BIG THOUGHTS HERE
[...] BIG THOUGHTS HERE Source: Postmodern Conservative [...]
There is no topic that cannot be taught as History.
So what you say makes sense.
I think I like the downplaying historical content approach, but I would go all in, and not aim for diversity within the department. (as unwise as this might be from a historical perspective).
But take accounting for example. That is almost a pure History topic. So there are all sorts of ways to make history less interesting, and we can even teach that in large part the art of making history interesting was an attempt to hide true history(its a partial theory of accounting at least.). That is as soon as history is developed it soon begets a counterfeit. History might even begin as accounting. A rudementary way to keep track of things. A stored repository of knowledge. Also as money and as counterfeit money. As a way to track money. So History as authentication.
No one is going to respect the History major if it makes the uses no resources argument. Also I doubt they ever agree to price it differently.
Instead how about a History department that is all about authentication and counterfeiting? (maybe even quasi-science intensive) Assignments directed at getting the best answer from any possible source. Make History the anti-Literature. No papers on how you feel with rules about plagerism(except sometimes). I would like to be able to switch up the intellectual property structure of the the good/subject matter History being alienated. Some projects I would make about plagerism or attempts to fradulently pass off work. Make your historians into folks who can authenticate items. Subject them to different academic standards accross time. Instead of simply changing the sylabus, change the rules of the game.
“From the point of view of being a consumer of history, you needn’t obsess all that much about the perfect accuracy of what you’re reading”
You aren’t here to be a passive consumer! You are here to be an authenticator. We are returning Historians to Historical grandeur, the folks who developed accounting in Italy. I am talking about thowing down an odd collection of coins and asking for an answer in a unit of account across different time periods. Mastery of different standards and units of measure are key. I want answers that will hold up in american courts of law, but also perhaps going back into history and seeing what methods might have held up under previous rules of evidence and accounting all the way up to Sarbanes-Oxley. In part I want to show how much is structured by formal precision. Study memorization both of words and detail. Learn how to sketch. Learn ancient codeing.
I want crazy final exams like walking into a room and memorizing it. Going into another room and recording it. Then playing a game of nines men morris. Then counterfeit identification.
“Weaker still is the argument that the study of history is a “practice” than encourages “discovery.”
Close to what it is for lawyers, not far from journalists. History in part is discovering what history is functionally for different occupations. Heck I would even cover patent and send students to the USPTO with the key of trying to duplicate a patent that has entered the public domain. (that would be pretty hard, but would involve history in getting to the level of the phosita, as well as exploring this concept.) I want some modern day Leonardo da Vinci meets google labs games going.
In addition to covering trademark and servicemark and means of identifying these, also cover trade secret, and incorporate trade secret into various writting assingments, where the trade secret are various legal or ethical rules you can ignore (or rules that expand the scope of your search material). Things you can hide from evidence. Try to set up an adversarial history class. Mock Foia of an administrative agency maybe. Heck make the history students hunt down information no one bothers to check that is available to the public (real FOIA).
I want a History department that instills in its students the prudence of Italian Merchants, with a large focus upon financial bubbles, and an unmatched understanding of the history of property and the functioning of administrative law.
Its a bit more of a legalistic political economist major, but you could add all the history you could eat to it. Aim for putting graduates into the CIA, the FBI and the Secret Service. It is dooable with a history major, would be great pre-law and depending on how science or accounting intensive might even qualify as foreinsic accounting.
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