Time I Assignment
Two skills are central to the practice of history: deciding what matters
in the past and organizing those things that matter into chronological
order so that we may show change over time. You have all encountered
timelines in textbooks, on the news, and on the web. Timelines take many
forms but all make two implicit arguments: the items included in this
timeline are more important than the ones left out and that the events
in this timeline collectively help us understand how history happened.
Traditionally students are asked to view and perhaps memorize timelines.
For this couse, we are going to build our own timelines. Doing so will
require us to consider both what matters and how to present what matters
in a graphically coherent way.
For the next two weeks we're going to look at the history of the East Asia to the year zero.
- Learn how what sources are included and excluded shapes the history presented in a timeline.
- Compare various approaches to building interactive timelines.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of different historical timelines.
- Fully answer questions using standard English in complete sentences.
A. Review the readings for this week.
B. Next consider the following websites that offer different
timelines on East Asian History Please take a half hour or so to explore these timelines, looking at multiple images and videos.
C. Answer the questions. Answer the questions in complete sentences, please, in a plain text document, saved as .txt or Markdown (.md, .mdown) and submit your answers to the Time I Assignment Submission Folder on D2L. Each question will be a small to medium paragraph. I will refer to the timelines by their common names, that is World Digital Library (WDL), and Heilbrunn timelines.
- Which timeline did you find provided the best information for understanding the history of East Asia? Why?
Which timeline did you find graphically most appealing? Why?
Which timeline offered the best explanation of why history occurred as it did (A let to B)? Please give a short (one or two sentence) example of how the timeline showed how one event/person/idea led to a second event/person/idea.
Heilbrunn and the WDL timelines include many primary sources. If you wanted to reach a rural Minnesotan taking a college online history course and researching the history of Japan, which timeline would you recommend? Why?
What do all of these timelines have in common (at least two and no more than four things)?
What group or groups of people do these timelines neglect? Such groups may be big or small, significant or not. For example, I found no material specifically about left-handed individuals in any of these timelines. Perhaps silly, but not given the historic prejudice against lefties.
You'll receive points for each question you successfully answer.