Ruins of the Convento de San Francisco


These structures are all that remain from a convent built near the coast of modern-day Uruguay in the 1690s. It is located in Colonia del Sacramento, a city that switched back and forth from Spanish rule to Portuguese rule several times during the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries. Its unstable political identity resulted from its positioning in a highly contested region. Although... Read More »

Schoolchildren at Minidoka Incarceration Camp image thumbnail

Schoolchildren at Minidoka Incarceration Camp


Minidoka incarceration camp, near Twin Falls in southern Idaho, was one of 10 incarceration camps run by the War Relocation Authority (WRA) that held citizens and non-citizens of Japanese descent during World War II. The 33,000 acres of arid desert were dominated by sagebrush, and residents contended with a harsh climate and poor living conditions. The camp was open from August 10, 1942, to... Read More »

Scotland Forever


Painted by Elizabeth Butler, Scotland Forever (1881), depicts the charge of the Heavy Cavalry at the battle of Waterloo fought in 1815. The British victory at Waterloo ended the Napoleonic Wars, and ensured Britain’s position as the worlds most dominant imperial power. Elizabeth Thompson, later Lady Butler, was a leading artist of military scenes in the late nineteenth century, and she... Read More »

Selections from Eusebius, Life of Constantine


The most important record that remains of Constantine’s life is a biography written shortly after his death by the historian and Christian bishop Eusebius of Caesarea (ca. 263–339 ?), a close adviser to Constantine. As Constantine’s friend and an official in the Church, Eusebius expressed a particular point of view in his biography, but many of the events he discusses, such as Constantine’s... Read More »

Seventeenth Century Metal Helmet


This helmet dates to the seventeenth century, and has been restored. It belonged to the Governor and Captain of the Kingdom of New León, Martín de Zavala. This territory spanned the northwest region of modern-day Mexico. Throughout the colonial period, the men who Spain appointed to run its administration often had military backgrounds. Especially in the early days of Spanish rule in the... Read More »

Bronze monument of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, Monument Avenue, Richmond, Virginia

Short Teaching Module: Controversial Historical Monuments


I use images of three historical statues that triggered controversy beginning in the 2010s to teach about the concept of contested historical memory and to have students consider parallels and differences among public history controversies in different parts of the world. I have several aims in using the images. While it is beyond the scope of this lesson to cover the histories of European... Read More »

Short Teaching Module: Filipino Comfort Women


This lesson on Filipino “comfort women” fits into a women’s history course. I chose this topic because it exposes the false dichotomy between being a victim and being a forceful advocate for your cause. These women prefer the word “survivors” as opposed to the word “victims” to describe themselves. While they were clearly victims of rape and military sexual slavery during the Japanese... Read More »

Florence Farmborough

Short Teaching Module: Florence Farmborough and the Russian Front, 1914-1918


Farmborough’s diary works well because it divides easily into short segments and is not difficult to understand because it uses modern language. Farmborough was an English nurse working on the Russian front. Her diary contains many descriptive, lively accounts of the war and the very active role played by women, both in the traditional role as caretakers of the wounded, but also as fighters.... Read More »

Short Teaching Module: Sick Men in Mid-Nineteenth-Century International Relations


I use political cartoons, newspaper stories, and excerpts from government documents to show different perspectives of a country’s power and foreign relations. I have several aims in using the texts. One is to accustom students to reading and interpreting state documents to understand their legal impact and what they suggest about their political context, in this case, decrees by Ottoman Sultan... Read More »

Short Teaching Module: Surnames and Nationality


Images of 1989 tend to center on dramatic events in Berlin, Warsaw, Prague, or other major East European cities. However, many of the changes in Eastern Europe and the world were far more subtle but no less important. This teaching module explores a new law passed in Italy in 1991, which was also an attempt to limit the the abuses of Communism as much as a regime change.The primary sources... Read More »