knowledge creation, and globalization in relation to 20th century historiography. Each week we will explore a different approach to history, such as: the Annales ‘school,’ Marxism, social history, post-structuralism, gender history, post-colonialism, oral history and transnational history, among others. For each historical approach, we will look at one or two important or illustrative historical works and contextualize their contribution to wider historical and theoretical debates through reading relevant secondary sources.