All students will be responsible for each week's reading and will write a weekly response paper of 2-3 pages. Students will also each co-lead one class, providing questions for discussion on that day.
There will be one final paper (15-20 pp.) which will be due on session 11. As part of writing your final paper, the following due dates will also apply: statement of paper topic, session 3; initial bibliography, session 4; annotated bibliography, session 6.
Final Paper Guide
- what do historians have extant as sources in this case?
- what are the strengths and weaknesses of those sources?
- who are the authors of the sources?
- do the sources represent both the defense and the prosecution?
- what biases do the nature of the sources introduce into historians' knowledge of the case?
2. Review of the literature
- how have historians used the sources available to them?
- what arguments have they made?
- what has been their focus or frame of reference?
- how has the frame of reference affected their arguments?
3. Your argument about the case: some possible approaches
- legal, philosophical, or ethical issues
- issues of evidence
- scientific evidence
- other kinds of material evidence
- interpersonal evidence and testimony
- context - particular historical issues at work at the time
- what gave rise to the trial?
- what gave rise to the given outcome or outcomes?
- what was the role of particular personalities?
- what was the role of timing in the trial?
- if you were viewing the trial as a staged event, what would you notice about the ways it was conducted?
- coverage in the press
- who is covering this trial? Which authors and which periodicals?
- what are their primary foci?
- legal issues, political, moral, human interest
- what kinds of language are the authors using?
- in what ways do different periodicals take different views of the trial?
- how fixed are the writers in their notions of guilt and innocence?
- how much are legal issues covered?
- reception, i.e., how people after the trial have looked at it
- e.g., canonization or demonization of the main figures
4. A caution or two:
- try to stay focused on the trial itself without getting carried away by the events leading up to it
- you may want some kind of background info in your paper on the technical issues of venue, etc.