History 61 The Production of History, Spring 2007

History 61
The Production of History
Spring 2007
Professor Burke

People make history, but they also talk, imagine, and fight over the past. This course examines how history and memory circulate through public life in modern societies, how and why the past matters to individuals, groups and institutions. Among the topics we will examine are controversies over museums and memorials, the relationship between scholarly historians and their publics, historical fiction and stories of time travel, collecting and memorabilia, debates over textbooks and school curricula, and practices of amateur history and re-enactment.

Students will complete several short written and oral assignments throughout the semester, and one longer writing assignment at the end of the semester. A substantial amount of our reading involves online materials. The class is focused around discussion, so attendance, responsible preparation with readings and other materials, and participation are an important part of the final grade.

Books for purchase:

Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Silencing the Past
Tony Horowitz, Confederates in the Attic
Art Spiegelman, Maus
Kyle Ward, History in the Making
Antje Krog, Country of My Skull

Tuesday January 23

General Reflections on Memory, History and Archives

Thursday January 25
Rolph Trouillot, Silencing the Past, all

Tuesday January 30
David Lowenthal, The Past is a Foreign Country, pp. 3-34
Carolyn Hamilton, Terrific Majesty, pp. 187-205
The Things We Forgot to Remember

Thursday February 1
Joanne Rappaport, The Politics of Memory, Chapter Seven
Gyanendra Pandey, “In Defense of the Fragment”, Representations, 37: 1992.

Tuesday February 6

Raphael Samuel, Theatres of Memory, pp. 3-27
Martin Duberman, “’Writhing Bedfellows’ in Antebellum South Carolina: Historical Interpretation and the Politics of Evidence”, Hidden From History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past

Thursday February 8

Amitav Ghosh, In an Antique Land, pp.13-60
Timothy Garton Ash, The File, pp. 5-40
David Macaulay, Motel of the Mysteries

Historical Expertise Outside the Academy

Tuesday February 13
Johannes Fabian, Remembering the Present, pp. 24-50
Manthia Diawara, “Song of the Griot,” Transition, 74: 1997.
David William Cohen, “La Fontaine and Wamimbi: The Anthropology of ‘Time-Present’ as the Substructure of Historical Oration”, in Bender and Wellbery, eds., Chronotypes. Pp. 22-46 (focus on side-by-side comparison of La Fontaine and Wamimbi’s texts)

Thursday February 15

“The Nasty Girl” (film)
The “real” Nasty Girl
William Rubenstein, “Academic vs. Amateur History”
Leon Day
Ron Rosenbaum, Travels With Dr. Death, chapter on Kennedy conspiracy theorists
Vermont History Expo
The Yellow Rose of Texas story

Archive reflection due

Tuesday February 20

Samuel Asbury, “The Amateur Historian”
David Gaza, “Myth, Blood and Ink”
Bill Groneman, Defense of a Legend, short selection
The Texas Revolution and the Narrative of Jose Enrique de la Pena

Thursday February 22

Randy Roberts, A Line in the Sand: The Alamo in Blood and Memory, Chapter Seven and Eight
“Davy Crockett” (Disney version)

First formal paper due

Tuesday February 27

Tony Horowitz, Confederates in the Attic

Thursday March 1st

La Wren’s Nest
Merrick’s Privateers
Underground Railroad Re-enactments
Association for Living History
Living History UK forums

Tuesday March 6th

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter
Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites

Thursday March 8th



Tuesday March 20th

Memorialization: Collective, Personal, Institutional
Alessandro Portelli, The Death of Luigi Trastulli, selection
Claudia Koonz, “Between Memory and Oblivion: Concentration Camps in German Memory”, in John Gillis, ed., Commemorations
Art Spiegelman, Maus
United States Holocaust Museum

Thursday March 22nd

Norman Tyler, Historic Preservation: An Introduction, selection
Preserve America
Charles Fisher, “Promoting the Preservation of Historic Buildings”, APT Bulletin, 1998.
Mitchell Schwarzer, “Myths of Permanence”, Journal of Architectural Education, 1994.
Museum design due

Tuesday March 27th
Kirk Savage, “The Politics of Memory: Black Emancipation and the Civil War Monument”, in John Gillis, ed., Commemorations
Sitting Bull Monument Foundation
Crazy Horse Memorial
Friends of the Little Bighorn Battlefield: “The Story of the Indian Memorial”
Custer Battlefield Historical Museum Forums
Live Chat Transcript: “Custer’s Last Stand”, with Paul Hutton
Petition for Confederate Historical Monument
Confederate Heritage Month
Daughters of the Confederacy
Debating the Confederate Flag
Markeroni: Historical Markers and Historic Landmarks
Wisconsin Historical Markers

Thursday March 29th

District Six Museum
Eric Gable and Richard Handler, The New History in an Old Museum: Creating the Past at Colonial Williamsburg, pp. 50-101
Enid Schildkrout, “Ambiguous Messages and Ironic Twists: Into the Heart of Africa and The Other Museum”, Museum Anthropology, 15:2
Paul Lane, “Breaking the Mould? Exhibiting Khoisan in Southern African Museums”, Anthropology Today, 5: October 1996.

