The goal of these linked courses is to support you to do the work that historians do; namely, to research, draft, revise (and revise, and revise) your capstone project (a senior essay or thesis). This project should draw on primary material to make an original contribution to historical scholarship. Though we are working toward producing a thing that will represent, in many ways, the work you have done in the history major at Colorado College, our emphasis throughout these courses will be on the process of researching, writing, and doing history. As such, we will begin in the archive, with a consideration of how archives are constructed, what materials they contain, and what questions we might ask about the kinds of sources historians have to work with. From there, we will identify primary material we find compelling, and read, think about, and workshop these sources. This work—reading, thinking with, and talking through primary materials—will be the central component of our time at the Newberry Library. Three weeks is not a long time, and I want to make sure you have as many hours in the archive as possible. During week three, we’ll shift our focus to the ways our primary sources prompt questions about broader scholarly conversations relevant to our chosen topics. We’ll expand our research process to include more secondary, or historiographical literature, and we’ll workshop key articles with other members of the group, in order to begin mapping out the connections between our primary sources and historical scholarship. These conversations will help us work toward the final assignment of HY410: a prospectus and workplan for your capstone project.

HY410/420 Spring 2018 Blocks 5 and 6 syllabus here.

Newberry Library card catalog in 3rd floor reading room. Taken January 22, 2018.