Room: South Shepler Tower, 511
Section 2590: MW, 2:00-3:15 p.m.
Instructor: Doug Catterall
Office: South Shepler Tower, 634
Office Hours: MWF, 10-11 a.m. & 3:30-5p.m.;
TTh, 1-2:15 p.m. and by appointment
work telephone: 581-2949
The Big Picture.
What do historians do? How do they do what they do? For what reasons do they do the things they do? These questions are at the heart of this course and by the end of the term it is my hope that each of you will have developed your own answers for each one. While not all of you plan to become professional historians, understanding and mastering for yourselves the intellectual skills that historians use will serve you well as history majors and in whatever future direction you may choose to pursue in life.
It is said that, given the current degree of flux in the economy, most
of us will change jobs multiple times in the course of our lives. I
would suggest to you that the person most prepared for this environment
is not the person with a set of skills that is in demand now but may not
be in the future. Rather, the person who is probably most prepared to meet
the challenges of this world is able to define and approach problems readily,
to think critically and creatively about those problems, interpret complex
information in a variety of forms, write and otherwise communicate solutions
clearly and with precision and detail, and is able to see the bigger picture
of which his or her work is a part. In this class you will work
to improve your mastery of all of these tasks and skills. As a history major
you are preparing for many futures, not just one, and after finishing this
course you will be closer to having the ability to meet with confidence
whatever comes your way. This is why I am particularly excited to
be teaching this course, because it is as much about possibilities and potential
and it is about intellectual endeavor.
The Nitty Gritty Stuff.
In general this will be a practical course driven by particular exercises and projects as opposed to a course whose focus is on mastering a body of knowledge about a particular time and place (e.g. the English Civil War or the Great Depression era). Having said that, I have framed the course a bit by making its theme the Atlantic world between 1400 and 1900 in order to make our work this term more manageable.
We start the term with a brief introduction to what historians do and to the Atlantic world. Then we move on to two specific studies of different parts of the Atlantic world, Ecuador, c. 1600, and New England, c. 1700-1800. As we come to grips with these two studies (or monographs as historians term them) we will also consider more carefully what kinds of sources there are and how to interpret and use them. Along the way I will introduce you to the mechanics of bibliography and footnotes and give you opportunities to interpret some actual sources. With the knowledge that you have gained from these discussions and exercises you will then write three papers: a book review, a bibliographic essay, and an analytical source essay, which are the main papers for the course. We will then conclude the course with a unit on recent controversies in historical work and you will present the results of your final paper, the source analytical essay. The last week of the regular term will also give you the chance to see who the other faculty are who comprise the CU History Program. This is a sizeable amount of work, but if we work together you can all be successful.
This course will emphasize the following two skill-sets:
Martha Howell and Walter Prevenier, From Reliable Sources: An Introduction to Historcial Methods (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001)
Course-work consists of three major elements: attendance and participation in discussion and activities, informal writings, and formal writings (i.e. papers).
1. Attendance and Discussion (10% of the total mark): I cannot stress enough that timely attendance and regular participation in discussion and other classroom activities will count heavily in your grade and that effective participation almost always improves performance in the pressure situations. I will gauge attendance and participation on a daily basis.
2. Informal Writings (5% of the total mark): I will assign short writing exercises to help focus our discussions and to prepare you for major assignments. The emphasis in these assignments will vary from paper to paper. For each informal writing you can earn participation credit. See under credit for participation for their precise value in the marking scheme.
3. In-Class Source Analytical Essays (5% of the total mark): These will serve as preparation for your bibliographic essay and your analytical source essay and will count towards your participation mark in the course.
4. Presentations (5% of the total mark): Each of you will need to make a brief five-minute presentation of your proposed research topic for the course in the twelfth week and a ten-minute presentation of the results of your work during the scheduled final examination period for this course.
5. Credit for Participation: For each
day you attend class and participate you can earn up to 2 points.
You can earn 30 points for the 9 Informal Writings, the 2 In-Class Source
Analytical Essays, and the 2 Presentations. Thus, you have a potential
for earning 150 points. I hold you responsible for 135 points,
meaning that you need at least 121.5 points for an A in participation,
108 for a B, 94.5 for a C, and 81 for a D. Below 81 points is a failing
mark in participation.
Papers:You will have to write one short and two major formal essays for this course: a book review, a bibliographic essay and an analytical source essay. All papers must be typed and the second paper will involve a rough draft. You must turn in a rough draft that is substantially equivalent in length to the final paper you intend to turn in. The book review (2 pages) will be worth 15% of your final grade; the bibliographic paper (6-8 pages) will be worth 30% of your final grade and the analytical source essay (6-8 pages) will be 30%. Of that 30%, 5% will be given for turning in a rough draft of at least 6 full pages in length, with reductions of 1% for each page less than the full 6 pages. All papers are to be typed, double-spaced and in Times Roman or Courier font. Due dates for the papers are listed below. General guidelines for papers are available by clicking the hypertext in this sentence. You can access specific guidelines for each of these projects by looking for the due date of each paper below, where you will find hyperlinks that will take you to a page containing additional information.
1 Book Review 15
1 Bibliographic Essay 30
1 Analytical Source Essay 30
Classroom Environment: Talking to your classmates or others outside the context of classroom activities is rude and will not be tolerated. Reading outside materials, listening to music, taking telephone calls on your cell-phone, and similar non-class related activities are equally unacceptable. I expect all students to be respectful of one another's right to speak and express opinions. Disagreements and different viewpoints are welcome, but debates should not involve insults. Finally, food and drink are permitted in class as long as courtesy is observed; e.g. if you haven't quite finished your cup of coffee, do bring it along to class, but turning the classroom into a cafeteria is not permissible.
