HST 301 Spring 2007 Syllabus

HST 301: Introduction to the Study of History

Spring, 2007

ILC 141, Tues/Thurs 9:30-10:45


Prof. Susan A. Crane

Office/Hours: Soc Sci 237A, TTh 1:00-2:00 and by appt.


Course description

HST 301 is intended to introduce History Majors to historical research. Students who have taken or are enrolled in HST 396 are not eligible for this course.

The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the nature and practice of writing history and to teach the critical reading, writing, research, and analytical skills necessary for history majors. This includes reading for argument and thesis; comparing and contrasting multiple points of view regarding an historical event; interpreting primary sources; the ability to track down and use scholarly resources; and writing clearly and persuasively.


Required Books and Readings

All assigned readings are available at the UA Bookstore and through ERes, the electronic reserves on Sabio. Required texts available for purchase:

Natalie Zemon Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre

Charles Stewart et al, eds., Imagining the Twentieth Century (available as Course Packet)

ERes password = history


Assignment and Grading Information

Papers: All papers must be double-spaced and 12-pt. font (except Research Findings, which have a unique format). Papers = 75% of final grade

  • 4 Research Findings (2-3 page bibliographies of resources)
  • 3-5 page paper: writing up oral history interview
  • 2-page debate paper


Class participation [25% of the final grade]:

Includes attendance, in-class discussion participation, quizzes and one-page papers


Attendance Policy : Class participation and regular attendance is an important component of this course. If you know you will have to miss a class for legitimate reasons, you are expected to let the instructor know in advance. No late work will be accepted without prior permission.


Failure to credit the source of any statement which is not the result of your own creative endeavor is plagiarism, which is a violation of academic integrity and personal honesty and will result in a failing grade for the course .

If you have any concerns about what plagiarism is and how to avoid it, visit the Main Library website: http://www.library.arizona.edu/help/tutorials/plagiarism/plagiarism-res….

Course Schedule


Jan. 11 Introduction to the Course - What does it mean to remember the past? Assignment for Tuesday : visit the war memorials on campus. Write a one-page description of your reactions to them. What do you think were the goals of each memorial? Were the methods of achieving these goals successful?


Jan. 16 Guest: Aurelio Rosano, Tucson artist -- Due: 1 page on memorials

Jan. 18 Read/discuss Lucian, "How to Write History" [ERes]

Due: Questions and Thesis statement


Jan. 23 Guest: Prof. Steve Johnstone. Due: 1-page summary of Lucian, 70 words or less

Jan. 25 Library Workshop with Ruth Dickstein - meet in Main Library Rm. 112 (Info Commons)


Jan. 30 Read/discuss: "A Memorable Decision..." [ERes]

Feb. 1 Guest: Prof. Emerita Helen Nader . Read/discuss: Natalie Zemon Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre, pp. 1-61. Due in class: reading notes


Feb. 6 Library Workshop with Jen Tellman - meet in Main Library Rm. 112 (Info Commons)

Feb 7 PM: Natalie Zemon Davis lecture - attendance required

Feb. 8 Read/discuss: Natalie Zemon Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre, pp. 62-125


Feb. 13 Due in class: Research findings #1, "Martin Guerre"

Feb. 15 View/discuss film: "The Return of Martin Guerre"


Feb. 20 View/discuss film: "The Return of Martin Guerre"

Feb. 22 Read: Stewart, Imagining the Twentieth Century , pp. 2-51

Due in class: 2-page paper comparing film and book of "Martin Guerre" for historical representation

Hand out in class: RF #2 assignment sheet


Feb. 27 Library Workshop with Jen Tellman - meet in Main Library Rm. 112 (Info Commons)

Mar. 1 Read/discuss: Stewart, Imagining the Twentieth Century, pp. 52-107

Mar. 6 Read/discuss Bonnie Smith article [ERes] Due in class: track one reference from the article

Mar. 8 Due in class: Research findings #2


** Spring Break **

Mar. 20 The Decision to Drop the Bomb. Read/discuss: Laura Hein and Mark Selden, Living with the Bomb , pp. 3-34 [ERes]

Mar. 22 Truman's Decision. Read/discuss documents online: http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/bomb/large/index.php


Mar. 27 In-class Debate: Why was the atomic bomb dropped?

Due in class: 2-3 page debate paper

Mar. 29 Oral History as Historical Method. Guest: Prof. Jadwiga Pieper

Read and discuss: Alessandro Portelli, "The Death of Luigi Trastulli" and Portelli, "What Makes Oral History Different?" [ERes]


Apr. 3 Oral History: Approaches, Development

Read and discuss: Charles Morrissey, "On Oral History Interviewing" and Alistair Thomson, "Fifty Years On" [ERes]

Apr. 5 Oral History: Project Choices, Interview Strategies

Email project statement to instructor by 9:30 AM

Due in class: Project Goal Statement and Interview Questions for Oral History Assignment (2 copies)


Apr. 10 Oral History Presentations

Due in class: 3-4 page Interview write-up

RF #3 assignment handed out

Apr. 12 Textbook Evaluation exercise

Due: Bring a history textbook to class


Apr. 17 Commemoration: Primary Sources in the Press

Due in class: Research Findings #3

Apr. 19 Guest Lecture: Prof. Richard Eaton , "What is World History?"


Apr. 24 Working in the Archive. Meet in Special Collections at Main Library

Apr. 26 Call Number Project (RF #4) assignment handed out


May 1 Final project due in class: Research Findings #4

ERes Readings

Lucian, "How to Write History" in Lucian, Works vol. 5 (1959), pp. 3-73 (odd numbered pages only).

  1. Bonnie Smith, "What is a Historian?" in her The Gender of History: Men, Women and Historical Practice (1998), 306 pages; pp. 70-85.
  2. Bonnie Smith, "Gender and the Practices of Scientific History," American Historical Review 100:4 (October, 1995), pp. 1150-1176.
  3. "A Memorable Decision...", translated by Jeanette K. Ringold and Janet Lewis, Triquarterly 55 (Fall, 1982), pp. 86-103.
  4. Laura Hein and Mark Selden, "Commemoration and Silence: Fifty Years of Remembering the Bomb in America and Japan " in Hein and Selden, eds., Living with the Bomb: American and Japanese Cultural Conflicts in the Nuclear Age (1997) , pp. 3-34
  5. Alessandro Portelli, "The Death of Luigi Trastulli" in The Death of Luigi Trastulli and Other Stories (1991)
  6. Alessandro Portelli, "What Makes Oral History Different" in R. Parks and A. Thomson, eds., The Oral History Reader (1998), pp. 63-74.
  7. Alistair Thomson, "Fifty Years On: An International Perspective on Oral History," The Journal of American History , 85:2 (Sept, 1998), pp. 581-595.
  8. Charles Morrissey, "On Oral History Interviewing" in R. Parks and A. Thomson, eds., The Oral History Reader (1998).