Writing their Way into History

By Margaux Finan '13

Every fall Assumption students participate in the interdisciplinary American Studies Seminar sponsored by the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) for the Colleges of Worcester Consortium. A visiting professor explores a different topic, and the students in the seminar have access to the AAS’s extensive archival collections to generate a final, independent research project.

This semester’s program is led by Dr. Hannah Carlson of the Rhode Island School of Design, and focuses on “Dressing Democracy: Clothing and Culture in America.” While the independent research project requires a significant commitment, seven Assumption College students taking part in the seminar also are blogging about their experiences - http://www1.assumption.edu/blogs/history/?cat=8.
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“For all the students, it is an extraordinary opportunity to conduct high-level research with internationally acclaimed scholars using the unparalleled resources of the library,” says Professor Lance Lazar, associate professor of history.

The student posts follow the evolution of their understanding, from explorations of how scholars have analyzed the importance of clothing in expressing personal identity and political ideology, to discussions about changes their outlook and sense of history. Their blogs and the knowledge they’ve gained in the course is part of a large blogging initiative within Assumption’s History Department.

The students all agree that the AAS’s rich resources, the guidance of Dr. Carlson, and reflecting on their semester through their blogs, have been phenomenal experiences that have helped them shape their knowledge, personal identity and political ideology.

“The seminar has surpassed what I imagined it to be” enthused student Lauren Morocco ’12. “I’ve learned so much and the class itself was just amazing.”

To learn more about the American Antiquarian Society, visit http://www.americanantiquarian.org.

To read the student’s blogs: visit http://www1.assumption.edu/blogs/history/?cat=8

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Lorraine U. Martinelle
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lu.martinelle@assumption.edu
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