Nora Slonimsky head-shot

Patriots, Plagiarists and Playing Favorites

Continuing with the theme of holiday posts, this weekend is the Superbowl, which if television ratings are any indication, is one of America’s most beloved celebrations. When the New England Patriots won the AFC title game, their franchise name — after all, what early Americanist doesn’t appreciate a tricorne hat reference — and their lack…

Glen

Teaching Outside the Wheelhouse

Classes start this week, probably a week or two later than most. Like Nora, I am thinking about teaching resolutions for the semester. Along with the first half of the US survey, I will be teaching a Western Civilization course covering the Ancient World through the Renaissance. A lot of us teach fields outside United…

KArehartpicture

In Defense of the Group Project

I am a strong believer in group projects, even if almost everyone else in higher education thinks they are a waste of time. Earlier this month, I had a conversation with a senior faculty member about one of my syllabi for this semester. She was surprised that I included a group project that was worth…

tara strauch

Newspapers in the Survey

In previous semesters I have assigned primary sources as homework with varying degrees of success.  I could rarely count on students having read the material well enough to jump feet first into discussions and their various levels of reading comprehension meant that quizzing them on the content of primary sources resulted in a lot of…

2012-09-21 07.27.22

To Name-Drop, or Not to Name-Drop: The Perils and Potential of Historiography in Lectures and Classroom Discussion

I’ve already mentioned in a previous post my own aversion to assigning secondary sources in survey courses. But I do think it’s very important to involve secondary sources in upper-level history courses. While it’s always a challenge deciding what to assign, I’ve found it’s equally difficult figuring out how to introduce historiography into my lectures…

Glen

Writing Triage

At my lowest moments of teaching, especially while grading a stack of final essays (say, hypothetically, all last weekend), I have always found it tempting to blame my students’ writing problems on other people not doing their jobs. My job is to help students engage with history, someone else is in charge of the writing…

2012-09-21 07.27.22

Another Post About Primary Sources

On the heels of Emily Conroy-Krutz’s excellent post about primary sources, I ask the following question to my fellow history teachers: What’s your favorite primary source to use in class, that is outside your area of specialty? I ask because we all have to teach outside our comfort zones, and if you’re like me, you…

Photo on 11-11-14 at 2.40 PM #3

Primary Sources in Exam Week

Happy Exam Week, everyone! I’ve been trying to get out from this pile of papers all week, so that I can be buried in blue books over the next few days.  This time of the semester is so intense for all of us, faculty and students, as we stand at the end of the course…

In Defense of Teaching Civil War Military History

Some of you may remember a session at the 2013 Southern Historical Association Meeting at which a round-table discussion attempted to weigh the utility of centering military history narratives at the heart of Civil War courses. The panelists endeavored to untangle the stereotyped courses that either decry or ignore military history altogether against those that…