Instructions for Written Assignments

A short (3-4 page) essay based upon the assigned reading is due the class following the last class in which the book is discussed (see the syllabus). Critical essays should include your reactions to the arguments in the book and your reflections on how convincing the author is. For this first assignment, book reviews (2) will be provided, along with an essay by Glenn Kay entitled "A Certain Simon Schama," from the Harvard Magazine, November/December 1991, pp. 46-53. You may also want to consult an article by Schama entitled "Clio Has a Problem," from the New York Times Magazine,September 8, 1991. You can obtain copies of the article from the micofilm/fiche in the a/v room of the library (A Level).

The fundamental question you should be answering is: is what Schama writes, history?, and, in your opinion (well argued and documented, of course), why? In answering the question you should reflect on Schama's use of evidence, especially contemporary accounts such as those found in the newspapers. For a foreign perspective on the Webster case, see the accounts in the Times of London. How would reading these accounts affect your's or Schama's account of the case? [Although the library has not catalogued it in a way that would make it easy to find, the references to the Webster case were found in Palmer's Index to the London Times which is on CD-ROM and can be found in the computer lab in the Library for use on workstation EC06. The microfilm of the Times is in the A-V lab.]

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Lectures, syllabus and format ŠEd Papenfuse
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Maryland State Archives

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