History is concerned with how people, from their own fixed places in the present, look toward the past. On this foundation we shape history and produce histories. History is not just the past. Historical knowledge is applied daily in the media, in films and literature and in our own lives: to a certain degree, we brief ourselves in accordance to previous behaviour in ourselves and politicians.
The history programme lends you an overview of information and enables you to systematize it. You learn how to critically analyze sources and research literature, which in turn allows you to delve deeper into subjects.
Your learning to view causalties while simultaneously focusing on specific topics, is one of the strengths of the programme. You will be working independently with a plethora of sources and historical literature on topics you select by applying an academic critical sense.
Presentation of Knowledge
Through tasks and oral presentations you will be trained in "producing" history, as it is important that you are able to relay knowledge to others.
A different way of passing on historical knowledge, might be to conduct exams in a café. A special mix of relaxed atmosphere and exam jitters gives the students a chance to convey their knowledge to the public. A group of MA history students tried this particular type of examination in May 2010, and the event was intensely covered by the media.
Past, present and future
The Italian philosopher and historian, Benedetto Croce's statement from 1915 is very adequate for describing the width and depth of history. He said "all history is contemporary history". This short sentence contains two insights of fundamental importance to the interest in the past and the study of history. Firstly, we study the past in order to know the present - and perhaps even the future.
This is the most obvious of the two insights. The second insight describes how we, when we study the past, invariably do so from a contemporary stance. Our questions to the past are permeated by our own present thus, in a sense, making all history contemporary history.
There are many reasons for studying history in Odense:
* The distance between students and instructors is short. The instructors are concerned with history, not tradition and frequently participate in social activities and academic arrangements extraneous to lectures. The instructors are permanently employed researchers who teach the topics they are passionate about. This secures a research based instruction.
* You become part of a year that is no greater than everyone can get to know everyone else, and everyone should get a chance to ask questions and voice their opinions during class.
* The students have created an active study environment. There is a film-club screening historical films, a party-society (Delirium) and a magazine (Rubicon) which is produced exclusively by students.