Often, as historians, we read a book through our own prejudices.
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For this discussion, I’d like you to reflect on the first few chapters you’ve read in Ulrich’s A Midwife’s Tale. Often, as historians, we read a book through our own prejudices. What that means is that while a historical account might have a specific focus — here, the life of a rural Maine midwife just as the United States was being born — we will be more or less interested in certain parts of the book. In A Midwife’s Tale, for instance, someone interested in medicine or health will be particularly interested in the accounts which detail how Martha Ballard delivered her services, the diseases and ailments she encountered, the babies she birthed, etc. For someone interested in women’s history during this period, they may be interested in those parts of Ballard’s account which stress her relationships with the men and women in the village, her social positions as a result of her profession, her beliefs about marriage and childbirth, and so on. Often, these interests will intersect, but we all find some things more interesting than others.For this discussion, I want you to isolate one part about the book that has so far interested you, and, in a brief 200-300 word discussion post, create a short proposal about how you would explore that part further in a broader paper. That paper doesn’t have to focus on Martha Ballard, but can focus on some broader aspect of medical history, women’s history, Maine history, environmental history, Revolutionary era history, ethnic history, Native American history, military history or any subset discipline of history that comes to your mind when reading that passage. For your response to another student, give an idea of a way to develop that idea further, either through suggesting a source, a different angle, another passage in the book that might be of use, or really anything. Remember to make your response at least 150 words.
Often, as historians, we read a book through our own prejudices. appeared first on Robust Papers.
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