“1945”: HIST 3573-003, SPRING 2019

Janet Ward, Professor of History, University of Oklahoma

This interdisciplinary course presents a synchronic analysis of the global traumas throughout the year 1945. Students will evaluate a wide range of primary and secondary documents pertaining to the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War. The assignments will demand a nuanced interpretive ability regarding primary and secondary source texts and their historical contexts, and all assignments will be “digitally born” using Omeka and OU Create. Emphasis will be on enhancing critical thinking and improving oral communication, essay research, and essay-writing skills. Students will write a short paper (and edit and develop it further based on feedback from Dr. Ward); write a book review; and give a class presentation based on their semester’s work on specific topics related to 1945.

At the end of this colloquium students will be able to:

  • tell the difference between a primary and secondary source, and to evaluate a primary source (origins and authorship, intended audience, purpose, reliability);
  • use a primary source as evidence in constructing and supporting an argument;
  • identify briefly an author’s thesis and the basic arguments underlying it;
  • develop and argue an original thesis when writing an essay; pose a manageable research question; do basic research for primary and secondary sources; compile a usable, annotated bibliography of primary and secondary sources;
  • recognize how to quote and how to properly cite sources: that is, know when a footnote or endnote is needed and how to write one.