Tuesday April 3rd

Textbooks and Curricula

Kyle Ward, History in the Making

Tuesday April 5th

Joseph Moreau, Schoolbook Nation, pp. 52-136
Diane Ravitch, The Language Police, pp. 133-156

Tuesday April 10th

Kathleen Woods Malsalski, “Examining the Japanese Textbook Controversies”
David Barton, “God: Missing in Action From American History”
Textbook selections (see folder called TEXTBOOK on Blackboard).

Textbook page due.

Thursday April 12th

Public Policy on History and Memory

“Long Day’s Journey Into Night” (film, excerpts)
Truth and Reconciliation Commission website
Antje Krog, Country of My Skull

Tuesday April 17th

David Horowitz, Uncivil Wars, pp. 7-9, pp. 70-83 (This will be on Blackboard on Monday.)
Elazar Barkan, “The Worst Is Yet to Come: Abu Ghraib and the Politics of Not Apologizing”, in Elazar Barkan, ed., Taking Wrongs Seriously: Apologies and Reconciliation. E-text edition in Tripod. (It’s Chapter 14, the last chapter in the text.)
N’Cobra website
Walter Williams, “The Legacy of Slavery Hustle”
“Brown University Applauded For Examination of Ties to Slavery”, Diverse Online
The US Senate Apology for Lynching
North Carolina Legislature Apology for Slavery

Thursday April 19th

Historical Fiction

Each student will be assigned one of these books. You are responsible for making an entry on the class weblog describing the way that the novel makes use of history, about the mode and form of its representation of the past.

Larry McMurtry, Lonesome Dove
George McDonald, Flashman
Patrick O’Brian, The Wine-Dark Sea
Amy Fetzer, The Irish Princess
Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose
Walter Scott, Ivanhoe
Michael Shaara, The Killer Angels
Eric Shanower, A Thousand Ships
Tracy Chevalier, Girl With Pearl Earring
James Clavell, Shogun
Neal Stephenson, Quicksilver
Elizabeth Lane, Apache Fire
Judith Lindberg, The Thrall’s Tale
Jack Cavanaugh, Quest For the Promised Land
Robert Graves, I, Claudius
Caleb Carr, The Alienist
Frank Miller, 300
Gillian Bradshaw, Beacon at Alexandria
Henryk Sienkievicz, With Fire and Sword
Kathryn Laskey, A Journey to the New World (Dear America series)
James Michener, Centennial
Kathleen Winsor, Forever Amber
Gary Jennings, Aztec

More as needed.

Tuesday April 24th

Hollywood Histories

Robert A. Rosenstone, History on Film Film on History, short selection

We will have a showing of a program of short selections from these films and TV series in preparation for this class session.
“Reds”, “Spartacus”, “Patton”, “1776”, “Rome”, “Centennial”, “Deadwood”, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, “O Brother Where Art Thou?”, “Black Adder”, “Little House on the Prarie”, “Lawrence of Arabia”, “Schindler’s List”, “Black Robe”, “The Lion in Winter”, “Gone With the Wind”, “Gladiator”

One-paragraph abstract of final project due.

Thursday April 26th

Time Travel and Alternate History

The class will be divided into seven groups; each group will be assigned one of these books, and will need to post on the class weblog about it.

Diana Galbadon, Outlander
Connie Willis, Doomsday Book
Harry Turtedove, Guns of the South
Steven Barnes, Lion’s Blood
Robert Harris, Fatherland
Kim Stanley Robinson, The Years of Rice and Salt
Philip Roth, The Plot Against America

“Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” (film)

Tuesday May 1st
Collectors and memorabilia

Racist Memorabilia collection at Ferris State University

Presidential Campaign Memorabilia at Duke University

Examine eBay under the following categories, and examine some of the items being sold:

Antiques–Weathervanes, Lightning Rods
Antiques–Books, Manuscripts–Asian
Antiques–Science Instruments
Historical Memorabilia
Collectibles–Militaria–World War 2
Collectibles–Black Americana

Thursday May 3rd

Presentations and discussion of final projects.

Final project due May 14th, 5pm. No extensions.