Welcome to the Research Seminar for History Majors. This seminar has three purposes: 1) introducing history majors to current issues and methods in the historical study of the arts in Europe; 2) guiding students through the process of composing an original 20-25 page research paper, from definition to research to writing and revision; and 3)involving students in (re) conceptualizing the past, with emphasis on possibilities opened by digital technology.
In the first weeks of the quarter, we will read several short works that exemplify approaches recent historians have devised for using literature, visual arts, and music as historical sources. These explorations of existing works should suggest the types of topics, issues, texts, and contexts that students might pursue in their own seminar papers. We will also look at ways the past has been visualized and how historians have begun to use new digital resources for reconceptualizing the past and presenting historical material in innovative ways.
Using the arts centers and archives at Stanford, students will explore directions for research, define topics, identify sources, generate questions, conduct original historical research, formulate arguments and interpretations, and revise drafts of their papers. At every stage in the writing process, students should take advantage of the exceptional capacities offered by the room in which the class will meet (Wallenberg 127), which, as an Advanced Resource Classroom, offers state-of-the-art multimedia equipment.
The seminar will emphasize the value of working collaboratively. Work on (re) conceptualizing will be largely collaborative. Students will be responsible for reading and commenting upon classmates' work throughout the quarter. They will learn to offer others constructive feedback and to incorporate others' comments into their own revisions.