NTC Seminar Preview - July 19, 2012

Land Ordinance Map of Chicago, 1834
Land Ordinance Map of Chicago,1834

Sensing the Second City: Seeing, Hearing, Smelling, Tasting, and Touching Chicago History

 Adam Mack, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

 How did Chicagoans interpret the rise of the city in the half-century after the Civil War through their five senses?  What might the evidence of the sensory past teach us about their perspectives on the major issues of the day including public health, industrial pollution, the conflict between labor and capital, and political radicalism?  In this seminar, we will explore these questions, and more, by reading primary source documents in Chicago history from roughly the Civil War through World War I.  We will consider the primary source evidence in light of the emerging historical scholarship on the five senses to discuss the benefits, and potential pitfalls, of using sensory history to teach students about the rise of the metropolis and to enliven their interest in the study of the past more generally.

 

Teaching with Things:  Historical Archaeology and Material Culture in History Education

Jane Eva Baxter, DePaul University

 This seminar will introduce participants to the discipline of historical archaeology, also known as the archaeology of the recent past.  Historical archaeology is interdisciplinary in nature and combines traditional archaeological methods of excavation and survey with documentary analysis, oral history, and architectural studies.  This disciplinary introduction will facilitate a presentation of how objects and artifacts can be used to teach students about the past using materials familiar to them and engaging the material history of their local community.  Integrated into the seminar will be a series of hands on exercises and activity templates that can be used with students.

 

The Environmental Movement

Ben Johnson, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee

 The 1960s and early 1970s witnessed an explosion in the environmental consciousness and activism of Americans, resulting in a spate of new laws, agencies, and organizations.  This seminar will explore the most important recent scholarship about the origins and significance of environmentalism.  Seminar participants will have a discussion-based format, interpreting and conversing about important primary and secondary sources on figures and issues ranging from Rachel Carson, Earth Day, suburbanization, and the Whole Earth Catalog.

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