Final Announcements

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1. I have been swamped with grading, but I am going to finish grading your last pieces of work and will return those to you shortly. You will also receive an updated course grade so you know how you are doing, prior to the final.

2. We do not have a final exam, but your final projects need to be submitted both on Blackboard and on your blog. The normal late policy will not be in place; all late essays will receive a 0. They are due by 11am on Thursday, April 30. Should you have questions, please feel free to come by or to email me.

3. Please remember to fill out your student evaluations before Thursday of next week. If the number of completed evals reaches 5, I will give everyone some bonus points.

4. I won’t hold my regular office hours during finals week, but I have set up some time between 1 and 3 on Monday, and as always, you can email and set up an appointment.

5. Thanks for making this a great semester, and good luck with these last few weeks of craziness!

Announcements for 4/14

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1. Our extra credit opportunity is this Friday afternoon, so if you want a few extra points, download the description posted under “Assignments” and join us for the symposium.

2. Our class schedule for the remaining few weeks has been adjusted. We already had a research day on Thursday (April 16), and we also will not hold class on Tuesday (April 21). We will have all of our student presentations scheduled on April 23.

3. There are some assignments due here in the next few weeks that will keep you plenty busy. There is a blog post (and also blog comments) due this week, and then next week there are presentations, and during finals week the final research project is due. See the various assignment descriptions posted here for further details. Since we have some class cancellations this week and next, I will expect your final projects to be extra amazing, since you’ll have had extra time to work on them.

Miscellaneous Announcements

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1. On Tuesday we will discuss both the reading I’d assigned for the trip, and also the scheduled reading on the myth of black Confederates. I have deleted the blog posts on black Confederates that had been assigned (to help us stay on schedule), but I will show you a few in class.

2. I am going to give you an extension on the blog post that is due April 14. I think we can safely move that to April 16 instead (due by 5pm). You are free to choose your own topic, or, you can reflect on your experience at the battlefield. Questions to consider if you choose that route might include: How would you evaluate the NPS’s treatment of Civil War memory through their interpretive signs? Looking at this from a public history perspective, are they adequately educating visitors? What did you think of the goals and challenges that the park ranger outlined for us? Looking at some of the pictures we took, maybe you would analyze the poem on the monument, etc. etc.

3. We don’t have class on April 16. Take this opportunity to catch up on research for your final project. In addition to making the corrections/improvements I outlined, make sure you flesh out the project and locate a couple of pictures to include since it will be posted on your blog. I will get you a more detailed description of the final soon, but it is basically a longer, more nuanced, polished version of your rough draft (6-9 pages). I want to see that students paid attention to my comments, but I also want to see some initiative in terms of improving and editing one’s own work to make it stronger.

4. In the last week of class, we have two days scheduled for presentations, but since we ended up having a small class, everyone can fit into one day. So, let’s cancel class on April 21 and have all our presentations on April 23. I will post a more detailed description, but see the syllabus for the short version.

Announcements for 4/2

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1. I am finalizing the itinerary for our trip to Pea Ridge and will send it (along with some other details and driving directions) over email as soon as I can.

2. Don’t forget that we won’t be having class next week, but that we will have discussion over “Holding the High Ground” at the Pea Ridge site on Saturday, so make sure you are prepared. I will still be holding my regular office hours should you want to come by and chat.

3. I will work on your book reviews next week and return them to you digitally, as always.

4. Keep working on your rough drafts–bear in mind that in addition to the suggestions I made, you should continue to expand and/or enrich your analysis on your own, and it might be useful to have a fellow history major (or even another student in our class) read it to provide additional feedback. I will post a description of the final essay and the presentation soon. The final versions will be posted on your blog and thus will be available through Google, so it is a good idea to make sure they are polished.

Announcements for 3/17

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1. Don’t forget that the rough draft is due Thursday by 10:50am on Blackboard. Try to make it as complete as possible (content wise), and to submit polished work. The ideas may be rough, but the writing shouldn’t be!

2. Some of you have seen this already, but the history department has compiled a document of tips for writing that we want to see students apply in all our classes–these are rules that each professor in the department will expect you to follow, so print it out and use it in all your major classes. I will be watching for these in the rough drafts and other written work you submit.

3. We have planned our field trip to the Pea Ridge battlefield for Saturday, April 11. We will caravan up there at some point in the morning, grab an early lunch in Fayetteville/Bentonville, and then visit the battlefield in the afternoon. A more detailed itinerary is in the works!

Announcements for 3/10

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1. The description of the rough draft assignment is now posted under “Assignments.” Please bring any questions you have to class on Thursday. Note that the due date is now March 19, a two-day extension.

2. Most of you still need to make up our individual conferences that were originally scheduled for last week. Please come during my office hours either tomorrow (Wednesday) or Thursday. Students who fail to come either of those days will not receive credit for the meeting. At the meetings we will touch base about where your project is going from here, what your argument and conclusions might be, potential outlines for the project, etc. etc.

3. Before class on Thursday, please read this short encyclopedia entry on the 1911 UCV reunion in Little Rock ( On Thursday we will catch up with a few things in the Coski book that we didn’t catch today, and then we will analyze some objects from the reunion to learn about how material culture helps us understand Civil War memory.

Announcements for 3/5

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1. I will be returning your annotated bibliographies soon, and the next phase of the project is to keep reading your secondary and primary sources and to make adjustments as necessary (based on my feedback). You will also need to decide how to best answer your research questions, and if the sources you have can adequately do so.

2. Our meetings scheduled for today are canceled for obvious reasons. Unless you need me to set up some special office hours on Monday, let’s just plan on meeting during my regular office hours on Tuesday (12:15 to 1:15) and during Tuesday’s X-period, if necessary. If that block of time doesn’t work with your schedule, please email me.

3. Blog posts are still due today, on the planned schedule. Blog comments are due 72 hours after posts go up. Since your fellow students’ grades depend on being able to comment, please post your work promptly.

4. On Tuesday we will be discussing John Coski’s book on the Confederate battle flag. For this discussion, I want students to take the lead. In class, you will provide a discussion question to lead our conversation. These should be questions that cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” You will submit a typed copy of your question, and you should also include any necessary explanatory material within the paragraph. This is an example from a previous class. Note that this is the kind of question that will encourage discussion.

Example: “Avila argued in his article that the government enticed many Mexicans to move back to Mexico, but that the government changed its mind when the proposed land redistribution failed.  The push and pull emigration model that he discusses seems to be related to the regulation directed at them by both the Mexican and United States governments.  So, did both governments mutually benefit from these push and pull factors?  If so, how?  Did the Mexican government benefit by moving the working poor as much as the U.S. benefited from inexpensive Mexican labor?”