This week you’ll be interviewing one of the professors in Bethel’s History Department. (See the sign-up sheet if you forgot which professor and day/time you selected.) Along with your first reading assignments in the Fea and McKenzie textbooks, that interview will be the basis for your first response paper assignment, which I’ll give on Monday.
But since some of you have interviews right after class on Monday, let me go ahead and suggest the kinds of questions you should think about asking the professor you interview:
How did you decide to become a historian and college professor? Did you come to college with that plan? If not, what led you on that path? Any advice for me as I try to figure out my calling and career? (Depending on your own goals, you might also want to ask about graduate school here.)
What is History?
How would you define history as an academic discipline? What’s distinctive about how historians interact with the past? How is history similar to or different from other disciplines?
How did you get interested in your particular fields of study? (e.g., women’s history, Roman history, Islam, Latin America, World War II) What’s your favorite book written in that field? (What makes it so good?) What’s a distinctive feature of your field, as compared to others in the larger discipline of history? What’s an example of an important debate among historians in your primary field?
Take good notes! You don’t need to turn in a transcript, but you’ll need to quote or paraphrase this professor while writing your first response paper for Thursday afternoon. And some of what they say might even end up being very useful for your midterm or final essays.