My final project will be a lesson on reading an object. The goal is for students to not only identify and examine an object correctly, but understand artifacts as evidence towards historical questions. The primary learning outcomes will be 1) to conceptualize the artifact in physical and historical space. 2) to understand the capabilities and limitations of using objects as evidence. 3) to utilize artifacts in constructing an historical argument.
The historical question students will explore is: “Why were Christians unable to integrate into larger Roman society in the third century?”
Towards this end, students will be asked to examine an epigraphic graffito from the city of Rome ca. 200. Through a series of activities, they will construct and revise an object study as they explore evidence and are led through guiding questions. As they proceed through the exercises, they will be continually be asked whether or not their work is relevant to the initial research question.
After they have completed their final draft of their object study, they will be provided with a second artifact from which they will independently construct an object study. At the end of each object study students will draft and revise an essay in response to the initial historical question.Â
The exercise might be used towards choosing a historical question for a final term paper.