My Class Experiences:
Hands on War Letters: WWII in the Pacific was a phenomenal class. Students started by researching WWII Pacific history, then eventually used the UNE Special Collections Archive to read letters from servicemen and women during the war. Students then selected a topic directly from the letters that they wanted to continue researching. We wrote academic papers, learned aspects of museum design, and created panels as the basis for our exhibit.
The topic I chose was Japanese American Internment, which was a subject that permeated all of the sub-themes of the exhibit. With Cally Gurly, the Special Collections librarian, I learned how to create museum panels through the software program InDesign. I worked on two sub-theme panels, created three Japanese American Internment panels, and designed a personal family panel (in tribute to my grandparents during WWII). I also made a cookie refreshment panel (we served war ration cookies for the museum opening). In addition, I assisted Prof. DeWolfe with the publicity for the opening night event, which involved learning how to contact key groups within the UNE community. Below are a some examples of my work:
This course is an introduction to the ways historians study the past. Students will learn how historians formulate research questions, how to use historical evidence, and how to tell historical stories. Each semester, this course will examine a different historical theme or question. A description of the specific topic offered will be posted prior to the registration period. Students may take multiple versions of this course.
Spring 2019: War Letters. In this course we will study the discipline of history by “doing” history. Our focus will be on letters from World War II from soldiers and nurses who served in the Pacific, drawn from the war letter archive in the UNE library. As we explore this rich archive of primary source documents we will focus on three areas of study: letters as a historical source; the content & context of war letters; and the historical stories we can tell based on war letters. This semester we have a unique opportunity. We will tell our historical stories by creating a professional museum exhibit to be installed in the Ketchum Library Gallery. Students will plan every facet of the exhibit: researching the letters, creating exhibit themes, designing the visual appearance, selecting artifacts, writing text and label copy, and, at the end of the semester, installing the exhibit and opening it to the public. Particularly for students interested in education, writing, and public history, this course will provide practical skills and a tangible product to highlight to future employers.