Historical Interpretations Program
The Historical Interpretations Program is offered only during the fall semester and is a great program for students who have an interest in examining the interpretation of history over time while exploring their own interests in history. Students who participate in this program take FYW 1106: Doing History in the 1950s, a first-year writing seminar.
Engaging History Beyond the Classroom
Students who participate in the History Interpretations Program are also provided with the opportunity to engage history beyond the classroom. For example, students have participated in excursions to the nearby Upcountry History Museum (see below) during a unit on World War II to view an exhibit entitled "The Upcountry and World War II" as well as to the American Legion War Museum in downtown Greenville.
Academic Program Description
The class in the Historical Interpretations Program fulfills the first-year writing seminar GER and examines how the writing of history changes over time. The focal point is the Landmark Series of history books, published for young readers in the 1950s and 1960s by Random House of New York. The series ultimately comprised 175 volumes on a wide variety of topics in American and world history. Students will be comparing works written in the fifties and sixties to books written today, looking for patterns both of change and of continuity. In addition, the course explores the zeitgeist of the United States as whole and of New York City in particular in order to make generalizations about what it meant (and means) to be an American and at the same time a citizen of the world. Discussion topics will include the nature of history itself, the art of historical writing, the possibility of objective history, juvenile literature as a genre, and life in New York City in the 1950s.
Historical Interpretations Course Description:
FYW 1106: Doing History in the 1950s (4 credits)
Exploration of changing tastes in the field of history by comparing what was written in the previous generation to what is being written today, and an examination of the Landmark Series, published in 185 volumes by Random House in New York City in the 1950s and early ‘60s. Students will read on topics, mostly of their choice, comparing books written in the U.S. in mid-century to the best of current scholarship on those same topics.