HIST 602 Syllabus

 

University of Waterloo
Department of History
Tri-University Graduate Program
HIST 602
Canadian II
WINTER 2016
2:30 – 4:20 PM, Mondays, PAS 2084

Instructor Information

Instructor: Professor Ian Milligan
Office: Hagey Hall 114
Office Phone: (519) 888-4567 x32775
Office Hours: Wednesday 1:00 – 2:00, or by appointment (I am on campus a lot, but e-mail beforehand so you don’t waste a trip to Hagey). For folks in HIST 602, I’ll always be available before class, just set up an appointment.
E-Mail: i2milligan@uwaterloo.ca
Web: https://ianmilligan.ca/

Course Description

History 602 is an applied research course in Canadian history. Students will receive an introduction to research methods: archives, digital methods, and other primary source repositories in the field. We will also cover dissemination methods, from conventional scholarly publications to digital platforms. Students will then have a choice of two options to demonstrate their grasp of research methods:

  1. A 25-30 page research essay based on primary sources (I’m open to alternative projects too);
  2. Or a group project which will research, write, and produce a digital game or exhibit focused on a specific event in Canadian history (or, realistically, a combination of the two). I.e. if some of you want to work on a website, you can; if a few of you want to build a video game, you can too. We’ll find a way to make it all fit together.

Both options will be graded on an individual basis.

Course Goals and Learning Objectives

We have three goals for this course:

  • To introduce you to the field of Canadian professional history: what do you need to know to be a Canadian academic? To that end, we’ll do some hands-on work with archives, explore digital methods, act as support groups, and come out of this course one-step ahead on our academic work and professional abilities.
  • To develop and hone your research and writing skills through the progressive delivery of a project.
  • To help you gain confidence in your oral speaking and small group discussion seminars.

These will give you a foundation for subsequent historical courses.

Grading Schemes

There are two grading schemes for this course, depending on whether you choose the first or second option.

Grading Scheme One: The Individual Research Essay Choice

Assignment Due Date Grade Weight
Participation Being a good sport in class! 10%
Proposal and Annotated Bibliography 25 January 2016 10%
Essay Outline 29 February 2016 10%
Draft Essay 21 March 2016 20%
Class Presentation on Project 21 March 2016 10%
Final Essay (25 – 30 pages) 11 April 2016 40%

Grading Scheme Two: The Collaborative Group Project (which can include individual components like a website section/video game/podcast/whatever cool things you can cook up)

Assignment Due Date Grade Weight
Participation Being a good sport in class! 10%
Proposal and Annotated Bibliography 25 January 2016 10%
Research Report (8-10 pages) 29 February 2016 20%
Story Boards/Scripts 7 March 2016 20%
Commentary on the Production Activities 4 April 2016 20%
Final Project (graded by section) 11 April 2016 20%

Class Schedule

This class is a bit different than other classes, as it’s primarily a venue for you to learn new applied skills: this can be by essentially writing the first draft of an MRP/Thesis chapter with me, or by taking on a new media project.

While we have a few weeks where we don’t meet, we do still have quite a few in-class meetings. I think it’s good for us to meet semi-regularly, so:

  • You can see your peers: working together as a team, having social engagement, keeping everybody posted will help build community and help socialize you into the norms of academia;
  • We can learn some new skills;
  • And I can get to know you all quite a bit better.

We don’t have assigned readings, per se, but I do expect you to come to class prepared, ready to share, and able to undertake any quick presentations or discussions as required.

Week One: January 4th: Course Introduction

We’ll meet, review the syllabus, and get to know each other.

Week Two: January 11th: MRP/Thesis Project Roundtable and Class Discussion of Options for the Group Project

This week, we’ll all come and bring your MRP/Thesis projects to the table. Each of you will present on it for 5-10 minutes, we’ll have a chat about this, pool our knowledge, and begin to lay the groundwork for either the group project or your final deliverable.

Decision date for whether you’ll be doing Option A or Option B will be approaching. So as a class, we’ll look at the Waterloo and the First World War website from last term, talk about what’s worked and what hasn’t, and begin to come up with an action plan.

Week Three: January 18th: Archival Visit

Instead of our regular class, we’ll be meeting in the Special Collections & Archives in the basement of the Dana Porter Library. I’ll be using your comments from Week Three to put together, with the archivists, a special exploration of their collections.

