tara strauch

Pop Culture Revolution

For the last day of my American Revolution class, I asked the students to send me a youtube clip, meme, or other pop culture reference to the revolution, founding fathers, etc. I organized the material so that we covered political comedy, political usage of the founders, memes about the founding fathers and sex, and so…

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Neoliberalism and DH in the classroom

A recent Los Angeles Book Review piece argues that the digital humanities’ “most significant contribution to academic politics may lie in its (perhaps unintentional) facilitation of the neoliberal takeover of the university.” The article has series flaws, and insightful reactions have come from Matthew Kirshbaum, Alan Liu, and (I have to acknowledge UTD graduate) Michele Rosen. I am participating this…

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Should I Quote This?

And now the semester is over, and my methods course is over and done with. Another group of budding young historians is all ready for whatever research comes their way (I hope). This semester, I’ve been using my posts to talk about the progress of the course from its conception, how I teach footnotes, in-class research exercises, and…

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Now, What Have We Learned?

It’s the end of the school year here in Toledo. We’ve just begun to emerge from a Winter that was so long all we needed was a White Walker invasion to cap it off. (Side note: Game of Thrones is back on.) While the weather has improved, the atmosphere on campus still feels noticeably tempestuous,…

Gannon2

Flipped Learning: A Philosophy, Not a Fad

Throughout my teaching career, I have learned–mostly the hard way–that classroom challenges often stem from problems in course design. Students not seeing an activity as important as I think it is? Maybe I haven’t tied it to very many points in their grade, and it thus looks low-priority to them. Everyone bombs the first essay?…

Dani Vaughn-Tucker

History is Emotional

“There isn’t a right or wrong answer,” I look around the class, “I want to know what you think.” The class sits in silence, like they’re not sure if they believe me. Finally, one of the quieter students speaks up, “Honestly, I thought President Obama was going to get assassinated. I was in the sixth…

Glen Olson

Using History’s Negative Spaces

I use the term historical literacy more and more to describe the goals of a history class. The rhetoric of “critical thinking skills” always seemed a little flimsy to me, in part because learning any subject has the potential to increase critical thinking. The adjective “historical” at least implies that there is a set of specific…

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Polling the Survey: Last Month’s Results

This month, before I start digging into the details of the formats, structures, and options used in different surveys, I’m reporting the results of the poll that I posted last month. While admittedly unscientific and self-selected, the results provide a sense of the variety of offerings and approaches used by historians to teach the different…