Infusing the History Survey with New and Innovative Scholarship: A Discussion

AHA Session 210
Saturday, January 5, 2019: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Stevens C-5 (Hilton Chicago, Lower Level)
Timothy Dean Draper, Waubonsee Community College
The Audience

Session Abstract

This panel brings together community college faculty from all over the country to discuss the ways in which they introduce students to the latest research and scholarship in the profession. The creation of this panel was inspired by the discussants’ participation in “Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges: American History, Atlantic and Pacific” a joint project of the American Historical Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities, which seeks to re-frame U.S. History in a global perspective. They will share theoretical and pedagogical examples of how they incorporate fresh and pioneering themes in their own courses, including the U.S. and World History surveys.

The panel topics reflect each panelist’s teaching and research interests. Carlos Contreras of Grossmont College (California) will share the various ways in which he incorporates recent scholarship on the U.S.-Latin America relationship into his courses. Drawing examples from his U.S. and World surveys, he will discuss topics ranging from transnational migrations to Cold War politics and culture. Timothy Dean Draper of Waubonsee Community College (Illinois) will describe his use of contemporary sports and athletic history as a lens through which students can examine transnational and global themes. He will explain how sports history can help students unpack such issues as international relations, immigration, corporate capital, gender equity, and socioeconomic accessibility. Contending that the teaching of women’s suffrage must be reframed and expanded, Amy Forss of Metropolitan Community College (Nebraska) will explain how she introduces her students to a global narrative of the twentieth-century women’s movement. She will share examples of written, visual, and interactive assessments that allow students to explore the multifaceted history of the women’s movement, filled with a full roster of ethnically diverse women and men. Borrowing from the popular field of psychology, Jaime Cardenas of Seattle Central College (Washington) will present pedagogical approaches that consider the historiography of emotions in relation to the U.S. history survey course. Specifically, he will explain how primary and secondary sources can be used to show students how emotions such as love, anger, and greed have shaped human behavior in the past. Sarah Boyle of Johnson County Community College (Kansas) will discuss how she includes the historiography on the Atlantic and Pacific worlds in the first half of the U.S. survey. She will emphasize the interconnectedness of early America, focusing on first contact, the American Revolution, and westward expansion. Vincent Clark, also of Johnson County Community College, will offer practical insights on how to incorporate historical scholarship into survey courses that already have a crowded agenda with little room for added theories and assessments.

Taken together, these presentations will offer concrete approaches on how to present the U.S. and World surveys in new and dynamic ways. The presenters hope that their examples will initiate a rich and rewarding discussion with the audience.

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