Search

Search results

    Dickens in America | Freshman Seminar 64h

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2019

    What happened when Britain’s most celebrated novelist visited the world’s most celebrated experiment in democracy? This course will reconstruct Charles Dickens’ travels through the United States in 1842. We’ll read his travel narrative, the novel he wrote about the United States, and critical responses. We’ll visit some of the place he visited.  And we’ll produce our own responses to Dickens’s work, including in the twenty-first century’s favorite serial form: the podcast.

    The Election of 1800 | Freshman Seminar 47x

    Semester: 

    In 1800, Thomas Jefferson ran against the incumbent, John Adams, in arguably the most important presidential election in American history.  Students in this seminar will re-visit the election by researching the debate, state by state, in newspapers, political pamphlets, and the private letters of politicians and political observers.  Meanwhile, as the semester progresses, we will watch the current presidential election unfold, giving us ample opportunity to contrast contemporary political rhetoric with the charged campaigning of two centuries past.  

    The American Revolution | History 1404

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2012

    This hands-on research seminar and conference course will take you out of the classroom and into the archives. An intensive study of the political, cultural, literary, and social history of the American Revolution, with an emphasis on Boston from the Writs of Assistance, in 1761 to the British evacuation of the city, in 1776. The class includes field trips to Boston and Cambridge historic sites, archives, museums, and graveyards.

    Historical Methods | History 97i | What is Biography?

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2019

    History 97 is a team-taught introduction to the discipline of history. It is required for all sophomore History concentrators. Six different seminars are offered. In each, over the course of the term, you will explore the historian’s craft by studying and practicing a particular method. In my seminar, we will consider the methods used by biographers. Biographers write histories of lives. Their storytelling is often novelistic but their standards of evidence are those of the historian. They confront distinctive questions: What lives are worth writing? What is the relationship between the...

    Read more about Historical Methods | History 97i | What is Biography?

    Early American History | History 2600

    Semester: 

    This graduate seminar explores the historiography of early America.  Readings proceed chronologically, from 1492 to 1800.  But since what constitutes “early America” is in dispute, we begin with that debate. While the emphasis in this course is on historiographical development over the course of the twentieth century, rather than on the most dazzling work of the past few years, certain recent trends emerge on this syllabus:  the interest on global or at least transatlantic approaches and the rise of both cultural history and what some scholars call the “new political history...

    Read more about Early American History | History 2600

    Historical Writing | History 2616

    Semester: 

    An intensive writing workshop for history graduate students across field groups.  Readings consist of essays on historical writing and samples of particularly effective prose.  The purpose of the readings is to help you think about how and maybe even why you want to write about the past.  The work of the course consists of weekly writing assignments that we will together critique in class, paying special attention not only to standards of evidence and modes of argument but also to plot, character, and storytelling.  

    The Story of America:  Essays on Origins
    Lepore, J. 2012. The Story of America: Essays on Origins. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press. Abstract

    A finalist for the 2013 PEN Literary Award for the Art of the Essay

    In The Story of America, Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore investigates American origin stories—from John Smith’s account of the founding of Jamestown in 1607 to Barack Obama’s 2009 inaugural address—to show how American democracy is bound up with the history of print. Over the centuries, Americans have read and written their way into a political culture of ink and type.
    Part civics primer, part cultural history, The Story of America excavates the origins of everything from the paper ballot and the Constitution to the I.O.U. and the dictionary. Along the way it presents fresh readings of Benjamin Franklin’s Way to Wealth; Thomas Paine’s Common Sense; “The Raven,” by Edgar Allan Poe; and “Paul Revere’s Ride,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; as well as histories of lesser-known genres, including biographies of presidents, novels of immigrants, and accounts of the Depression. From past to present, Lepore argues, Americans have wrestled with the idea of democracy by telling stories. In this thoughtful and provocative book, Lepore offers at once a history of origin stories and a meditation on storytelling itself.

Pages