How can historians tell meaningful stories about cultures other than their own? How can the stories we tell be respectful to local contexts and at the same time speak to global audiences? How can historians use media like podcasts and websites to make history matter in the present? In this colloquium, we will explore questions of historical method and storytelling from the perspective of Latin America.
This course will be divided into two units, Theory and Practice. In the theory unit, we will read examples of creative global storytelling from Latin America and other parts of the world. These will include historical monographs, ethnographies, and testimonial literature that actively engage with ethical and theoretical concerns about storytelling, accountability, memory, and power. Some of these works will be about people, and some will tell stories of communities, places, objects, and even animals.
In our unit on practice, students will help contribute by suggesting storytelling media, songs, poems, readings, or blog posts that interest them. We will pair these curated storytelling media with workshops on conducting research and writing as students work on their own individual story projects.
Assignments for this class will include reading journals for the first unit (30% of grade), active participation in weekly seminars (30%), organizing and leading one discussion section with a group of students (10%) and a final project that combines historical research with storytelling (30%). The final project will have two components: a 10 page academic research paper, and a creative media version of the same story in either audio, visual, or written form.