Ward Textbook Assignment

Introduction: Kyle Ward's History in the Making documents shifting interpretations of 53 topics in U.S. history textbooks over time.  Although critical of history textbooks, Ward does not argue for their elimination but rather encourages educators to use them more imaginatively to help students appreciate history as a dynamic, changing discipline. 

For the History Workshop, Ward's work supplements the Furay and Salevouris text as an introduction to the course's central subject of "historiography".  Historiography literally means "the writing of history" and more broadly refers to history as an imaginative, intellectual activity rather than a fixed representation of the past. 

The purpose of the textbook historiography assignment is to explore (1) the factors that lead to changing historical perspectives and (2) the practical implications of this phenomenon for the work of educators and other professional historians.

Instructions: In a short essay of 2-4 full pages (double spaced, 500 to 900 words), address these themes with reference to the specific readings and questions below. Due Date: Oct 1.