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I am redesigning my World History since 1500 class around a "problem-solving" project. The problem? How can we memorialize the trans-Atlantic trade of enslaved Africans? Students will create monuments/museums. Here are components to the project I've envisioned thus far. /1
I want to introduce students to historical research -- both in its archival form and digitally. I'm assigning Rafe Blaufarb's graphic history, which takes students through British and French archives. (PS It also has a terrible drawing of me in it. #researchassistant /2
*Inhuman Traffick* shows how historians use archival evidence to recreate the past -- in this case, the story of "the slave ship Neirsée," which ends "with the liberation of the African passengers who had been sold into slavery in the French Caribbean." /3 global.oup.com/ushe/product/i…
I plan to have students research on the Slave Voyages database. Specifically, students will research a particular group (determined by point of origin, sex, age...etc) and prepare an "exhibition" based on that data. /4 slavevoyages.org
This is a group project (3-4 students in each group). So each student in the group will have to design an exhibition that compliments their group members' contributions. /5
Students will think about the place of their memorials/museums. Based on their research on the Slave Voyages database, they'll select a site that was important for the trans-Atlantic trade of enslaved Africans & then incorporate that place into their overall design. /6
When thinking about their designs, they'll research and study memorials/museums built to memorialize oppressed groups in human history. This is one way I plan to tie the assignment into other subjects we'll cover over the course. /7
I want students to contemplate the language they choose deeply. I'm looking for accessible pieces for students to read like P. Gabrielle Foreman, et al. “Writing about Slavery/Teaching About Slavery: This Might Help” (community-sourced document.) /8 docs.google.com/document/d/1A4…
Students will pitch the idea to a board (i.e. me) and get approval. Then they'll have to come up with a formal poster presentation. At the end of the semester, thanks to our QEP office, we'll hold a campus event to show off our research, designs, exhibitions...etc. #FreeFood /9
The goal of this problem-solving assignment is to get students thinking about how history has shaped our own contemporary moment and how we might best keep that history alive. /10
How can I improve this? What issues should I make sure students pay attention to? Do you see any kinks in this brief sketch of the assignment? I'm always looking for advice on how to create student-driven experiences in the classroom. /fin
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