Department of History

Initial "Family Biography in History" Assignment
updated: 14 Jan 2019

    In order to give me a sense of what each student is bringing to the class in terms of life experiences and connections to larger historical events, please write a short (2-3 pp.) essay covering the following topics:

  1. Some sense of your own family's history/background.  Include some of your earliest memories of your family's history (for me, it was stories of my maternal grandmother, Yeoli Stimson Acton (24 Sep 1877 - 05 Jul 1977) spending her first fifteen years on Truk (now Chuuk).
  2. Your first memory of a direct experience with, or connection to, an historical event that transcended your family or immediate community (for me, it was the outbreak of the Korean Conflict on 25 June 1950—at the time, we thought it was the start of World War III).
  3. What you do to keep sane in your non-academic time (for me, it's singing in a couple of choral groups, and using compost to transform the clay in my backyard into something that will grow tomatoes and hot peppers).
  4. What brings you to this particular course.
  5. What you hope to get out of the course.

    This paper should be in "standard" format -- i.e., double-spaced and paginated, with your name and date at the top.  Unlike every other assignment this semester, however, you do not need to print this one out or UL it to Canvas  Instead, please just send it to (my preferred account, since gets clogged with administrivia) as an email attachment (in DOC, not in PDF or Google Docs, format)—I'll then add your photo from Canvas and print it all out.

    While this assignment will not be graded, you may ask me if you'd like to get some feedback in terms of assessing your clarity of expression.

    In addition to this assignment, I'll still need for you to fill out and send me a biodata form (which I will send you as a Google Form), to keep my own database up-to-date.  Thanks!