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June 16, 2005


Another Damned Medievalist

I love this piece. I have no idea how to do the lit part, but it's really helped me in thinking about what I'm doing when I teach a novel in a history class. I am much better now at articulating the different ways in which a historian would use a novel as a source and emphasizing the difference in the questions we ask.


I really struggle with incorporating novels in history classes. I always assign a novel for the 19th century part of my survey class and like the idea of using it as a primary source but I also feel that something is missing when we discuss it. I'd love feedback from others who feel they've done this well.


I don't know that I'm particularly good at it, but I try to focus on the details (e.g., the ability of ordinary people to travel by train for a day out at the exhibition in Jude) or the characters and the comments they make that might reflect different values and value systems depending on class, social position, etc. And then, of course to tie all this stuff into the non-fictional source material we've read.


Thanks: Interesting problem that I'd never considered (not being a teacher).

It brought to mind Disney films - don't flinch too much, there is a point. Until very recently Disney tried very hard to keep pop-culture out of their movies in order to be able to replay them indefinitely.

They changed their mind.

Watch, for example, Snow White as opposed to Alladin. It's interesting from a business perspective: Do you create topical blockbusters with no shelf-life or something timeless?

How would one teach 20th Century Film in the year 2215?

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