Own Historical Character
This is an opportunity to be creative. In your blog entries, you are asked to imagine how your personage would encounter the events we are discussing in lecture. You will write in the first person, as though you are living through the period in question. The task is to provide historical context for how an individual might experience the world around them at the time. To do this effectively, and not abstractly, you will need to draw on your textbook readings, the discussion group documents, and lecture notes. Each installment will be 500-750 words in length. You will create your own historical character. There are some restrictions. The task is to think about European historical events and how they affected the ordinary person. You may not write from the perspective of kings, queens, religious or military leaders. Your person should not be an actual historical figure. Since you will be writing several entries over the course of the semester, you can’t limit yourself to someone specific. Rather, together with your TA in the first discussion group, you will craft a composite character who will, in a sense, follow you through the next 200 years of history. In the first discussion group, come prepared with some of these ideas already sketched out in your mind. Your first blog entry, due Friday January 20th, will incorporate many of these details. ••name •sex •religion (Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim; you may also want to note the intensity or casualness of your family’s religious practice) •place of origin, nationality, and class background – imperial subject, citizen, refugee, migrant. If you grew up in a two -parent or father-only family, your social class is most easily identified by your father’s line of work. If you were raised by your mother alone, her background and the circumstances of her single mothering — unwed? divorced? widowed? –will be crucial, as will her class background.