History | History Seminar for Teachers
J301 | 20396 | W. Gamber

Topic: Nineteenth-Century American Lives: Biography, Autobiography,
and Microhistory
Above class for Teacher Certification Social Studies Students only.
Enrollment in other Education courses required. Contact Dorothy
Slota, Education 1064 for on-line authorization and information.
Above class COLL Intensive Writing section.

What can studying individual lives teach us about history?  This
class addresses that question by considering three distinct but
related genres:  biography (an account of one personís life),
autobiography/ memoir (an individualís account of his/her own life
or parts of his/her life), and microhistory (an account in which a
historian uses specific individuals or events as a means of
illuminating larger issues).

Our common reading will include examples of all three genres and
will encompass both famous and ordinary nineteenth-century
Americans.  You will also have the opportunity to read a biography,
autobiography, or microhistory that deals with a nineteenth-century
individual or event that interests you.  And you will have the
opportunity to write a biography or microhistory based on your own
research in primary sources.

Requirements:  This is a seminar, which means that your attendance
and active participation are essential.  Because this is an
intensive-writing seminar, we will devote significant time and
attention to the art and craft of writing. To that end, you will
complete brief weekly writing assignments and one longer research
paper of approximately 10 pages.