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


Honors Seminars Spring 2014

Frauds and Mysteries in History

HON 290 Sec:001  
3 hours  
GEP Category:
Humanities (History); Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Global Knowledge  
Withers Hall 00115  
Dr. Alicia Ebbitt McGill

Frauds and Mysteries in History will introduce students to myths, mysteries, and misconceptions that surround history, archaeology, and our understandings of the past such as alien visitations, pyramid mania, archaeoastronomy, and Atlantis. We will examine reasons why people are fascinated by the past, common logical fallacies invoked in historical myths, and how the past 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 about ancient cultures and history.

Assignments and activities will include debates about popular representations of the past, website analyses, and collecting data to disprove hoaxes. Analysis of popular representations of the past will help students to be more critical consumers of information in general. An integral component of this course is for students to reflect upon their own beliefs about history and ancient cultures.