Mapping Historiography

We will use StoryMap JS , a free tool created by KnightLabs at Northwestern University to present historiography in a new way. StoryMap helps you tell interactive stories that combine places and events.

We will use it to explore the way historians have portrayed and explained events in 1919.

Overview of the Tool

StoryMapJS provides instructions, but all you really need are:

  1. Geographic points – It can be a street address, or a town or city name. You may have to conduct a bit of research to determine the location for each event.
  2. Images – You must include photographs or other images to make the story come alive.  You can upload the photos from your computer directly to StoryMap or you can link to URLs on the web.  All images must have citations. 
  3. A Story to tell. Stories are boiled down into meaningful events. We want to explore how historians have interpreted these events and why their views changed.

Once you have created the Storymap, you can edit the way that the map appears (using the options tab) and embed the map on the 1919 class site.

Overview of the Assignment

The class will be divided into groups to build the story maps based on the categories Labor, Race, and Radicalism.

1) Each student will identify five scholarly sources related to the category (journal articles, book chapters, or books).  – Due February 11.

  • No two sources can be from the same decade.
  • Students will write up a brief summary — when the source was written, who wrote it, and a brief summary of its argument (these summaries can be taken from reviews).
  • This list will be posted on Basecamp.

2) Working in a group, students will evaluate the lists and select the best sources to include in the story map. Each student will be responsible for researching three sources for the story map.

  • The group should ensure a variety of choices.
    • Different decades of historical writing
    • Different points of view
    • Different authors

3) Students will write up summaries (this time from reading the actual work!) and profiles of the sources in a shared StoryMap. Entries will go in chronological order, and should highlight:

  • Brief profile of the author.
  • When and where the source was written/published.
  • The main argument /reception.

4) Once these are together, the group will write an introduction to the issue and insert chronological entries that provide some background to contextualize the changes in historical interpretation.  Use the resources on historiography and locate others if needed.

  • Examples:
    • The 1950s Red Scare might have changed the way historians viewed the radicalism of 1919.
    • The Civil Rights movement might have changed the way historians viewed racial violence in 1919.
    • The New Social History of the 1970s may have changed the way historians look at labor strikes in 1919.

5) Groups will present their StoryMaps to the class. – Due March 28