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seminars > fall 2014 schedule > seminar: Frauds and Mysteries in History


Honors Seminars Fall 2014

Frauds and Mysteries in History

HON 290 Sec:001  
3 hours  
GEP Category:
Humanities (History); Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Global Knowledge  
Withers Hall 150  
Dr. Alicia Ebbitt McGill

This course will introduce students to myths, mysteries, frauds, and misconceptions that surround history, archaeology, and general understanding of the past. Some examples we will discuss include claims about alien visitations, the discovery of the Americas, ancient giants, and Atlantis. We will examine reasons why people are fascinated by the past, common logical fallacies invoked in historical myths, and how history has been appropriated and manipulated throughout time. We will also learn about the methods and evidence historians and archaeologists use to interpret past peoples and events – specifically critical thinking and analytical skills used to debunk and disprove inaccurate and problematic claims. Additionally, analysis of popular representations of the past will help students to be more critical consumers of information in general. Another integral component of this course is for students to reflect upon their own beliefs about history and ancient cultures.

Assignments and activities will include discussion and debates about popular representations of the past and diverse ways people learn about history, website and article analyses, and collecting data to disprove hoaxes.