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Early Modern Classroom

  • Charles Lipp
    University of West Georgia

    With the coming of the pandemic, my resistance to online teaching came to an end. I had already stepped into the digital world in certain ways, but up to this past March, when my campus administration sent us into lockdown, the core of my teaching had always remained the face-to-face classroom experience. In this article, I aim to discuss my experiences leaving that classroom and entering the online world. Although a singular case, it may contribute to our larger conversations regarding teaching the early modern in the age of COVID-19, because of my perspective as one of the many skeptics...

  • Jaime Hernández-Vargas
    University of Michigan

    Scapegoats have long been accused of being responsible for diseases, epidemics, and famines. Since the emergence and spread of the novel coronavirus, religious leaders and politicians from different religions and countries have blamed LGBTQ people as the cause of the pandemic. Among the accusers are the American Cardinal Raymond Burke and the Mexican Bishop Ramón Castro, from the Catholic Church; the evangelist pastor Ralph Drollinger, leader of the “White House Bible Study”; the politician and orthodox rabbi Meir Mazuz; and Muqtada al-Sadr, an Iraqi Shia cleric, military leader...

  • Beth Petitjean
    Saint Louis University

    Covering the Black Death is always a favorite part of teaching a western- or world-history survey course. As a historian of medicine, I spend three or four class periods covering this topic with the goal of students learning how a disease can cause historical change. The first class of the sequence covers the crisis of the fourteenth century, humoral medicine, and ideas of contagion. Students read the introduction to Boccaccio’s The Decameron for the second class, when the entire class time is devoted to discussing the text and the experience of the pestilence in...

  • Esther Chung-Kim
    Claremont McKenna College

    As an instructor, I am an ardent proponent of in-person interaction and the use of printed books, and I have never taught online before the COVID-19 pandemic shifted teaching to fully online platforms in the spring of 2020. Yet in this adjustment, the labor of starting anew, while frustrating at times, granted me the opportunity to experiment and refine pedagogical strategies to foster virtual connection for an upper-level undergraduate seminar on religion and politics in East Asia from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. In the transition to teaching fully online, I...

  • David Martín López
    University of Castilla-La Mancha

    The spread of the novel coronavirus forced the closure of university campuses and a shift from classroom to online teaching. This paper1 reflects on my experience taking online my Political Thought and Institutions in the Early Modern Period course, which is for third-year undergraduate history students at the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM), Ciudad Real campus (Spain). The class is equivalent to six units within the common European educational system (ECTS),2 with...

  • Felipe Moraga
    University of Wisconsin-Madison

    The United States Census Bureau reported that in 2016, 93 percent of people aged fifteen to thirty-four had a smartphone, and that almost 88 percent of them owned a computer with an internet connection.1 Technology is ever evolving and has become a crucial way of communicating and teaching. Online learning has grown at such a brisk pace that in 2016 alone, six million students were taking at least one distance-education course.2 This demand for online classes has become...

  • Kira von Ostenfeld-Suske
    Yale University

    Early modern history offers a particularly good lens through which to examine the impact of disease on society. For example, Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Great Plague in London in the Year 1665 (1722) vividly illustrates how epidemics hold up a mirror to the social, cultural, and political conditions in which they arise.1 This semester, as the global pandemic triggered a shift from physical classrooms to Zoom, it seemed to me that Defoe’s eighteenth-century tale of...

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