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Journal > Volumes > 38 (2007) / 2 (Summer)
Teaching Elizabeth Tudor with Movies: Film, Historical Thinking, and the Classroom
Eric Josef Carlson
Gustavus Adolphus College

Although films based on historical events are usually criticized for their deviations from facts, this paper argues that such films can be used fruitfully in the classroom. Using the example of a course on Elizabeth I, the paper shows that films produced at different times and places can be presented and discussed in ways that demonstrate to students that interpretations of historical people and events are constantly changing and are shaped by the contexts in which they are produced. This method allows students to continue to appreciate films as art, rather than dismiss them because of their perceived historical errors, while it promotes thinking historically about evidence. While the article describes a specific class format and films about one person, it also discusses ways to adapt this model to other formats and topics.

Pages: 419 - 428