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Week 1.1: History of Slavery in the US: Course Introduction
Transcript of Week 1.1: History of Slavery in the US: Course Introduction
Readings and homework
Midterm & Final Exams--take-home essays
Reaching Professor Schwalm
Weekly Office Hours
Tues. & Thurs. 8-9 222 SH
Thurs. 2-3 222 SH
Weds. By arrangement 410 JB
Email (24 hour turn-around)
Course format: What to expect
Assigned readings for each meeting
Questions always welcome
Historians DESCRIBE and INTERPRET past events.
We pay attention to the events themselves, AND
we also pay attention to how other historians create arguments about and interpret those events.
How is History different?
1. Before you do the assigned reading, look at the syllabus to see
where the reading fits into the structure of the course
: What topics directly precede and follow it?
2. Look through the essay before you
read it -- pay attention to titles (both
of the piece and
piece). How do they
“map out” this essay
3. Read the essay, midful that HISTORY HAS A TECHNICAL VOCABULARY. As you come across vocabulary terms in the reading,
. If you come across a term that you don't understand,
look the word up
in the dictionary. If the dictionary is not helpful,
create a list of words/terms that need explanation
--and ask! With help from you about what you don't understand, I can easily review new material in our class meetings.
4. As you read each paragraph,
write a note
to yourself in the margins to
remind you of
in the paragraph. If you don't
understand something, put a
beside it. Whenever the author lists things,
words like "first," "second,"
and so forth.
5. When you get to the end of a section
within the reading, look back over the
section and try to
the author's argument
What was the
were used? What critical
vocabulary was explained?
6. If you found the essay especially
difficult, go back and read the beginning
of it again. (If need be, read the whole
The key to comprehension
in this course is rereading.
Papers evaluated for content AND mechanics: grammar, form, clarity of expression, attention to assignment requirements
Exams evaluated on accuracy of content and success in bringing course material to bear on exam questions
Plus and Minus grades used
How will your work be evaluated?
*Be on time
*Keep up with readings
*Ask questions: Raise your hand in lecture!
*Assignments MUST be on time--no late papers accepted
*Regular attendance and all assignments are required course components
*Students who miss class are responsible for material covered and announcements made
*Academic misconduct (plagiarism, cheating) will result in an “F” on the assignment and possibly an “F” in the course
*Following quizzes, all cell phones must be turned off
*Check ICON frequently for important course announcements
Take notes in longhand.
Review your lecture notes with a highlighter—what are the most important themes?
Use the study questions (in the course syllabus) for each assigned reading
Read with a pen in your hand: be an active reader
Ask questions if you don’t understand
Begin work on paper assignments early and ask for help
Use the History Writing Center (302 Schaeffer Hall)
Laptops can only be used in back row
I would like to hear from anyone who has a disability which may require some modification of seating, testing, or other class requirements so that appropriate arrangements may be made. Please contact me during my office hours.
1991 Ph.D., History, University of Wisconsin at Madison; minor in African American Studies
Where are the books & readings?
Prairie Lights Bookstore (Downtown--Dubuque St.)
If you BUY the books, MAKE THEM YOURS.
WRITE IN THEM.
History is unique in the "liberal arts" because of its focus on change--how societies change, why they do or do not change, what persists from the past, what does not....
The Ability to Assess Evidence.
Learning how to interpret source materials from the past involves paying attention to the source itself as well as the context in which it was created.
Learning how to combine different kinds of evidence—public statements, private records, numerical data, visual materials—develops the ability to make coherent arguments based on a variety of data.
This skill can also be applied to information encountered in everyday life.
The Ability to Assess Conflicting Interpretations.
Learning history means gaining some skill in sorting through diverse, often conflicting interpretations.
Understanding how societies work—the central goal of historical study—is inherently imprecise, and the same certainly holds true for understanding what is going on in the present day.
Learning how to identify and evaluate conflicting interpretations is an essential citizenship skill.
Experience in Assessing Past Examples of Change.
Historians are experts at studying and understanding change, which is an essential skill in what we are regularly told is our "ever-changing world."
Analysis of change means developing some capacity for determining the magnitude and significance of change. Learning history helps one figure out, for example, if one main factor accounts for a change or whether, as is more commonly the case, a number of factors combine to generate the actual change that occurs.
Historical study is crucial to the development of the well-informed citizen. It provides basic factual information about the values and problems that affect our social well-being. It also contributes to our capacity to use evidence, assess interpretations, and analyze change and continuities.
WARNING: We sometimes cover a LOT of ground in one class meeting!
HOW you read matters!
a little about your professor this semester......
What history-related skills does this course emphasize?
According to a recent study published in
, “Students who took notes on laptops tended to transcribe the content verbatim,” Mueller said. Those students took many more notes, but seemed to process what they heard much less. In a test taken a few minutes after completing the lecture, students who had taken notes using longhand performed much better. The difference was particularly striking on conceptual questions, where students had to take two pieces of information they’d heard in the lecture and synthesize them into a conclusion.
I've written histories of
emancipation in the South...
...and in the North
Written chapters for books on the Civil War. . .
...on the Black working class...
...and on the history of the South
...Some has been prize-winning
...and some has changed the way we think about our region.
Like most historians, I've also written articles for scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals
I love to travel
the mountains of northern Naxos
Special Relief work among the families of African American Civil War soldiers
I love to spend time in the archives doing research
The NYPL Central Reading Room is gorgeous!
Here's where I did my research this summer
Who are we this semester?
12 people in 7 different majors and 3 different grad programs
Theatre Arts, Sociology, Social Work, History, Psychology, Enlish, Mechanical Engineering
History; Teaching & Learning; English
3 2nd year students; 3 third-year students; 2 4th year students; 3 grad students
The National Police Archives in Guatamala--not so nice
(bring smart devices on Thursdays)