PG7037 Text and Method: Critical Thinking

PG7037 Text and Method: Critical Thinking

For MRes, MPhil, First-Year PhD, and Taught Masters students (from specific programmes)

Semester 2.    Fridays, 11.00am - 1.00pm.  See Timetable for more details.

This element of research training grounds students in a range of theoretical and material approaches to humanities research. The cases examined are largely located in the historical period from 1500 to 1800

The module examines critical themes in the culture of knowledge mainly in Europe, between 1500 and 1800.  Questions include:  how did human feeling contribute to knowledge?  What was nature, according to early modern people?  How was beauty recorded and protected?  What was the relation between philosophy and other kinds of knowing?  What role did religion play in the knowledge of the self and the world?  How was religious knowledge evaluated?  What were place, space and time, and how did such concepts change?  Theoretical as well as practical perspectives will be examined, and modern interpretations (Foucault, Toulmin, Ginzburg, Nussbaum, Bouwsma, Bendix, Darnton, Israel etc.) as well as interpretations by the early moderns.  The interests of the course will be moulded by the interests of participants, and bibliography will be formulated to accommodate participants’ needs and interests.

Documents and course material will be coordinated with the Blackboard VLE.

Assessment: submission of ongoing research or relevant professional document in agreement with course director.  Assessments are due on the last day of class.

contact Brendan Dooley with any enquiries (

Participants will prepare one or more selections as noted in the bibliography below and in special bibliographies for each session.

Normally participants will read one or more chapters or articles per week, from the bibliographies provided; and ideally, each participant will read a different selection (hence the range below).  Here we give an example of a bibliography for Topic 2. 



The Reformation and the Book: A Reconsideration

Author(s): Andrew Pettegree and Matthew HallReviewed work(s):Source: The Historical Journal, Vol. 47, No. 4 (Dec., 2004), pp. 785-808



How the World Came to Know About Itself

By Andrew Pettegree

Illustrated. 445 pp. Yale University Press



An Early Information Society: News and the Media in Eighteenth-Century Paris

Author(s): Robert DarntonSource: The American Historical Review, Vol. 105, No. 1 (Feb., 2000), pp. 1-35  ON BLACKBOARD


B. Dooley, “Media History:  Cultural Concerns”, International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition  ON BLACKBOARD


B. Dooley, “Printing and Publishing,” Europe 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World, ed. J. Dewald, Scribners, 2003  ON BLACKBOARD


Dooley and Baron, eds., The Politics of Information in Early Modern Europe (Routledge 2005). selected chaps.  ON BLACKBOARD


Intro. and selected chapters from:

The Dissemination of News and the Emergence of

'Contemporaneity' in Early Modern Europe (Ashgate 2010),


Pamphlets and pamphleteering in early modern Britain / Joad Raymond.

Raymond, Joad.

Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2003.


 Website  More...



 Boole Q+3 Floor         828 RAYM 



Semester 2. Fridays.  11.00am – 1.00pm


1. Introduction.  19 January 2018. Mary Ryan Meeting Room, G27B, O’Rahilly Building


2. Media Histories. 26 January 2018.  CACSSS Seminar Room, G27, ORB

Selections from THE INVENTION OF NEWS: How the World Came to Know About  

Itself By Andrew Pettegree

Illustrated. 445 pp. Yale University Press 2015


3. Historical psychology of emotions. 2 February 2018.  CACSSS Seminar Room, G27, ORB

Translated selections from B. Dooley, Amore e guerra nel tardo Rinascimento (Polistampa, 2009)


4. Time and Narrative. 9 February 2018.  CACSSS Seminar Room, G27, ORB

Stefania Tutino, Shadows of Doubt.  Language and Truth in Post Reformation Catholic Culture, Oxford, 2014.  selections.


5. Cognitive Cartographies. 16 February 2018.  CACSSS Seminar Room, G27, ORB

J. B. Harley, “New England Cartography and the Native Americans,” The New Nature of Maps.  Essays in the History of Cartography, ed. P. Laxton  and J. H. Andrews, Hopkins 2001


6. Words and Things. 23 February 2018.  CACSSS Seminar Room, G27, ORB

Paula Findlen, “Possessing the Past:  The Material World of the Italian Renaissance,” American Historical Review 103 (1998): 83-114


7. Truth and Power. 2 March 2018.  CACSSS Seminar Room, G27, ORB

Barbara Shapiro, A Culture of Fact.  England, 1550-1720, Cornell, 2000, chap. 1.


8. Enlightenments Old and New. 9 March 2018.  Mary Ryan Meeting Room, G27B, ORB

Jonathan Israel, “Enlightenment! Which Enlightenment?”  Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 67, No. 3 (Jul., 2006), pp. 523-545


9. The Dangers of Knowledge. 16 March 2018.  Mary Ryan Meeting Room, G27B, ORB

B. Dooley, “Keep This Secret!  Renaissance Knowledge between Freedom and Restraint,” in Dooley, ed., Renaissance Now!


10. The Nature of Books.  23 March 2018.  CACSSS Seminar Room, G27, ORB

From F. Redi, Experiments on the Generation of Insects, in B. Dooley, Italy in the Baroque (NY 1995):


11. Final Roundup.  6 April 2018.  CACSSS Seminar Room, G27, ORB

12. Conclusion. 13 April 2018.  CACSSS Seminar Room, G27, ORB

How to Self-Enrol on Blackboard

In order to submit the assignment and access content you must self-enrol on Blackboard for the module.

Instructions for Students to Self-Enrol on PG Module

Click the Courses tab at the top right of the screen >

Click Browse Course Cataloguein the Course Catalog box on the right and select the exact search settings below:

Course ID > Contains > 2018-PG7037

The module code must entered exactly (without spaces), and then click GO to the right of the code.

This displays a page listing the module.  Students must hover their mouse over the module code and click the down arrow that appears, then click Enroll.

Type the necessary Access Code 1718PG7037 in the box displayed and click Submit.

Click OK on the lower right of the screen when the Successful Enrolment message displays and the module will open for you.

These steps only need to be completed once.  Following successful enrolment, the module will then display automatically in your My Courses listing

If you encounter any difficulties please email

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Graduate School, College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Sciences

Scoil Chéimithe, Coláiste na nEalaíon, an Léinn Cheiltigh agus na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta

Room G26A, Ground floor,