History, especially European history, has been coopted in recent years by right-wing extremists and others who wish to promote a vision of the past that fits an ideological agenda. For your project, you will choose an “encounter” that intersects with course themes and topics (cultural misunderstanding, identity, gender, religion, barbarians, etc.)
and research how that encounter has been represented (or left out of) in contemporary news articles, films, tv series, podcasts, or video games. . How has your topic been interpreted and mythologized in the present and to what end? Use your knowledge of other sources and the historical context to critically analyze interpretations of your topic and the time period.
Some questions that might inform your research: What is significant about your topic?
How have historians explained your topic vs. how popular media has explained it? What methods and ideas do historians use? For your final, you will need at least one primary source (an artifact, image, etc. created in the time you’re looking at), one scholarly secondary source (how a trained historian has approached this topic – an article,
university-published book, etc.), and at least one version of the topic as it appears in popular culture (could be a movie, tv series, sensational documentary a la History Channel, a novel, comic book, or even a conspiracy theory.)
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