FYS-103 Bringing the Past into the Present

Instructor: Assoc Provost for Faculty Dev & Academic Tech Initiatives, Dean of Social Sciences Julia A. Hendon
Department: Provost's Office

Course Description:
If you love learning about past events, peoples, and ways of life, this seminar offers you the chance to study different ways used by public historians and public archaeologists to bring the past into the present. In addition to discussing, reading, and writing, you will carry out a semester-long research project based on primary documents and materials in the collections of the College or the Adams County Historical Society. You will also experience and analyze living history approaches and museum exhibits drawn from the rich array of resources at the College, in the community, and at the Gettysburg National Military Park. Central to public history and public archaeology is a sensitivity to the existence of multiple perspectives that are not always in agreement with one another. Presentation and interpretation of the past is not a simple matter of finding the truth or being objective. How we understand our past and the past of other people, groups, and nations changes in response to present-day concerns and reflects the shifting nature of collective memory. Field trips during class time may require you to pay an entrance fee for some off-campus tours. Research projects may center on the Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg but they do not have to; this seminar is not about the Civil War nor is it designed solely for Civil War fanatics. Regardless of your topic, students taking this seminar should expect to spend a significant amount of time outside of class working on their project. Whether on or off campus, your project will require you to observe the hours of operation, rules, and regulations of the organizations whose materials you wish to study.