Late Informal Writings: No late informal writings will be accepted, so don't ask. Remember, though, that your participation grade is a composite of your performance in class and your marks on informal writings and I have designed the grading system to allow you a "head start" of 15 points. Thus, as long as you manage to achieve the necessary points for participation, it will not matter to me how you do so. Although I will obviously keep track of what you do by way of participation. I would advise you to remain aware of where you stand for yourself so that you know whether or not you are achieving the level of participation for which you are hoping to receive credit.
Missed Quizzes and Examinations: There are no make-ups for
any quizzes or in-class essays given as part of this course.
Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the representation of the work of another as your own. In all of the writing you do for this course you must make clear to me which ideas in a paper are your own and which come from someone else. This is especially important for any formal essays you write. In such essays you must cite all primary and secondary sources you use in accordance with the proper conventions. I will hand out a sheet explaining the basics of citation before any formal essays come due. If for some reason you do not receive a copy of this hand-out, know that you will not be exempt from following its guidelines. In cases of plagiarism, the Department of History and Government at CU follows the plagiarism policy in the current "Student Handbook," as described in sections 4.07 and 4.08 of the CU Code of Student Conduct. Penalties for plagiarism as defined by the Student Code of Conduct include:
1) The student may be required to perform additional academic work/project not required of other students in the course;
2) The student may be required to withdraw from the course with a grade of "W" or "F"; or
3) The student's grade in the course or on the examination or other academic work affected by the dishonesty may be reduced to any extent, including a reduction to failure.
Please heed this warning as I am quite serious about it.
Disability Statement: If you have a documented disability or suspect that you have a learning problem and need reasonable accommodations, please notify me as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
||List of Topics
||Introduction & Get
||The Origins of the Atlantic
The Essence of History
|Read: Curtin, 3-16, A Short Guide, 1-15
||Africa and the Atlantic
Islands & the
Basic Standards for Historical Writing
|Read: Curtin, 17-45 & A Short Guide, 16-35; Turn In: Informal Writing #1
||Portugal and Spain in
the Americas &
The Historian's Questions
|Read: Curtin, 46-70 & A Short Guide, 36-57; Turn In: Informal Writing #2
||The Sugar Revolution
Modes of Writing
|Read: Curtin, 73-97 & A Short Guide, 58-84; This is a reading
assignment only, discussion will be on 9-3; Labor Day--NO CLASS
||Different Kinds of Slave
Gathering Historical Data
|Read: Curtin, 98-110 & A Short Guide, 84-114; Turn In: Informal Writing #3
||The Atlantic Economy,
c. 1700-1800, 1 & Classifying Sources
||Read: Curtin, 113-143 & From Reliable Sources, 17-42|
||Revolutions in the Atlantic
Approaches to Sources
|Read: Curtin, 144-169 & From Reliable Sources, 43-60|
||The Decline of the "Plantation Complex" &Introducing Quito||Read: Curtin, 173-206 & Quito 1599, 1-21|
||Maroons in Esmeraldas & The Tradition of Source Critique||Read: Quito 1599, 22-51 & From Reliable Sources, 60-68; Turn In: Informal Writing #4|
||Masters and Slaves in Quito & Source Comparison||Read: Quito 1599, 52-82 & From Reliable Sources, 69-79|
||The Economy and Demography of the Spanish Andes & Establishing the Accuracy of Sources||Read: Quito 1599, 83-112 & From Reliable Sources, 79-87; Turn In: Informal Writing #5|
||The Role of Trade in Quito||Read: Quito 1599, 151-188|
||Pirates in Quito & Introduction to John Demos's work||Read: Quito 1599, 189-234 & Unredeemed Captive, 3-25 Turn In: Informal Writing #6|
||The Captivity Experience through the Eyes of John Williams||Read: Unredeemed Captive, 25-76|
||The Politics of Prisoner Exchanges Along the Anglo-French Frontier||Read: Unredeemed Captive, 77-119; Turn In: Informal Writing #7|
||Native Americans, Europeans, and Eunice Williams: An Atlantic World Cultural Encounter||Read: Unredeemed Captive, 120-166|
||Eunice Williams and Her Family Ties||Read: Unredeemed Captive, 167-213|
||How to End Eunice Williams's Story||Read: Unredeemed Captive, 214-252|
||Bibliography and Footnotes
||Read: A Short Guide, 175-192; Turn In: Informal Writing #8
||Rules for Effective
||Read: A Short Guide, 154-174; Turn In: Book Review of Demos or Lane|
||What is Good Style in
||Read: A Short Guide, 135-153|
||Write: In-Class Source Analytical
Essays; Pick Up: Primary Source Assignments
||Effective Research Strategies
||Read: A Short Guide, 115-134; Turn In: Informal Writing #9
||Initial Research Project Presentations;
Turn In: Bibliographic Essay
||Initial Research Project Presentations|
||A Brief Introduction
||Read: From Reliable Sources, 88-118
||Politics in the Historical
||Read: From Reliable Sources, 119-150
||Writing Day--NO CLASS;
Turn In: draft of Analytical
||History Faculty Presentations:
Attendance Mandatory (1 grade
reduction from Source Analytical Essay mark for failure to attend);
Pick Up: draft of Analytical
|| History Faculty Presentations:
Attendance Mandatory (1 grade reduction
from Source Analytical Essay mark for failure to attend)
||Writing Day--NO CLASS
Project Presentations (1-3 p.m., South Shepler Tower, room 511);
Turn In: Analytical Source
Essay by 3 p.m.
Please Note: The Syllabus is Subject to Change Should the
Instructor Deem That Necessary and
the Web Syllabus is to be Considered the Syllabus of Record
Back to the Courses Page