Students will have three names of historical figures drawn at random during the first week of the semester. (A PDF of the results of the draw will be provided below. Locate your name in the first column and read across the row to discover the three names “drawn” for you.) These are the three names I was given listed below.
*Julia Ward Howe
*Richard Henry Pratt
After a preliminary scan of biographical information on each of the three historical figures “drawn” for you, decide which ONE of these three historical figures will become the focus of your required report and presentation.
This step simulates – albeit on a very small scale – the kind of choices historians, archivists and curators often have to make about which figures from history will receive additional time and attention or which will be used in their work to represent a particular culture or time period.
While for this assignment you cannot make a “wrong” choice from your three possible options of historical figures, you will be expected to be able to explain the criteria and rationale you used to make the choice you made.
Students are expected to complete an online presentation of no more than two PowerPoint or Google slides (or 2 pages of a Word document if you do not have access to those programs), including basic biographical information such as time of life and country or culture of origin, as well as the figure’s cultural, artistic and/or historical contributions and their significance.
The best presentations will offer a mix of written information and visuals; any source material should be documented in MLA Style directly on the slide/page. No title slide should be used. This presentation is short in order to make you make good critical choices, and practically so that we have a chance to read and appreciate all 25 presentations on the discussion forum.
The presentation should be much more than a factual copy/paste job from something like Wikipedia or Biography.com – to reiterate, you are being asked to not only draw from the facts of their life, you are being asked to offer at least a introductory analysis of their historical or cultural significance.
While no minimum number of sources are required, any sources you use either through direct quotation or by paraphrase must be fully documented.
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