Michael F. Quinn
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.
War, armed conflict, and its aftereffects have inspired more textual testimonies than any other kind of human event. This seminar will focus on the history and significance of the soldier's memoir in both the ancient and modern worlds, with particular emphasis on the intersections between history and memory, the problems of defining the genre, authorial status and intention, the community of soldiers, and the use of autobiography and memoir as historical sources.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
This course will follow a typical seminar format. Each week we will read primary and secondary sources to be discussed in class (usually between 200-300 pages each week). Each week, one or more students will be assigned the task of helping to organize and lead the discussion.
There are no prerequisites for this course, although a serious interest in the history of warfare and experience of soldiers would be an advantage. Regular attendance is essential, as well as a committment to complete each week's lengthy reading assignment (usually at least 200-300 pages). Students will also be required to write short papers weekly and participate in class discussions.
Class assignments and grading