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Armstrong Atlantic State University HIST 3800 An Introduction to Public History: “Nearby” and “Controversial” Course Information Session: Fifteen week semester (Tuesday, August 14 through Thursday, November 29) Professor: Dr. Michael Benjamin Day & Time: T & Th 4:30 am to 5:45 pm Room: 201 Hawes; Office: 108 C Hawes Office Hours: 11:00 am to 1:00 pm: 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm (T & Th); or by appointment Email: Michael.Benjamin@armstrong.edu (preferable) Phone: 912-344-2704

Oglethorpe Square, Savannah, Georgia Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Course Description: This course introduces basic historiographical and anthropological approaches used in public history as a practice and focuses on historic Savannah. The course will survey different venues involved in the work of public historians including museum studies, library services, national parks, and heritage sites. Investigating “nearby history,” the course draws upon your critical analysis as informed by different disciplines including photography, sculpture, architecture, literature, the decorative arts, film studies, folk life and preservation studies, along with basic 1


methods of historical analysis. This course also examines the argument that public history has functioned to exclude important experiences needed for meaningful understanding of our past as much as it has to include such experiences. In effect, addressing this “controversy,” one of the course assignments proposes field studies that might correct this imbalance and in doing so broaden, deepened, and enrich our capacity to discover, reveal, and make use of our past. By design, several class meetings will take place off campus, in field studies investigating the streets and neighborhoods of Savannah’s historical sites and venues. Attendance at these class meetings is mandatory and as with regular class meetings will be verified. With a nearby history focus, students will be assigned collaborative studies of an event, person (s), place, or activity in which to determine historical significance and capacity for designation as a historical site. In addition, during the semester students will be assigned short essays in class on course readings and each student will be expected to actively participate in class discussions. At the conclusion of the course a pamphlet listing your historic designation proposals will circulate to among others the Georgia Historical Society. Your course grade will depend on these assignments as well as the quality and consistency of your course participation. Readings and other course assignments are to be completed for the class meeting for which the assignment(s) appears on the syllabus unless otherwise noted. Outcomes At the end of the course, students will be able to: • • • • •

Discuss the historical development of public history as a discipline and its challenges. Identify and relate the various disciplines that inform the practice of public historians. Research, assess and critically contextualize source material in the preparation of a historical document for application as a historically designated site in a public history project. Enhance the skills needed to collaborate in group tasks of public historical importance. Engage in informed discussions about the value of public history and their sites of interpretation to society generally and the lives of its citizens in particular.

Prerequisites A prerequisite for this course is any previous history course. Please consult Armstrong Atlantic State University Catalogue 2012-2013 for details of eligibility. Required Readings: Horton, James Oliver and Lois E. Horton. Slavery and Public History: The Tough Stuff of American Memory (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006) Kyvig, David E. and Myron A. Marty. Nearby History: Exploring the Past around You (Lanham: Rowland & Littlefield, 2010) Journal articles posted on Vista or distributed during class throughout the course will also be required. 2


Supplemental Readings: Garvin, Ellis. A Guide to Our Two Savannahs (Savannah: Garvin Publishing Company, 2009) Johnson, Whittington, B. Black Savannah 1788 – 1864 (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1996) Yuhl, Stephanie E. The Making of Historic Charleston: A Golden Haze of Memory (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005) Accessibility Statement: Students who need course accommodations because of a disability must contact the instructor as soon as possible to speak confidentially about the needed accommodation. Students should first contact the Office of Disability Service. This office is the office responsible for approving and coordinating reasonable accommodations and services for Armstrong’s courses. Note that students who need accommodations must be registered with the Office of Disability Services for such services before requesting accommodations from the instructor. Office of Disability Services Division of Student Affairs Memorial College Center, Room 208 11935 Abercorn Street Savannah, GA 31419 912.344.2744 – Telephone; 912.344.3068 - Fax disability.services@armstrong.edu - Email http://www.armstrong.edu/Departments/disabilityservices/disabilityservices_welcome Website Course Expectations Students are expected to be active learners. Evidence of active learning includes: *Engagement in weekly lessons and activities (e.g., discussions) *Completing readings, watching media and listening to audio content *Asking questions of the professor and classmates *Offering insights to course discussions on political and constitutional material Course Communication & Grading Instructor response time to email is 24 to 48 hours. Generally, grades will be assigned and reported within 7 to 10 days. Assignments Participation in class discussions – 10% (as measured over the session) History Notes – 15% (5 of 7 five to ten typed sentence field notes @ 3% each) In class reading responses – 15% (3 randomly timed in class short essay @5% each) Public History Venue Quizzes – 10% (5 quizzes @ 2% each) Collaborative Historical Marker Application – 25% (group grade) Collaborative Historical Marker Presentation – 25% (group 15% and individual 10% grade) 3


Course Procedures • Changes in the Course Syllabus: I may make changes in the syllabus and assignments as needed. Changes will be communicated to the students via an announcement in the classroom. •

Due Dates: As a student in this course, it is expected that you will complete assignments on time. Assignments are due no later than the assigned due date and time. Exceptions to this policy will require explicit permission of the instructor in writing.

