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Teaching scholarly research skills

Many of my fellow history professor colleagues and I have discussed our struggles to convince students to search the university library instead of Google. I get it–Google is often my first stop when I’m trying to find an answer. But the Google habit is hard to break; even when we or our subject area librarians […]

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A lesson in ethics, slavery, & resistance

Several years ago, I designed a lesson as part of a faculty ethics workshop at Marymount University that has now become one of my favorite discussions of the semester in my early U.S. survey course. Whether you want to introduce some formal ethics language or not (and this lesson really just has a small amount), this activity is a great way to get students to connect past and present, think critically about the media, and reflect on the ways they respond to oppression today.

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Videos for teaching early US history

I’ve always integrated video clips into my lectures in the US survey–I like bringing other voices and historical visualizations into the classroom and the students enjoy it. For online teaching, some best practice guides suggest that video instruction should be in 6-8 minute segments, so these videos can be interspersed with your own lecture clips. […]

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Exhibiting Museum Studies Skills

This semester, I’m teaching a museum studies course as part of our public history minor. The course has students majoring in history, interior design, education, communications, and art. We spent the first several weeks talking about the history of museums, with a focus on natural history and historic house museums. To transition into the portion […]

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Teaching Impeachment

Today in my upper level Colonial America & the American Revolution course, the students voted to pause our regular schedule and talk about impeachment for part of the class. I first answered questions they had about what was happening right now, then explained that we were going to look at the roots of impeachment in […]

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Historical Figure Presentations

This semester in my upper-level early national and Jacksonian US class (1790-1848), I tried out an alternative to a short paper: oral presentations on historical figures which focused in on one primary source by that figure. Students chose from a list of figures I provided that would mesh well with the reading for that week, […]

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Teaching Resources for Tough Times

I’ve spent a good deal of time this summer thinking about how to structure my US history to 1877 survey course–composed almost entirely of non-majors–to address the pressing issues of the moment.  Here are a few things I’m planning to do: start out on the first day with an explanation of why they should care […]

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Moving Forward, Looking Backward

or à la On The Media: Breaking News Consumer’s Handbook: History edition For many Americans, these are scary times. While historians don’t have any clear answers on what to do next, our training and knowledge (or, at the very least, mine!) do suggest some trends and tropes to watch for. As both media consumers and […]

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Historians Take on Hamilton

Historians are, by and large, delighted that Hamilton has brought so much attention and interest to the founding era in American history. Lin-Manuel Miranda has attracted diverse, young audiences and made them excited about history in unprecedented fashion. There are many songs that are historically on-point, although as a piece of art, the play takes […]

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Cultural & Gender History of the Founders

This reading list is a supplement to my talk, “Making the Historical Personal: The Founding Fathers, Gender, and the Cultural Turn,” at the Society for United States Intellectual History Annual Conference, Oct. 17, 2015, Washington, DC

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