Universität Wien FIND

070285 KU Globalgeschichtliche Arbeitstechniken (2017W)

Food in a Global City: Vienna Food Biography

3.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 7 - Geschichte
Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung


max. 25 Teilnehmer*innen
Sprache: Englisch


Termine (iCal) - nächster Termin ist mit N markiert

Dienstag 10.10. 13:15 - 14:45 Studierzone
Dienstag 17.10. 13:15 - 14:45 Studierzone
Dienstag 24.10. 13:15 - 14:45 Studierzone
Dienstag 31.10. 13:15 - 14:45 Studierzone
Dienstag 07.11. 13:15 - 14:45 Studierzone
Dienstag 14.11. 13:15 - 14:45 Studierzone
Dienstag 21.11. 13:15 - 14:45 Studierzone
Dienstag 28.11. 13:15 - 14:45 Studierzone
Dienstag 05.12. 13:15 - 14:45 Studierzone
Dienstag 12.12. 13:15 - 14:45 Studierzone
Dienstag 09.01. 13:15 - 14:45 Studierzone
Dienstag 16.01. 13:15 - 14:45 Studierzone
Dienstag 23.01. 13:15 - 14:45 Studierzone
Dienstag 30.01. 13:15 - 14:45 Studierzone


Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung

“Staying with the Troubles” is the title of Donna Haraway’s recent book. It serves as a motto for this course designed to encourage students to find transparent criteria for choosing reliable research texts useful for their own writings. Actually, to identify an appropriate text is less individual than we think. By adopting a proofreader’s role with assessment qualities, students will identify tools for appropriate choices and will work with them.

Academic research is the accumulation of new information by many different means. The significance of this information is articulated through evidence-based arguments, the heart of any academic practice. In history, we are dealing with many kinds of texts. In view of the variety of different fields of study and cultural backgrounds of authors and editors, the field of global history is particularly troubled with its diversity, pluralism and a wide range of writing styles. When it comes to food history – a field of many disciplines and myths – this fact is alarming.

Classic historiography basically refers to primary and secondary sources. However, besides original sources, journals and books, we are used to finding important information and relevant material also in fine literature and popular readings, -- on blogs, websites, and electronically available sources in general. But, how to integrate the information into a contemporary academic history writing? So, what makes an academic history text attractive?

The main focus of this course will be on the text per se. But, instead of writing a paper students will critically work on a couple of very different kinds of texts. Some of them are archive sources others published papers, some are collected from e-sources and others are work in progress. We also will briefly deal with images, e.g. maps and bar charts. Specific attention will be paid to book reviews, a very important source of information for scholars and at the same time the template for our practical tasks.

It is commonly experienced that when (proof-)reading a text of someone else we are more able to find problematic issues, which could be better explained and mistakes to be corrected, than in one’s own writing. By taking the full advantage of this fact, we will concentrate on published and unpublished texts in order to develop a feeling for what it means when we claim that a text is good (interesting, fascinating, useful, etc.) or bad (unreadable, bold, incomplete, etc.). Fortunately, it is possible to break down this rather emotionally biased dichotomy by working on intersubjective tools for comprehension.

Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

Engaged participation in the class activities (50% percent) plus weekly assignments (50%) with a reasonable workload according to 3 ECTS. The assignments will not be graded individually but altogether by using the conventional range of scores from “sehr gut” (1) to “nicht genügend” (5).
Presenters of topics will be randomly chosen so that everybody always has to be prepared. This is not to intimidate students. It is simply a matter of time management.

First assignment
Chose a history book you know and find at least three book reviews of it. Use different database (e.g., JSTOR), websites, perhaps also another browser (e.g., Google Scholar). Write a text of 2000 to 3000 characters about who uses which arguments and why, respectively which reviewers base their assessment on emotions and/ or unreflected opinions and, what in comparison, are academic book reviews.
The goal of this task is not to rank the chosen book reviews (informative/useless) but to develop a sense for what an opinion and what an argument is. Please, particularly highlight this aspect in your text.

Second assignment
We all like big narratives, preferably in a history set. Search the internet and find out, why the books/ the series “Game of Thrones” is such a success. Write a short outline (length does not matter) about the reasons you would give in a scholarly debate about the fascination of this epic narrative. You will want to use your notes for a discussion in class about the difference between fiction and historic narrative themes and tools in “Game of Thrones” (chronical order, claims of power, the role of slavery, feudalism, the war on territories, etc.). However, when it comes to an epos, magic plays a role. Does it also belong to a historical narrative? Ask yourself, if treated how history writing would deal with magic.
The goal of this assignment is to understand the possibilities and restrictions of fictional and history writing.

Third assignment
Chose one primary source from the Wien Bibliothek and draw up a handout of it. What, when, where, why, who, how?
Be prepared to present your findings in a short presentation. Besides the handout (please provide copies for all participants), it is recommended to have at least an image of the source available for the audience.
The goal of this task is, to figure out a concise (very short, most 10 minutes) narrative about your finding. Please, consider that your audience wants to listen to a precise and exciting story. My suggestion is to also focus on what is missing or, what your source does not tell or might be hiding. That usually encourages discussion.

Fourth assignment
We are getting into details with tools. According to the number of students, chapter 6 of Linda Olson’s handbook will be divided into parts, and every student will be assigned to prepare a sub-topic from it for the following class. Preparation includes a review and a handout with examples of the topic focused on. The conclusions will be presented and the handouts provided on paper.
The goal of this assignment consists of establishing a common standard for the examination of the texts to proofread.

Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

Minimum requirements and assessment standard:
Mutual reliability is essential for the success of this course. Therefore, for whatever reason, the most two course sessions of the semester can be missed.
The course language is English. However, it helps to have reading abilities in German, but this is not a requirement. The workload and tasks can be chosen according to language skills. However, all presentations must be held in English. Written assignments can be submitted in English or German. Being a German native speaker myself, I nevertheless encourage Austrian/ German native speakers to provide their assignments in English. It is an opportunity and I will be aware of a “safe” atmosphere in class.


Exam subjects:
Linda Olson, On-Screen Proofreading. A Handbook for Editors of Academic and Scientific Articles. e-academia, 2015 https://www.proof-reading-service.com/handbook/, 195-294 (= chapter 6).


This is a good reading to the lead into the topic:
Gordon Wood, “In Defense of Academic History Writing,” April 2010 https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/april-2010/in-defense-of-academic-history-writing

Zuordnung im Vorlesungsverzeichnis

Letzte Änderung: Mi 05.06.2019 00:13