The Uses of History (HIST*3450) | College of Arts

The Uses of History (HIST*3450)

Code and section: HIST*3450*01

Term: Winter 2023

Instructor: Kim Martin


Course Synopsis: 

As an introduction to the use of history outside the university classroom, this course discusses public history and memory through an in-depth look at oral history: as a method, a practice, and as a primary source. As we dive into the ethical debates surrounding oral history, students will develop an understanding of ways that the resulting archival materials have been used as political propaganda, as background material for commemorations, and how they have come to play a role in many types of public and popular media. 

Learning outcomes:

By the end of this course, students should be able to: 

  1. Locate, access, and analyze primary sources, and explore secondary material at an advanced level.
  2. Critically evaluate and articulate details of an oral history project from beginning (ethical considerations, creating research questions) to end (collection and display of historical sources).
  3. Understand how cultural similarities and differences, and historical, geographical, and political contexts can affect the construction of historical knowledge.
  4. Recognize the importance of integrity and accuracy in the communication of historical interpretations in the public sphere.

Methods of Evaluation and Weights:

Engagement: 15%
Discussion lead: 5%
Short writing assignment: 15%
Research Proposal: 20%
Interview Guide: 10% 
Final research project: 35%

Texts and/or Resources Required:

Required Text:
All readings will be open access texts or those made available through the McLaughlin library.

**Please note: This is a preliminary web course description only. The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description. The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester.**