The Georgetown College is changing its general education history requirement by replacing one of the previously mandated general survey classes with a history focus course. The change will take effect with the class of 2017, although members of the class of 2016 are also eligible to take a focused course.
Currently, the College requires students to take either HIST-007, Intro to Early History, or HIST-008, Intro to Late History, in addition to a large regional survey course. After the change, students will have to take one survey course and a history focus course.
History focus courses differ from those previously offered as fulfilling the history general education requirement by focusing on a particular aspect of history, as opposed to an overview of an entire region.
“Whereas the current requirement is structured as two ‘broad’ introductory courses, the new structure will replace one of those two with a ‘deep’ introductory course,” said Prof. Tommaso Astarita of the History Department, who will be teaching one of the focus classes this coming fall. “The aim is to give students exposure to more varied and different facets of historical work.”
Two history focus courses will be offered next semester, the first taught by Dr. Astarita on the Italian Renaissance, and the second taught by Prof. Chandra Manning on the American Revolution. Both professors are still in the process of developing a plan and syllabi for their courses, as they are of completely novel design.
Manning’s course will contain, in addition to the traditional lecture and discussion, a history lab day once a week. The lab day will allow students to do more of a hands-on inquiry into history by involving instruction on how to read a scholarly article, finding sources, closely reading primary and secondary sources, and workshops on writing.
The components of the course will combine together to complement the other broad survey general education history requirement. “The new class and the current survey class complement each other,” wrote Manning in an email to the Voice. “[They will] more fully introduce students to what the discipline of history is, what tools and methods historians employ, and how, as historians, we come to know what we know.”
Students will still be able to use AP creit to fulfill the general survey course requirement, but even with the AP credit they will still need to take another 100+ level history course.