HI 190 Students Organize Exhibition at Massachusetts Historical Society

in Uncategorized
November 27th, 2012

JohnsonHi190Professor Johnson and Students Work With a 17th Century Manuscript

The History Department is delighted to invite the BU community to an exhibit and talk at the Massachusetts Historical Society presented by students of the course “Making History: Conflict and Community in Boston’s Past.”  The exhibit, “King Philip’s War in Artifacts and Ideas,” documents the culture of early Puritan settlers and Native Americans in the late seventeenth century.  At its center is the devastating war, which cost 9,000 lives and destroyed nearly half of all New England towns.

“Making History” is a freshman-level class designed by members of our department and supported by BU’s Redesigning the Undergraduate Learning Experience initiative.  It covers three critical moments in the history of Boston:  King Philip’s War; the late 19th-century, when European culture shaped the city through art, architecture, and music, as well as wave upon wave of immigrants; and the 1970s, when racial tensions boiled over with court-ordered busing.  Students work chiefly with primary sources in the course, whose assignments replicate the kinds of research and writing done by practicing historians.

The MHS exhibit is researched, designed, and assembled by the members of the class, working with staff of the Historical Society.  It includes more than thirty letters, diaries, paintings, personal objects, weapons, and early printed sources from the time of King Philip’s War, encompassing private life, religious beliefs, uses of the land, and the course of the conflict.  Students will offer brief remarks describing the content and organization of the exhibit.  Guests will then be free to circulate among students and view their work.

“King Philip’s War in Artifacts and Ideas” takes place Thursday, December 13, with a reception at 5:30 p.m. and the presentation at 6:00 p.m.  Remarks will last about an hour.  The Massachusetts Historical Society is located at 1154 Boylston St., a short walk from Kenmore Square and just across street from the Fens.  The event is free and open to the public.