HIST 102
Regional primary sources afford the historian one of the best means of understanding the daily life and thoughts of
individuals in history. They also allow us to assess the impact that "big events" had on the experience of
individuals. Regional evidence engages the imagination and empathy of the reader in a way that no textbook or "big
picture" study can do.
Your job is to read one of the four assigned regional accounts for the course. Based on the account, you will
participate in a group presentation, according to the following ground rules:
1. If you need advice or audiovisual equipment, or if you would like to assign supplementary reading, you should
make an appointment with me before the presentation.
2. You must use the full class period.
3. You must briefly summarize the characters and plot of the book (five minutes or less).
4. You must spend the bulk of the class period assessing how the book reflects historical themes we’ve discussed
in class (see also the study questions below). Draw on the common base of knowledge that the whole class shares
by relating the specific events/ideas of the book to topics raised in lecture and discussion. DO NOT simply copy
material on these works off the internet. Plagiarism rules apply!
5. You must engage the audience by means of organized discussion, visual aids, provocative questions, skits,
"game shows," or in any other fashion you like.
6. Though you may divide up individual responsibilities as you wish (researchers, a/v technicians, administrators,
presenters, etc.), each member of the group must participate equally.
7. Grades for the presentation are generally assigned to the group as a whole, not to individuals.
8. Answer the following “Presentation Self-Evaluation" questions on a separate sheet of paper and submit it to me
on the day following the presentation. The group will not receive a grade until all self-evaluations have been
a. List your name and group.
b. What specifically did you do to prepare for or participate in the group presentation? On a scale of 1 to
5 (1 being low), how would you rate your level of participation and effort in the group presentation?
c. On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being low), how would you rate the group’s organizational efforts as a whole?
Why? Were there group members who contributed more or less to the group than others?
d. On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being low), how would you rate the overall success of the group presentation?
Questions you may want to consider (all or some):
1. What does the account suggest about the social structure of the culture it portrays? Is there a class
hierarchy? Do you get a sense of family or gender structures?
2. What does the account reveal about political structures and events? Who exercises political power? Are
military structures evident? Can you date the work to a particular reign or era, and on the basis of what
3. What does the account indicate about regional religious or intellectual currents? Is there a "moral" to
the story that historical peoples would have understood? Is the work itself written in a particular style or
4. What does the account suggest about daily life in the region? What do the characters eat, drink, wear,
and live in? How do they make a living?
5. Finally, how does the account reflect the unique historical development 1of the region? Remember to
specifically draw on your text and lectures for context.