Graded Assignments and Taurabian Style: All submitted assignments must include your name, (or group designation) course number, title of the assignment, and date. This information (unless submitted by blue book) should appear in the top left hand corner of the first page in the form appearing below. All submitted papers must be double-spaced, 12-point font and in proper Taurabian style. Jane Smith (Group A) History 3800 Collaborative Historical Designation Study October 23, 2012

Assignment Submissions: All assignments will be submitted in class. Keep a copy of each submitted assignment in the event that one or more is misplaced, lost or otherwise accidentally destroyed. Two or more pages must be stapled.

Going to Market, a Scene near Savannah, Ga. 1875 Library of Congress

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Weekly Schedule

Weeks & Focus

Weekly Objectives

Week 1:

Content Objectives:

Tuesday, August 14 Verification Thursday, August 16 Read Kyvig

To establish a working definition of public history from the perspective of the public, public historians, and the academy.

Focus: What is public history? How does one practice it? Who are the stakeholders? Where are the venues? And how are they made public?

To be aware of the basic historical development of the discipline of public history To recognize the publications, tools and methods of the public historian in the practice of her or his discipline To become aware of the critical challenges met by public historians in the practice of public history To Recognize the interpretive value of the history that can be done nearby.

Assignments & Activities Attendance Verified Introduction and overview Tuesday, August 14 In class writing *: Thursday, August 16 – Describe what you think the practice of public history involves and where you believe its challenges lie. Due: Thurs., Aug. 16 Readings: Kyvig and Marty, preface, intro., & chapter 1

E-Trip to the Library of Congress: At LC, gather anthropological, cultural geographical, or folklore evidence with Georgia connections.

Week 2:

Content Objectives:

Tuesday, August 21 Read Kyvig Thursday, August 23 Read Kyvig

To identify the sources public historians utilize to trace the nearby histories that they tell.

Focus: Is public history nearby history? If so, what public history can be done nearby? And what kind of skills are needed to do it?

History Note 1: In class be prepared to To recognize the various perceptive skills needed discuss the evidence and how it illustrates to collect historical evidence nearby the concerns of public historians. Recognizing the skills needed to identify, evaluate, verify and trace evidence used to tell Readings: Kyvig and public histories nearby Marty, chapters 2 & 3

To recognize the variety of skills in anthropology, cultural geography, and folklore for example on which public historians depend

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Week 3:

Content Objectives:

Tuesday, August 28 Read Kyvig & Marty

To identify the opportunities published sources and unpublished sources offer the public historian in tracing the stories to be told.

Thursday, August 30 Read Kyvig & Marty To recognize the kind of questions that should be asked of both sources by public historians tracing stories they wish to tell. Focus: Using published and To understand the elements in common unpublished sources between published and unpublished sources and to trace the histories those which differ between such sources when used by public historians to trace the stories they wish to tell.

Week 4:

Content Objectives:

Tuesday, Sept. 4 Read Kyvig & Marty Thursday, Sept. 6 Read Kyvig & Marty

To establish oral and visual methods of public history studies as essential to its practice

Focus: Assessing oral and visual accounts from the past

To establish the conditions and guidelines under which oral history methods are used effectively To understand that documentary practices are needed to insure appropriate and effective use of oral sources of historical evidence To practice techniques by which visual documents are read, effectively To recognize the limitations of photography and other visually oriented historical documents

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E-Trip to the Library of Congress: At LC, identify a published source and an unpublished source concerning the same or different subject matter. History Note 2: In ten typed sentences assess the advantages of these two sources of evidence for public historians in tracing histories nearby. Due in class: Aug. 30 Readings: Kyvig and Marty, chapters 6 & 7 E-Trip to the Library of Congress: Listen to an audio account from LC’s Folk History collection; select a visual record from LC’s Farm Adm. collection. History Note 3: In ten typed sentences assess the advantages and the disadvantages of these sources of evidence for public historians. Due in class: Aug. 30 Readings: Kyvig and Marty, chapters 6 & 7


Week 5:

Content Objectives:

Tuesday, Sept. 11 Read Kyvig & Marty

To examine the role of architecture in the evaluation of historical significance

Thursday, Sept. 13 Read Kyvig & Marty

To assess the function and use of geography in the evaluation of historically significance

Focus: Assessing artifacts, landscapes, and buildings as public history sites

To critically consider the counter narratives that may be found inside or outside the published “text” of a historical artifact, landscape or building