Week Four: January 25th: Project team member research proposals

Here’s where you present your research proposals to the class, with time for brief feedback. This makes sure we all know what each other are doing.

Week Five: February 1st: Project team member research proposals (continued)

We may be too rushed to present them all in Week Four, and I want to make sure we all have time to share our work. If we end up having extra time, we will do a quick ‘going digital’ workshop to teach you how to: (a) get computers to do all your citations; (b) quickly find literature; (c) etc.

Week Six: February 8th: No class. Meetings with Professor Milligan

Reading Week

Week Seven: February 22nd: No class. Meetings with Professor Milligan.

Week Eight: February 29th: Status Update Day

After being apart for three weeks, this is an opportunity for each of us to provide status updates. I’ll provide details for what I’m expecting – it will be low key but informative.

Week Nine: March 7th: No Class

Work on your projects/travel/etc. Professor Milligan can meet with you.

Week Ten: March 14th: Storyboard Presentations

For people doing the collaborative group project, this is your chance to present to the class what you were up to.

Week Eleven: March 21st: Research Paper Conference Day

This is the final day for the presentation of those writing MRP/Thesis chapters: each will present, and provide commentary on, a paper.

Week Twelve: March 28th: Final Class

This day will be wrap-up: we may need more time for Week Eleven presentations, and we’ll spend the rest of our time having a more general discussion about the course, future directions in history, and the next steps for all of your MRPs and Theses.

Assignment Information

Option One: MRP/Thesis Chapter

If you choose this option, you’ll have different assignments and approaches than the students who are tackling the group project. This option is oriented around the research and writing process: it begins with finding sources, then writing a proposal, a draft, and then a final paper. I think of this option as the “shortcut” for the MRP: you’ll come out of the course with a chapter done.

Participation (10%)

While we do not have formal readings in this class, coming to class on-time, prepared to discuss, and ready to engage with the ideas of your classmates are critical. Accordingly, participation is evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Attendance: Were you in class? Did you arrive on time?
  • Preparation: Were you prepared when asked to give short updates on your research or project?
  • Engagement: Were you able to ask questions of your colleagues? Engage with them in discussion?

Proposal and Annotated Bibliography (10%)

In this proposal, you need to identify both what your overall thesis/MRP is about and how the paper that you’ll be writing in 602 fills that gap.

The proposal will be roughly 4-5 pages, and will contain:

  • A clear identification of your thesis project, and the working hypothesis that you are currently building towards;
  • A brief discussion of the event: no more than a page, discussing the major events at play;
  • What time period are you studying? What is the beginning point of your study, and what is the end?
  • What have other scholars argued about this topic? How is your work original?
  • If part of the broader thesis/MRP, an outline of your overall approach and how this chapter will fit into it.

You then need to also write an annotated bibliography of primary and secondary sources.

  • For primary sources, you can list:
    • Newspapers, magazines, journals;
    • Government documents, including census/government reports/legal documents/Parliamentary debates, etc.;
    • Audio/visual sources: CBC Archives, photographs, art, etc.;
  • For each primary source, you should do the following:
    • A brief one-to-two sentence description of what the source is;
    • A discussion of where you can find this material – where is the archive? Is it online?
    • When do you plan to visit this source?
  • For secondary sources, you can list a series of articles and books that have also studies this project, and:
    • What its main argument is?
    • How does this relate to your project?
    • And how does it help you facilitate your knowledge of the primary sources listed.

You will present your proposal on January 25th.

Essay Outline (10%)

This research essay should consist of three main sections.

  • You should have an introductory section that provides a point-form overview of what you’re arguing: your main thesis and how it fits into the historiographical debates that you’re intervening in.
  • You should then have your essay outlined down to a paragraph, in the following format:
    • Thesis of the paragraph;
    • Evidence used;
    • How it relates to your project;
  • And then have an introductory section again that provides a point-form overview of what you’re concluding, with particular emphasis on how this relates to the rest of your thesis or MRP.

This should be approximately 5 pages in length.

