Student must be a Hudson & Holland Scholar to apply for the below course.
Want to become a detective of history? In this class, you will engage in historical research while understanding and developing your own process as a writer. These are invaluable competencies that you will aid you throughout (and beyond) your entire college career.
We will start by analyzing an object of your own choosing that captures what has stood out from your experience of living through the COVID-19 pandemic. The artifact can reflect either your own experience or that of anyone you know well in the United States or abroad. Here is the key: the object you choose must sum up some important aspect of the ongoing pandemic experience.
We will put that artifact figuratively under a “microscope,” find information to better understand the object by generating questions that allows you to inquire about its history and possible meanings. We will follow by researching for answers from experts from different points of view. The answers to your research questions will help us understand how an event or individual experience is not something detached from reality but the outcome of long-time historical processes that brought forth its occurrence.
The sum of all the artifacts and analyses produced in this class will be collected in an online exhibition to show the many experiences of living the pandemic. By working on our “microhistories,” we will be able, as a class, to produce some generalizations of what living in pandemic times has meant for different people as a whole based on concrete evidence.
Originally, this was going to be a course on “microhistories” of the Spanish Caribbean. However, we’re living in a historic time which will not only affect how we conduct classes at the university but, more importantly, push us to reflect on how we interpret the world around us. This made me realize that, as an educator, I could better serve my students by equipping them to thrive in the existing circumstances. Students are welcome to work on the Spanish Caribbean and its diaspora by focusing their research on an object that is close to the experience of someone from that world region and/or culture. But you are also welcome to work on an artifact that is meaningful to you (or people close to you, living in any part of the world) and that depicts a key aspect of the pandemic that is likely to be remembered a few years from now.
Your grade will be dependent on devoting good time and effort, doing all the work as well as producing a well executed final project. The goal is for students to build their own strategies to decipher what good research and writing is rather than writing for grades or for what “the teacher wants.”
Catalog Information: COLL-S 104 FRESHMAN SEMINAR IN A&H