Assignment: Think about how the histories that you’ve read so far fit together and also how they don’t fit together. How do the sources they draw on determine what they are able to convey to the reader? How do they create new knowledge about the past and new stories? And what role do the different writing styles— which fall along the spectrum from more personal to more academic—play?
Having considered these questions, write a short essay (roughly 500-900 words) that gives specific evidence for a novel claim (that you make) about how we understand the past. In other words, come up with a new insight—something you’ve learned in class about the different ways history has been written, and how that has impacted your understanding of the world. Be sure to use at least 2-3 specific examples from the readings and other class materials. Turn this in BEFORE class on Wednesday February 26 (before 5pm).
To turn in your assignment: Submit your essay as a comment on this post. Leave two lines of white space between your paragraphs because the system removes indents—so without an extra space between your paragraphs they will all run together. You don’t need an account to post your comment, but you will need to choose a handle that you use for the duration of the semester (it can be anything you like and doesn’t have to be based on your real name). Also provide your IIT email address in the email box—it will never be made public. It will only be visible to me (and this is how I will know whose essay is whose).
Your comment will not show up publicly after you post, even though it has been successfully submitted. Comments must be individually approved by me in order to be made public. I will not make anyone’s essay public without asking them first if it is ok. (Be sure to keep a copy of your essay saved on your own computer just in case anything goes wrong.)