US History as Myth-Busting

In the third post of the ‘Teaching America’ series Dr Andrew Hartman (Illinois State University), author of the forthcoming monograph A War for the Soul Of America: A History of the Culture Wars, discusses the ways in which graduate students can be encouraged to engage with ‘America as an idea’ in intellectual history modules. Continue reading

Teaching Radicalism

The second post in the ‘Teaching America’ series is by Dr Christopher Phelps (University of Nottingham), co-author of the new title Radicals in America: The U.S. Left since the Second World War, who reflects upon the intellectual advantages and challenges when faced with designing and teaching the history of U.S. radicalism. Continue reading

Teaching U.S Women’s History in British Universities: a Personal and Political History

The first post in our new HOTCUS-led ‘Teaching America’ series is by Dr Kate Dossett (University of Leeds) who reflects on her own experiences of designing a course on U.S. women’s history, and how she has encouraged British undergraduate students to consider how their own gender identity shapes their approach to the study of history. Continue reading

Teaching History and Theory through Popular Culture: My First Time Designing a Module

“The academic analysis of popular entertainment can serve to bridge the chasm between traditionally “highbrow” literature and the more populist media that often defines a student’s pre-existing cultural experience. One educator, Rana Houshmand, describes this practice as the “scaffolding [of] difficult literacy skills” – a strategy which has proven remarkably successful in foundational projects where the critical analysis of hip-hop lyrics has been used as means of connecting students’ contextual experiences with the analytical skills developed in the classroom.” Continue reading

Historians at Play: American History in Modern Board Games

“Putting Freedom back into the spotlight, it offers a unique way to physically interact with the issue of slavery. The mechanics of the game are assigned to a real history and the slaves that the players cannot save represent the real slaves that were doomed a fate that the game leaves to the players’ imagination. Physically moving the slaves around the United States, represented by simple wooden cubes, makes it difficult not to treat the slaves as objects.” Continue reading

Academics speak out: How institutions and academic associations can ease the “oversupply” and low morale of PGRs and ECRs

“As a general principle, improving the working conditions of academics with non-permanent jobs received the highest rating of any suggestion. 86% of respondents said conditions had to be improved for postgraduates and early career researchers, with every identifiable group agreeing that it is important. But some respondents argued that as long as there is an oversupply of academics their labour will be mistreated.” Continue reading

Why High School Teachers should teach History through and beyond Narrative

“A postmodernist historian would hold that history, and historiography, cannot be simply quantified and determined as one particular narrative with one particular meaning. The problem with this is that non-narrative history typically represents the larger group – the cohort or mass actor. By contrast, a narrative approach to history-telling is more likely to focus on the individual, a character or narrator who reveals their personal experiences and perhaps their emotional responses to historical events and dilemmas. Students of history can commonly relate more easily to the individual, with whom they may be able to identify common experiences or emotions.” Continue reading