HIST 301
Approaching the Past: The Use and Abuse of History Spring 2023
Division II
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Is history, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder? What is history and who gets to decide? How and where is history consumed and by whom? This course examines the use and abuse of history from the early twentieth century to the present especially how history has been impacted by the digital sphere (tv, films, social media), the rise of nationalism and the processes of globalization. First, students will grapple with what constitute notions of truth, objectivity and facts and how terminology has changed over the last 100 years. Next, we will evaluate various influential methodological trends that have impacted how history has been written and consider what was said and left unsaid, which perspectives were privileged and whose voices were marginalized. Finally, we will analyze the state of history today and how it appears in people’s daily lives and especially how history is used and abused in public discourse on various media platforms. How is historical memory formed today?
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 3398
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Class participation, oral presentations, several short (3-4 page) papers, and a final project.
Prerequisites: Restricted to History majors and sophomores planning to major in History
Enrollment Preferences: Senior then junior History majors
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: HIST Group G Electives - Global History

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