Now Appearing at Your Local Multiplex: History!

Lecture Description

Students coming into our classes bring with them assorted chunks of historical and legal knowledge, gleaned mostly from movies and TV. (Ask any student to recite the “perp’s” Miranda rights, and most will be able to do so verbatim because they have seen so many crime shows.) At the same time, we historians regularly tear our hair over students’ ignorance of basic historical facts. The lecture starts from the premise that we do our students a disservice if we either ignore their prior knowledge or waste energy attempting to correct misinformation. It argues that we should engage with what they “know,” in order to teach them how to discern and critically analyze the historical interpretations they encounter in popular media.



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