485 Presentation

Post your take-aways from viewing a 485 paper presentation session. What are the strategies that make for an effective 485 presentation?

I attended the 9am session of Culture, Gender, and a New Military History.  I really enjoyed this session. For me what stood out was the passion each of ladies had for their topic. The first one was about paper dolls in the 1940s/1950s, next Jazz and War, and the last one about women in the El Salvador Civil War. Each of the ladies seemed to have a connection to the topic. So for me that made me want to pay attention because of all the love and effort put forth in the presentation and paper.

For strategies for the 485 presentation I would say the most important is to prepare. One because so many of the history professors were there you cannot pull a fast on them!  I think writing your presentation and going to the speaking center will help. I think having a visual to use is important. The presentation about Jazz and War had a really nice powerpoint presentation. I think it adds to your presentation. Another strategy would be to practice your presentation to your family, friends or roommates! It will be good to see if an audience understands the points you are trying to get across. Also encourage them to ask questions so you can be prepared to answer questions that you may not fully know the answer. However being able to hopefully tie to back to your topic/paper.

Update on Literature Review

Post a progress report on your literature review. How has your bibliography developed? Where are you with your reading of sources? Reading strategies for approaching this number of texts (and writing about them effectively…)?

The start to my bibliography was a bit rough. I realized I had to focus in on my topic in order to find good sources. I went to the library for help and they helped me find sources for my book. My next goal was to find some articles to had to my bibliography. Quest and JSTOR had many options when I typed in the word opium.  When I created my first bibliography I realized that after laying all my sources out together that they did not work as well together. For my  second draft of my bibliography I was able to find better sources. Now that I am writing my thesis I going through my sources to decide what I need and don’t. I am doing well with reading my sources. At first I thought I should read the complete book. I realized after trying to read the first book that was not practical.  I began to read all the intros and conclusions of the books. I would pick out key chapters to read and take notes. I usually read all the articles because they only range 10-20 pages. So that is my strategie. So far I take one book at a time and handwritten notes from intro and conclusion. I have done that for each book. This week I have starting to try to link the books together. In what ways are they similar or different. I am starting to make connections with the author’s perspective and argument.

Oral Presentations

I get nervous anytime I have to speak in front of a group of people. Even if I know the group of people I still get nervous. I have this habit ( I am not a fan I do it) where my hands always shake. I wish I didn’t shake in front of people but I usually do. Speeches make me nervous especially because they always count for a grade. I know public speaking is an important skill to have but I always worried that I will be graded down for things like my hands shaking that I can’t control. I wasn’t born a natural public speaker so it is something I have had to work on over the years.

To prepare for an oral presentation I always sit down and think about the worst outcome. I have to just think about the worst outcome and how unlikely it is to occur That helps me to get rid of some of my nerves. Before a presentation I like to re read my material to make sure I am informed. I look over any notes I took on books or sources. I re read introductions and conclusions of books. I make a list of important items that I what to mention. Then I take all my information and sit down to write my speech. I like to write the whole speech out to make sure I cover everything I want to say. I then leave my speech alone for at least an hour so when I come back I make sure it’s what I want to say.  Once I write my speech out I begin to practice it. After I practice for a bit I start to get a sense of what I want to say. I make notecards with points on them to remind me of main points. I begin to walk around my room and time myself practicing my speech. I do that until I feel comfortable to go in front of a crowd. Then I usually practice my speech on my roommates and any friends that happen to live in apartment. I like to say in front of them a handful of times and get timed. I also get feedback. Then I make any changes I need to. I look at my speech on final time and say a prayer. I make peace that I did the best I could and practiced. Then I just put it down till that morning say it one more time. Then I go to my class and give my speech!

My tip is you can’t compare yourself to other people giving presentations. Some people are just really good of giving presentations and don’t get nervous. Some people say um a lot or shake. People have different fears about public speaking like freezing or people judging them. It all depends on the person. I would say prepare the speech that is the best to your ability. All we can do is our best. If a manage to say all my points but I know my hands are shaking I will still be proud of myself. So just do what you need to do for your speech and don’ t worry what other people are doing or thinking about you.


What academic databases do you find most helpful in your research? Challenging? Why? Strengths and weaknesses? Which ones do you think you should explore further?

