Attendance and Participation (15%)
Participation is vital to your success in this course. You are expected to attend all course meetings and to come to class prepared. That is, you should have completed the assigned reading, have it with you in class, and be prepared to participate actively in class discussion through comments and questions. You will lose credit for participation after three absences, except in documented cases for extended family or medical emergencies, religious observances, or school events.
Narrative History (20%)
In early February, we will examine the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs as a case study. Afterwards, you will use the documents in Victors and Vanquished to construct a narrative history of that event, weaving together Spanish and Nahua accounts into a coherent whole. You will complete two drafts of the paper. The first, of 1,500-2,000 words, will be due on Friday, March 4. The second draft, for which you may add material up to 1,800-2,500 words, will be due on Friday, April 15.
The majority of your writing in the course will come via a course blog. You will be expected over the course of the semester to write eight blog posts that respond to the readings, reflect on class discussions, and present portions of the research you do for the timeline and material object projects. Due dates and brief topics are in the course schedule. Posts will be graded according to the linked rubric.
The course covers three centuries and two continents, and we will meander across space and time as we discuss various topics and readings. Therefore, each student will be responsible for researching two events, people, or places of importance in the course to add to a course timeline. Each student will be assigned two events, people, or places from the same region.
Material Culture Project (15%)
Each student will be responsible for writing an analysis of an object from the same region as that studied in the timeline project, based on an online exhibit from the collections of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University. For this project, students will describe each artifact’s use, significance, and the questions it raises about Native culture. The assignment will be explained at our February 5 course meeting, and will include several blog posts and a brief class presentation.
Final exam (20%)
The final exam for the course is scheduled for Monday, May 9, 2016, from 11:30 to 2:30pm. The exam will cover material from the entire course; details will be distributed in mid-April.