History is the WORST! If history is history, why should I care?
Tell me , dear ones…WHAT IS HISTORY? Come up with your own definition of History! Piece of candy to the first person who can name this guy!
“History is full of really good stories. That’s the main reason I got into this racket: I want to make the argument that history is interesting!” --Sarah Vowell Why I, Miss Weaver, Study History?
First of all…what is history? • History—the written and other recorded events of people • When did history begin? • About 5,000 years ago in Southwest Asia and Africa • Both civilizations began to keep written records So what came before that?
Pre-History • What we know about life before written records • How was information passed down during pre-history? • Oral History or “word of mouth” Have you ever played telephone?
Silly Rabbit…you still haven’t told me why I should want to study history! • Any ideas? • It helps us to: • Know who we are as a society • Make informed guesses as to where we’re going • Enjoy the drama and comedy of the tales “History never looks like history when you’re living through it!” -John W. Gardner
Dwarfs Standing on the Shoulders of Giants • “One who develops future intellectual pursuits by understanding the research and works created by notable thinkers of the past” -Isaac Newton • We build on the achievements of the past
Bias “History is the version of the past events that people have decided to agree upon.” -Napoleon Bonaparte What are some reasons for bias? Piece of candy to the first person who can name this guy!
Ethnocentrism vs. Cultural Relativism Wonder where he got his feather? Ethnocentrism: The tendency to view one's own culture as best and to judge the behavior and beliefs of people in other societies by one's own standards. Cultural relativism: The idea that one should try to evaluate and understand another culture/society on its own terms and relative to its own values and beliefs.
Cultural Relativism: Our Approach to the Study of History • Beliefs & practices should be understood in terms of their own culture and time • We will try not to judge by modern, American standards • Why?
A Thought to Keep in Mind… “Human beings of all societies in all periods of history believe that their ideas of the real world are the most secure, and that their ideas on religion, ethics and justice are the most enlightened. Like us, they think that final knowledge is at last within reach. Like us, they pity the people in earlier ages for not knowing the true facts. Unfailingly, human beings pity their ancestors for being ignorant and forget that their descendants will pity them for the same reason.” --Edward Harrison In a sentence, summarize this quotation!
With your partner… • Come up with at least two (2) examples of bias in history • For tomorrow: Please complete the essay assignment: • History: Yay or Nay?!?