The database I used the most for my research so far is JSTOR. I like JSTOR because when you search a word or a phrase you can refine your results. For my topic I choose to only get journals from the Asian Studies subject. Then when you find something for your topic most articles on JSTOR have a pdf file. A strength for me for JSTOR is that mostly everything is peer reviewed (you should still double check) and that is helpful. A weakness would be it can be hard to search within your search to try to limit what articles you want to pop up. My most challenging database was Quest. I think Quest can be a good source but I struggle to use it. Also not everything on Quest is an article, peer reviewed, or a journal so I have to be careful and remember not to click anything that isn’t that. A strength for Quest is the number of sources available and to explore. I can get ideas just from looking at the different options. A weakness is also the number of sources it can be hard to go through and see what you need. I think I want to explore Quest more because I learned more about it this week so it will be helpful to learn and see what I find.

Cohen: History as a Myth

How do Cohen’s last chapters of the book, in Part 3 “The Boxers as Myth,” answer different kinds of historical questions than those Part 1 (“Boxers as Event”) and Part 2 (“Boxers as Experience”)? What do these chapters reveal about how history itself is constructed? What questions might they raise for our own process of writing history?

Each part of the book was different for the Event, the Experience and the Myth. Each part of the book showed a different way for the history of an event to be shown. All three points can tie into how a historian reconstructs the past for readers. A big question for any historian is what is truth. The historian can get the facts and write them in a book. For part 3 the question rises what is the truth? For Part 3 the historian has to take into account all these first hand accounts of experiences people had with Spirit Possession. Many people today are quick to dismiss the claim that a person could be possessed to fight. However a historian has a record of first hand accounts of eye witness testimonials that they saw young boys being possessed. The questions then arise of different perspectives of an event.  This is true for any historian how deciding what truth is. Also you can’t write off someone else’s truth just because it doesn’t match yours. For part 3 I think historians have to decide what is the person who told the myth trying to gain. Was the written down to convey a group of people to an ideology or a religion. What was the purpose of this piece of history being written down. Another point for the last part is you can’t demythologize the past because it is taking part of the story out. As historians we have to think about how to portrayal what happened while respecting what was written about it.


Cohen’s Main Points

What is Cohen’s main points?

History and Myth are different:

Cohen wrote, “the past treated as a myth is fundamentally different from the past treated as history” (213).

  • The historian’s primary job is to reconstruct the past
  • Mythologizers primary focus is to bring up political, ideological, and emotional needs (213)

What is truth?

Cohen wrote, “if the belief is deeply enough held, it comes, on some level, “true”…” (212)

  • There is a lot of debate whether past events are true of not
  • I think Cohen is expression even though we live in modern times we cannot just dismiss the past as false
  • There can be difference on perspective on what we believe to be true and the people who experience think is true

Mythologization uses many different forms to show their past

Cohen wrote, “found in poetry, drama, fiction, art, and film dealing with historical subject matter” (216)

  • this is a powerful to because it can show the people of the past personal emotions and thoughts on the event
  • can create a positive or negative on the public

A problem with Myth is the past can changed to fit the meaning (238):

Cohen wrote, “portrayed the Boxers as loyal, righteous, and patriotic” (239)

  • The Boxer Rebellion can be used as a positive or negative event depending on the message a person or group wants to get across
  • I think this ties back into one of Cohen’s first points about how history and myth are different
  • The myth can changed to fit the meaning but history will try to reconstruct the event with evidence and facts
  • Whether that historian likes the event or the people the historian will still show the facts

It’s hard to demythologize the past

Cohen wrote, “the cleaning of the frescoes on the ceiling of the sistine chapel dispossessed art lovers permanently of a Michelangelo they had know…” (211)

  • I think an important point is it is hard to take the myth out of the past
  • Myths are tied to people’s emotions and thoughts on the event
  • Ex: The spirit Boxers had many first hand accounts of the young boys who were possessed
  • We are quick nowadays to dismiss this claim because it isn’t true to us however to some people this is real




Themes in History

One of my favorite topics in any history class is Religion. I like to look into different religions and how it influences an event or society. An example would be the early Greeks they believed that if any natural disaster occurred it would because the gods were mad or displeased. The Greeks would then make an offering to the gods to ease their anger. It was amazing that we’re temples everywhere in honor of different gods. I love to see how their religion impacted their daily lives. Another theme is the different class status and how each are affected. I think it is so interesting to look at an event and to see how each social class reacted. This example comes from the book, Angel of Vengeance,  by Ana Siljak. An example would be in the 1880’s and 1890’s when the Russian Revolution was in the works it was the children of nobles who wanted the change. The wanted to speak for the lower class citizens and change the world for them. Another theme is Women’s role. For my presentation in one of my 300 level classes  I talked about Abigail Adams’ role during the American Revolution. Even if women weren’t allowed to partake or physically be at an event in history they still had a role. Some women worked through their social constraints and some women went out of the constraints.





