History Today

General Overview: This research project will start with the student examining a recent news story (reported within the last year) that reveals new information about the historical past, OR a recent news story that contributes to the longer dialogue/history of the relationship between Africa, the Americas, and Europe. The goal of this essay should be to emphasize the idea that history is a continually developing story that evolves with new information, discoveries, and/or changes in political, social, and or economic conditions. Important note; the news story should be directly tied to an event that this course covers (pre-Columbian era to the end of the Civil War).

Examples: The recent discovery of a sunken slave ship off the coast of South Africa with slaves from the east coast of Africa; The discovery of the time capsule found in a building in Boston; The issues of epidemic diseases such as Ebola, and the way epidemic diseases affected communities in the past.

Research Objectives & Questions to be Discussed in Your Essay:

What is the topic of the news story, and what does the reporter highlight as the current historical significance?
What is the historical context of the news story? What does it specifically relate to?
How does the news story either add new information, expand, and/or change what we know about the historical past?
In your assessment, should this story/discovery/research fundamentally change the way in which we teach history of this event/period?
Overall, using your news story as an example, how do recent events and discoveries illustrate that history is a dynamic and evolving study?

Sample Solution