Draft Essay (20%)

This draft essay is a rough, first draft of your final project. You should at a minimum:

  • Have a fully written introductory paragraph;
  • Have a fully written conclusion paragraph;
  • Have fully written introductions to each of your sections;
  • And have every other paragraph at least down to a point-form nature, illustrating:
    • Your main arguments;
    • The evidence being used;
    • And debates being entered into.

Class Presentation (10%)

Students will give a 15-minute summary of their project to the class, covering the main points and arguments in their essay (using their draft essay as a foundation). Presentations should:

  • Clearly express the thesis of the paper;
  • Provide a documentation of the evidence used;
  • Use sound presenting principles, such as:
    • Using audio-visual resources where appropriate;
    • Engaging the audience with a story or in-depth discussion from part of your paper;
    • Taking questions and answers and demonstrating an in-depth awareness of their project.

I will evaluate your presentation based on the above principals.

Final Paper (40%)

The final paper is the culmination of this entire process, and accordingly takes in comments that I’ve provided on your proposals, the draft essay, the class presentation, and from our one-on-one discussions. The final paper will take the following shape:

  • 25-30 page paper, using Chicago Manual of Style citations, that takes the form of a chapter of your MRP or Thesis;
  • 2 page covering letter, describing how the student has adapted to the revision suggestions made by both myself and other students, in order to demonstrate that they can engage with constructive criticism of their work.

Option Two: The Collaborative Group Project

This is the more creative option! The end product should take the form of a web-based project, although it can incorporate other multi-media elements: games, movies, podcasts, etc., the limit is your imagination.

In the past, students have been building a collaborative website on the history of the First World War in Waterloo Region. My recommendation is that we keep continuing that, but let’s talk in class.

Participation (10%)

While we do not have formal readings in this class, coming to class on-time, prepared to discuss, and ready to engage with the ideas of your classmates are critical. Accordingly, participation is evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Attendance: Were you in class? Did you arrive on time?
  • Preparation: Were you prepared when asked to give short updates on your research or project?
  • Engagement: Were you able to ask questions of your colleagues? Engage with them in discussion?

Proposal and Annotated Bibliography (10%)

In this proposal, you need to identify both what your overall website/project/etc. is about (in collaboration with your group), and then the particular section of the website that you will be researching and the sources that you will be using (or game/podcast/whatever you cook up, in collaboration with me).

The proposal will be roughly 4-5 pages, and will contain:

  • A clear identification of the overall website project/video game/etc.;
  • A discussion of what your specific project will cover, and how it will do so;
  • What have other people done similarly, whether in secondary sources or elsewhere on the web/video game world/etc.?
  • You then need to also write an annotated bibliography of primary and secondary sources.
  • For primary sources, you can list:
    • Newspapers, magazines, journals;
    • Government documents, including census/government reports/legal documents/Parliamentary debates, etc.;
    • Audio/visual sources: CBC Archives, photographs, art, etc.;
  • For each primary source, you should do the following:
    • A brief one-to-two sentence description of what the source is;
    • A discussion of where you can find this material – where is the archive? Is it online?
    • When do you plan to visit this source?
  • For secondary sources, you can list a series of articles and books that have also studied this project, or other websites/multimedia projects/games similar to yours:
    • What its main argument is?
    • How does this relate to your project?
    • And how does it help you facilitate your knowledge of the primary sources listed.

Use common sense. If you’re doing a video game about the First World War, for example, you’d want to cite some sources around the war, some video games that have been done (Valiant Hearts, for example), and some primary documents that could enrich the game.

You will present your proposal on January 25th.

Research Report (20%)

This research report will be a summary of the various sources that you found during your research process, and how you’ll use them in your final project. What sources have you found? What secondary sources? What have other sites done? Basically, it’s transforming your annotated bibliography and proposal into a substantive synthesis report. It should be 8 – 10 pages.

Please consider the following points:

  • How do the sources and evidence that you have found or exposed extended or altered our general understanding of the event under study (i.e. the war in Waterloo Region)?
  • Was anything controversial or unexpected?
  • How does this add to the existing base of knowledge?
  • Do you have any artifacts, photographs, or other material culture that illustrate your research – and would work well with the website?
  • How does this work engage with the broader historiography, or public narratives of an event?

