Masterclass Nigel Hamilton

Biographical research as a corrective to historiography

On September 19, 2018, dr Nigel Hamilton, author of award-winning biographies of Fieldmarshall Montgomery, F.D. Roosevelt and J.F. Kennedy, will host a masterclass on his best practices as a biographer. It will give Researchmaster- and PhD-students the opportunity to discuss the way biographical research can correct existing historiography. How can ‘agency’ be used as a hermeneutic device to compare the way different individuals acted during a certain time and place? By reading different samples from dr. Hamiltons biographies, students will investigate the structural incoherence between the agency of an individual, and the mentality of the time in which he or she was living. What makes historical practice comprehendible, if it is not related to some larger structure or development? Students will delve into the debate on what did biographers do to contribute to methodology of Microhistory, in which developments on a small scale can be an analytical framework for a more complex historical phenomenon.

Preparation and proposed readings

  • a selection of fragments of mr. Hamiltons biographies will be provided for the participating students in order to prepare the masterclass
  • students are required to prepare a short presentation (5 minutes) of the way a biographical approach to cultural history is incorporated in their research.

Date: 19 September 2018
Time: 12.30-15.00
Venue: Doopsgezinde Kerk, Oude Boteringestraat 33, Groningen
Open to: Researchmaster- and PhD-students
Fee (non-members of a Dutch graduate school): €50
Credits: 1 ECTS (available upon request)
Maximum participants in this event: 20
Register before: June 1, 2018

Credits & certificate

Certificates of participation and credits are available upon request after the event. Event coordinators will decide whether the participant has fulfilled all requirements for the ECTS.

After the masterclass, mr Hamliton will give a public lecture, titled ‘Truth, Lies and fake truth. The future of Biography’. All participants of the masterclass are invited. Reception afterwards.