E-Trip to the Library of Congress: Select an artifact, building or landscape that illustrates Savannah’s public history. History Note 4: In ten typed sentences offer a “counter narrative” to a reading of Savannah’s public history. Due in class: Sept. 13 Readings: Kyvig and Marty, chapters 8 & 9

Cabins under the oaks, the Hermitage, Savannah, Ga Library of Congress

Weeks & Focus

Weekly Objectives 7

Assignments &


Activities Week 6:

Content Objectives:

Tuesday, Sept. 18

To identify the qualities and conditions in which historical designation of a person, place or activity has been accomplished

Thursday, Sept. 20 Read GHS Guidelines Focus: Assessing public history sites with its public interactions and functions

To assess the environmental conditions with which historically designated persons, places and activities interact as public history documents To critically consider the counter narratives that may be found within or without the published “text� of a historical site, place or location

Week 7:

Content Objectives:

Tuesday, Sept. 25 Read Kyvig Read Historic Preservation Thursday, Sept. 27 Read Kyvig

To identify the allies and resources needed to support the practice of public historians

Focus: identifying and preserving local public history sources

Analysis of different approaches to leaving records important to the practice of public history.

To recognize the function of the National Register of Historic Places in preserving local history and the practice of public historians

Identifying challenges to record preservation and the role and function of archival methods in record retention, maintenance and preservation.

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Field study in the Public Squares: Meet at City Market Square near the monument to Haitian soldiers. History Note 5: Bring a small notebook to note historical significance for your designation study. Readings: GHS Historic Designation Guidelines Lecture: Respect Des Fonds: The Impulse to Collect Low Country Coastal AfricanAmericana History Note 6: Identify a source of local history material not known to the public and describe in ten sentences the potential value of this source in the hands of a public historian. Readings: Kyvig and Marty, chap. 10 & 11; Historic Preservation (hand out)


Week 8: Tuesday, Oct. 2 Read Kyvig Thursday, Oct. 4 Study: Two Savannahs Focus: Shifting to the “controversial” topics of public history that can be studied “nearby” Week 9: Tuesday, Oct. 9 Read Horton Saturday, Oct. 13* Group A at 10:00 Group B at 1:00 Focus: Practicing public history in private spaces

Content Objectives: To begin considering ways to broaden Savannah’s public history narrative with historic designation projects. Envisioning how to frame the local “nearby” historical experience within a broader national if not universal frame of reference Identifying the writing practices and technics to conceptualize a project of historical value

Content Objectives: To survey random collections of “things” people save to assess for inclusivity and or exclusivity in private practices with public meanings. To formulate theories that might explain the quality of inclusiveness and or exclusiveness revealed in private practices with public meanings. To survey random collections of “things” people save to assess for stereotypicality or meaningful generality in private/public meanings.

A Black Family at the Hermitage, Savannah, Ga. Library of Congress 9

History Note 7: Produce an outline of the general factors you would include to argue historical significance for a designation study. Due: Oct. 4 Readings: Kyvig and Marty, chap. 12 Film Study: Two Savannahs Field study Collectible Shops: Meet in parking lot at (Group A) 10 am Habersham and Qwinette St. (Group B) 1 pm Bay Street History Note 8: Bring a notebook. Identify the ways in which black Americans appear (if at all) in the collection of materials surveyed. Readings: Horton, Intro. & chap. 1


Week 10: Tuesday, Oct. 16 Read Horton Thursday, Oct. 18 Read Horton Focus: Memory and the Public’s History

Week 11: Tuesday, Oct. 23 Read Horton Thursday, Oct. 25 Read Horton Focus: Institutions and stakeholders in the controversy over slavery’s history

Content Objectives: To establish the role of memory and its attributes in the formation of historical understanding To recognize the different forms of memory, social memory, public memory, and personal memories as contributing to the formation of public history experiences To analyze the public historians challenge with the institutionalization of memory within public education, commemorations, and recreations.

Content Objectives: To identify the venues of controversy within which the history of slavery and these venues inform the public To recognize the different qualitative responses to the controversy over slavery’s history within and outside of institutional experiences. To identify the competing stakeholders in the controversy over slavery’s interpretation and the national implications introduced by its meaning

Lightening Express, Savannah, Ga., 1886 Library of Congress 10

Subgroup meeting 1: Selection and planning for historic designation marker project Group Note 1: Memo itemizing project plans (include attendees). Student memo: In five sentences summarize findings of collectibles tour Readings: Horton, chap. 2 & 3 Subgroup meeting 2: Site Inspection and planning for historic designation marker project Group memo 2: Group memo (typed) with itemization of project plans. Readings: Horton, chap. 4 & 5


Bull St. [Street], Savannah, Ga., c1907 Library of Congress

Week 12: Tuesday, Oct. 30 Read Horton Thursday, Nov. 1 Read Horton Focus: The relation between the public’s discourse and public history Week 13: Tuesday, Nov. 6 Read Horton Thursday, Nov. 8 Read Horton Focus: Memory, memorialization, and commemoration

