History 487R-000: History and Memory Facing Up to the Past

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2) Final oral report: based on the term project; in class April 16.
3) First paper and oral report: “Memory and Oral History” -- due in class Feb. 12. For this project, you are to interview an older friend or relative about an event in his or her memory that is related to the subjects of our course. Note that “memories” need not be from direct personal experience (for persons too young to have lived through these events directly) but could include perceptions drawn from your interviewee’s education, from the public media (books or films), etc.

Your essay, in 4-6 pages, should summarize the memories reported and analyze them from the

perspective of a historian using this account as a documentary “source.” How was the reported

experience “remembered” and/or distorted in memory? How and why was the memory particularly

important to the person who reported it? What special characteristics of the individual (age, gender,

social position, etc.) may have shaped his/her experience and memories of the events? What changes in the person’s life or experience since the events occurred may have shaped the ways they were

remembered or interpreted? How would you compare this individual’s memories to society’s

“collective memory” of these events? Be sure to pay attention to the individual’s tone, emotions, and

vocabulary in reporting the events. All students will also present a brief oral report to the class on the

day that the paper is due.

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