For this presentation, I would like you to work with your group to describe the historical questions and common themes related to your topic within the American Revolution and Early Republic. That is, your presentation should discuss what we know and what kinds of questions historians ask about the past. This should stand in contrast to the work of your individual essays, where you are examining the historiographical debate and how historians ask questions of one another.
To give you an example, take my field of media and communications in the American Revolution. In the presentation, I would want you to discuss some of the following:
What influence did printers and publishers have during the American Revolution?
How did Patriots and Loyalists use newspapers and other forms of communication to debate political issues?
How did newspapers circulate?
These are just a few questions, obviously, but we could come up with answers for them based on reading a wide array of scholarly sources and they would tell us something about the role of newspapers and media figures in the Revolution.
Once we’ve done the presentations, you’ll then return to your individual sets of readings and discuss the historiographic questions, which focus more (in my case) on how historians have approached issues of media and communications than the actual historical explanations themselves.
Your presentation should be about 15-20 minutes total and include:
Roughly equal speaking time among each of the group’s members
An explanation of your topic
Information on what the key historical questions are in common among your sources
A discussion of how you would answer those questions based on your reading
You will submit at the end of the presentation a complete bibliography (in Chicago format) as well as the notes you wrote for the presentation.
Based on your suggestions, here are the questions I will be considering as I assess each group’s presentation:
- How effectively did the group outline the historical questions within its chosen subfield?
- How effectively did the group integrate a range of secondary sources related to the subfield?
- How effectively did the slide deck or notes convey the argument of the presentation?
- Did the group evenly apportion speaking time?
- Did each student speak clearly and present him/herself in a professional manner?
- Did each student engage with the class and answer questions?
- Do the notes and bibliography reflect the presentation and assignment requirements?