Content Objectives: To distinguish agendas from stakeholder strategies in interpreting a controversial past. To deconstruct the public discourse about slavery and its impact on the public’s historical understanding. To articulate the difference between heritage and history while recognizing the relationship between the two. Content Objectives: To recognize the difference between memory and memorialization and commemoration. To reconstruct the making of history as occurs in the production of monuments, plagues, buildings and cemeteries. To analyze the subtlety explosive interplay between heritage tourism and public history

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Subgroup meeting 3: Planning for historic marker project Subgroup memo 3: Memo (typed) itemizing project development. Due: Nov. 1 Readings: Horton, chap. 6 & 7 Subgroup meeting 4: Planning historic marker project Subgroup memo 4: Memo (typed) with itemizing project development. Readings: Horton, chap. 8 & 9


Cotton at railway terminus, Savannah, Ga. Between 1890 and 1901 Library of Congress Week 14: Tuesday, Nov. 20 Read Horton Happy Thanksgiving! Focus: Revision, Restoration, and Reconciliation

Content Objectives: Recognizing the use of the past in revisionist political practices with public history Identifying reconciliation as a component of revisionist practice within the challenges of public historians Restoration in the practice of public historians

Subgroup meeting 5: Selection and planning for historic designation marker project Subgroup memo 5: Group memo (typed) with itemization of project development. Readings: Horton, chap. 10 & 11

Final Student Submissions and Presentations

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African American boy holding out shoe shine box, 1899 Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Week 15: Tuesday, Nov. 27 Student Presentations Thursday, Nov. 29 Student Presentations

Content Objectives

Student Presentations

Subgroup study submissions and presentations: Group A 30 minutes Group B 30 minutes Group C 30 minutes Group D 30 minutes Group E 30 minutes

Focus: Students

Historic Designation Study Due: Nov. 27

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Written Document Analysis Worksheet 14


1.

TYPE OF DOCUMENT (Check one): ___ Newspaper ___ Letter ___ Patent ___ Memorandum

2.

___ Map ___ Telegram ___ Press release ___ Report

___ Advertisement ___ Congressional record ___ Census report ___ Other_____________

UNIQUE PHYSICAL QUALITIES OF THE DOCUMENT (Check one or more): ___ Interesting letterhead ___ Handwritten ___ Typed ___ Seals

___ Notations ___ "RECEIVED" stamp ___ Other

3.

DATE(S) OF DOCUMENT: ___________________________________________________________________________

4.

AUTHOR (OR CREATOR) OF THE DOCUMENT: ___________________________________________________________________________ POSITION (TITLE): ___________________________________________________________________________

5.

FOR WHAT AUDIENCE WAS THE DOCUMENT WRITTEN? ___________________________________________________________________________

6.

DOCUMENT INFORMATION (There are many possible ways to answer A-E.) A. List three things the author said that you think are important: ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ B. Why do you think this document was written? ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ C. What evidence in the document helps you know why it was written? Quote from the document. ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ D. List two things the document tells you about life in Georgia or the United States at the time it was written: ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ E. Write a question to the author that is left unanswered by the document: ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________

Oral Document Analysis Worksheet 15


1.

DOMINANT EXPERIENCE (Check one): ___ Civic ___ Professional ___ Business ___ Laborer

2.

___ Family ___ Religious ___ Social ___ Political

___ Educational ___ Military ___ government ___ Other_____________

UNIQUE QUALITIES OF THE EXPERIENCE (Check one or more): ___ Interesting period ___ social changes ___ political developments ___ leadership roles

___ supportive roles ___ agent of change ___ Other___________

3.

DATE(S) OF EXPERIENCE ___________________________________________________________________________

4.

SUBJECT AND INTERVIEWER: ___________________________________________________________________________ INTERVIEW PURPOSE OF BOTH SUBJECT AND INTERVIEWER: ___________________________________________________________________________

5.

FOR WHAT PURPOSE DID THE SUBJECT MAKE HER OR HIS SUBJECT MATTER COMMITMENT? ___________________________________________________________________________

6.

INTERVIEW INFORMATION (There are many possible ways to answer A-E.) A. List three topics the subject addressed that you think are most important: ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ B. Why do you think this interview was given? ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ C. What evidence in the interview helps you know why it was given? Quote from the interview. ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ D. List two things the subject tells you about life in Savannah, Georgia or the United States at crucial points in the subject’s life: ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ E. Identify a topic that needs to be addressed but is left unaddressed by the interview: ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________

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An Introduction to Public History: “Nearby” and “Controversial”  

This course introduces basic historiographical and anthropological approaches used in public history as a practice and focuses on historic S...

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