My name is Kaylee Tye! I was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia.   I am a junior and studying History/Secondary Education at UMW.  I hope to one day teach in either a middle school or high school history class.

So my first image is a baby elephant and his/her mom! I am a big animal lover with elephants being my favorite. One of the reasons I love elephants is because they are a part of different countries culture and history. To be clear I did not support these animals being exploited in a circus or used for rides. I do appreciate villages where elephants and humans co-exist. The humans respect the animal because the elephants helps them survive. Also scientist say that elephants can feel. I love them for their caring and gentle nature.

Image from page 87 of "The Brooks primer" (1906)

My second image Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. I choose this image because one of the first times I realized I loved history is when I studied ancient history in middle school.  I really enjoy learning about Ancient Rome, Greece, Egypt and other early civilizations like Mesopotamia. One thing I like about ancient history is there is always mystery because we will never fully understand how these civilizations lived. We have good idea and lot of evidence however there is always more to discover. I feel like we have to take a moment to appreciate what the Egyptians did. Before any technology they were able to build huge pyramids

Image taken from page 1153 of 'Manners and Customs of the ancient Egyptians, ... Illustrated by drawings, etc. 3 vol. (A second series of the Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians. 3 vol.)'

My third image is of Jesus Christ praying. My most important thing about me is my faith. I am a Catholic and a member of UMW’s Catholic Campus Ministry. When I am not doing my school work I am hanging over at our center.  My faith is important because I learn so much. It taught me to love authenticity everyone around me.

Image from page 412 of "The story of Jesus Christ; an interpretation" (1897)


Fig. 1. Internet Archive Book Images, Image from page 87 of “The Brooks primer”. 1906,  Digital Image. Available from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/14576786077/in/photolist-od6QDT-occDEo-ov24Ls-ocbKYN-occDKo-owm9Sq-ounQJo-i23m94-orBM7o-of1BpL-ouQvyR-odc7YM-odnKMt-oy9Ykp-owrjhY-ouCRPZ-owhQQ1-otC4WQ-odX1Mm-odjB9a-ouQFb7-odaMhg-orE8aA-otErD3-ovjjdm-ouPJrk-ouPNg4-oydSrc-oyaTSz-odjBme-raouuY-od6V2v-odjpxL-odMThi-ovfEmM-odENQD-ovpDEf-oca3bS-osBtNE-otFauY-ovsosq-ocWrRE-ovdX2v-quBN2U-ouwGj4-qtc4Az-r8PLni-rpTgrr-r7x8Xy-rs6AbS (accessed September 8, 2017).

Fig. 2. The British Library, Manners and Customs of the ancient Egyptians, … Illustrated by drawings, etc. 3 vol. November 23, 2013, Digital Image. Available from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/britishlibrary/11013835255/in/photolist-hMfMvi-odeHHU-od96sM-icztpW-ouvhpc-hZiABK-ouZCaS-otbKJg-od6CgP-hLoRbf-hV5nrj-tCWP7a-oy6inF-hNpcoM-ouq7WE-oePc4q-i4Tmez-out3xy-odeDKe-odeofh-ouLYbZ-9GGXQC-osGs6w-hLQQMV-hLp3T1-oeYkGr-oup2Yo-oeSkvt-i38CgS-oeWmRz-of23yy-ousqVE-i4iMfV-idjH6P-ovgH3z-hTuH6a-odjHfw-oePxed-ouJvXQ-outzHK-owheYf-owpvEe-i3fCKc-i7g6Uj-iaNuJC-ouwci1-hRPaZu-hSufeJ-owt3sh-owkpHn ( accessed September 8, 2017).

Fig. 3. Internet Archive Book Images, Image from page 412 of “The story of Jesus Christ; an interpretation”.  1897, Digital Image. Available from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/14770848774/in/photolist-ovfsJs-owtUEG-owrsbr-ouNuq6-odbdZZ-owiwJj-owiyKd-od7t4r-ot8DGY-own7Kv-hUy4wv-owkDyf-ouAqwh-ourhwV-ouARgN-qZMfgR-odXfQk-owqxvK-ouQx1t-hPRA1w-hPTkmu-i7FEUQ-oxdoUK-ot1J1B-oeU2E5-odgDyE-ouEJJc-i7FJ45-hPQ3gS-hPPAvn-i7KKpx-ovqPd1-ow718t-hPYNm9-owoprp-i7HEdd-hPSfvY-hPRHS4-i7Fydm-owo97g-odbjbw-ouyDcD-hPPWRz-hKMang-hPUMCV-oeSq2w-odMZNz-ouNTAV-hPTXdZ-obLMzT ( accessed September 8, 2017).