Beyond Literary Landscapes—History

From my early beginnings as a young introvert, the public library has always been a bit of a refuge.  Years later, not much has changed, albeit with an additional affinity for endless hours spent scouring second-hand bookstores to add to my ever-growing “to-read” pile.

From one bookworm to another, this column underscores and outlines various literary genres, authors, and recent reads and serves as an introduction for those unfamiliar with these works, as a refresher for long-time aficionados, and maybe as an inspiration for readers to share their own suggested topics.  Do you have a topic that you would like covered in this column?  Feel free to contact me for an interview and a feature in an upcoming column.

Who

This week, the Beyond Literary Landscapes column focuses on an introduction to several authors in the genre of History.

As a poplar academic field, History can be defined as “the study of the human past as it is constructed and interpreted with human artifacts, written evidence, and oral traditions.”  In particular, “history requires a deliberative stance towards the past; the sophisticated use of information, evidence, and argumentation; and the ability to identify and explain continuity and change over time.”

This academic field can be subdivided into many different areas of specialization, including Ancient History, Latin American History, African History, East Asian History, Middle Eastern History, European History, Canadian History, US History, among others.

Some examples of well-known authors who have written in the History genre include Isabel Wilkerson, Paul Ortiz, Kim E.  Nielsen, and Susan Stryker.

What

Some examples of recent History texts include The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson, An African American and Latin History of the United States by Paul Ortiz, A Disability History of the United States by Kim E.  Nielsen, and Transgender History by Susan Stryker.

Where

These texts take place in the United Kingdom and the United States.

When

These works are set in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.

Why

These particular history texts may be of interest to students who would like to learn more about certain topics often omitted in mainstream historical works, or learn more about their particular communities.  However, as the genre is limitless, students are sure to find historical texts that appeal to their particular interests, such as time period, geographical area, or niche.

How

AU’s wide range of diverse courses make it easy to study this topic in depth.  Courses related to History are available in a variety of disciplines, including one’s that may fit into your Degree Works.  (Always check with an AU counsellor to see if these particular courses fulfill your personal graduation requirements!)

AU students interested in learning more about this topic may enroll in HIST 209: A History of the World in the Twentieth Century: I, a junior-level, three-credit course, which “introduces students to twentieth-century world history.”  (Although no prerequisites are required, AU stduetns are encouraged to have already taken one previous university-level History course.)

In addition, students may be interested in HIST 210: A History of the World in the Twentieth Century: II, another junior-level, three-credit course, which “introduces you to the major economic, political, social, scientific, and technological developments in post–Second World War history.”  (As above, while no prerequisites are required, a pervious History course at the university level is recommended.)  Happy reading!

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