Story Boards (20%)

For the collaborative project, each member of the team prepares a specific component of the project. Here is the chance to mock things up. We’ll show you a few different options to make these, either digitally or in print, depending on what you’re doing. For digital prototyping, I often use Pencil (available on all platforms). In any event, we’ll want to see:

  • How big is your project? If a website, how many pages or layout elements will you need?
  • How will interactive components work, if applicable?
  • Is your research complete?
  • What evidence are you using, and how are you incorporating it into the page?
  • How will you handle controversy?
  • Have you found copyright clearance for all sources?
  • What’s your publicity plan to reach the public?

This can take different forms depending on what you’re doing. I’m not really looking for a specific length, but enough to convince me that you’ve got a good plan ahead.

Commentary on Production Activities (20%)

This type of work presents different kinds of challenges and an understanding of history. This is your chance to write a short, 8-10 page essay on what it means to do the sort of work that you did in this project. Consider the following:

  • How was your project an original scholarly contribution?
  • What was your role int he project? Did you serve in a leadership role, a research role, a design role?
  • What audience do you think your project could reach? How can you reach audiences? What should historians do?
  • Did the storyboard process help you blueprint things? If so, how? And if not, why not?
  • To what extent have you been involved in the current and future development of the website. Would you add the site to your resume or portfolio?
  • What are the relative merits of this sort of collaborative project vs. the independent, MRP-style research?

Final Project (graded by section) (20%)

In this final grading assignment, I will evaluate your final project. I will do so on the following criteria.

  • Quality of writing and design;
  • Effective use of sources;
  • Easy to understand and navigate (if applicable);
  • Response to earlier criticism and suggestions;
  • Attention to detail.

Rules and Important Course Policies

 

  • Late policy5% a day. If you are submitting a late assignment, e-mail it to me and bring a hard copy to our next class. I will ‘stop the clock’ based on when your e-mail is stamped.
  • E-Mail Policy: I will attempt to answer all e-mails within one business day. (most Saturdays as well, but Sundays I try to turn my e-mail off). Make sure I know who you are – i.e. sign your e-mails. Please also include a greeting (i.e. “Hi Professor Milligan”) and a salutation, (i.e. Thanks, Jane Smith).
  • Technology in the Classroom: Appropriate use of laptops, smartphones, etc. is acceptable as long as it dovetails with our objectives of respectful and comprehensive learning. You’re all adults. However, do not disturb your classmates: if you’re the sort of person who needs to check Facebook, Twitter, etc. constantly, please sit at the back of the room.
  • Note for students with disabilities: The Office for Persons with Disabilities (OPD), located in Needles Hall, Room 1132, collaborates with all academic departments to arrange appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities without compromising the academic integrity of the curriculum.  If you require academic accommodations to lessen the impact of your disability, please register with the OPD at the beginning of each academic term.

 

Academic Integrity

  • Academic Integrity: In order to maintain a culture of academic integrity, members of the University of Waterloo are expected to promote honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility.
  • Discipline: A student is expected to know what constitutes academic integrity, to avoid committing academic offences, and to take responsibility for his/her actions. A student who is unsure whether an action constitutes an offence, or who needs help in learning how to avoid offences (e.g., plagiarism, cheating) or about “rules” for group work/collaboration should seek guidance from the course professor, academic advisor, or the Undergraduate Associate Dean. When misconduct has been found to have occurred, disciplinary penalties will be imposed under Policy 71 – Student Discipline. For information on categories of offenses and types of penalties, students should refer to Policy 71 – Student Discipline.
  • Grievance: A student who believes that a decision affecting some aspect of his/her university life has been unfair or unreasonable may have grounds for initiating a grievance. Read Policy 70 – Student Petitions and Grievances, Section 4.
  • Appeals: A student may appeal the finding and/or penalty in a decision made under Policy 70 – Student Petitions and Grievances (other than regarding a petition) or Policy 71 – Student Discipline if a ground for an appeal can be established. Read Policy 72 – Student Appeals.
  • Other sources of information for students:

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

  • Note for students with disabilities: The AccessAbility Services office, located on the first floor of the Needles Hall extension (1401), collaborates with all academic departments to arrange appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities without compromising the academic integrity of the curriculum. If you require academic accommodations to lessen the impact of your disability, please register with the AS office at the beginning of each academic term.