Lynn M. Thomas
Introduction to the discipline of history for new or prospective majors. Emphasizes the basic skills of reading, analysis, and communication (both verbal and written) that are central to the historian's craft. Each seminar discusses a different subject or problem.
This course will introduce new and prospective history majors to the variety of methods and perspectives that inform scholarly study of the past. The aim is to strengthen the basic skills of reading, research, oral communication, and written analysis that are crucial to the historian's craft. These skills will be developed by exploring the past two hundred years of South African history. We will focus particular attention on how ongoing debates about the past shape South Africa's post-apartheid present. We will consider these issues raised by this history through close examination of a range of sources including life histories, a novel, memoirs, ethnographies, and historical essays.
Student learning goals
enhance analytical thinking, speaking, and writing skills
improve overall writing skills
explore the diversity and complexity of South African history
understand how the South Africa's past informs its present and futures
appreciate the agency of Africans in shaping their own history
General method of instruction
A desire to practice the skills of being a historian and a curiosity to learn about South African history.
Class assignments and grading
The class will meet twice per week for discussion of the readings. You will be expected to come to each class prepared to discuss and debate the assigned readings. The assignments consist of readings, class participation, and various writing assignments. There will be no midterms or final exam.
Class participation 20% Writing assignments 80%