Hollywood or History?

An Inquiry-Based Strategy for Using Film to Teach World History

Edited by:
Scott L. Roberts, Central Michigan University
Charles J. Elfer, Clayton State University

A volume in the series: Hollywood or History. Editor(s): Scott L. Roberts, Central Michigan University. Charles J. Elfer, Clayton State University.

Published 2021

The challenges of teaching history are acute where we consider the world history classroom. Generalized world history courses are a part of many, if not most, K-12 curricular frameworks in the United States. While United States history tends to dominate the scholarship and conversation, there are an equally wide number of middle-level and secondary students and teachers engaged in the study of world history in our public schools. And the challenges are real. In the first place, if we are to mark content coverage as a curricular obstacle in the history classroom, generally, then we must underscore that concern in the world history classroom and for obvious reasons. The curricular terrain to choose from is immense and forever expanding, dealing with the development of numerous civilizations over millennia and across a wide geographic expanse. In addition to curricular concerns, world historical topics are inherently farther away from most students’ lives, not just temporally, but often geographically and culturally.

Thus the rationale for the present text, Hollywood or History? An Inquiry-Based Strategy for Using Film to Teach World History. The reviews of the first volume Hollywood or History? An Inquiry-Based Strategy for Using Film to Teach Untied States History strategy have been overwhelmingly positive, especially as it pertains to the application of the strategy for practitioner. Classroom utility and teacher practice have remained our primary objectives in developing the Hollywood or History? strategy and we are encouraged by the possibilities of Volume II and the capacity of this most recent text to impact teaching and learning in world history. We believe that students’ connection to film, along with teachers’ ability to use film in an effective manner, will help alleviate some of the challenges of teaching world history. The book provides 30 secondary lesson plans (grades 6-12) that address nine eras in world history.

Introduction to Hollywood or History? World History Edition. PART I: The Beginnings of Human Society. Thus Spoke Zarathustra: An Investigation of Hollywood and Early Human Evolution, Scott L. Roberts and Charles Elfer. Bringing Ancient Humans Back to Life With Facts and Research/New Discoveries, Kate Van Haren. Neanderthals Versus Early Modern Humans: Language, Religion, Medicine, and Technology, Natalie Keefer. PART II: Early Civilizations (4000–1000 B.C.E.). Development of Civilization/Belief Systems, Ritu Radhakrishnan and Conner Parker. Representing Ancient Egypt(ians)/Visual Mediums and Public Perception, Tim Monreal and Bretton A. Varga. How Do Ideas About the Trojan War Linger and Affect Us Today? Genevieve Caffrey and Greg Simmons. PART III: Traditions, Religions and Empires (1000 B.C.E.–300 C.E). An Introduction to the Teaching of Confucianism and Disney’s Mulan/Comparing and Contrasting Between Li and Mulan’s Characters From Confucius Teaching, Beth E. Corrigan and Qian Wang. “Ideal” Spartan: Material Culture in Film, Colleen Fitzpatrick and Paul J. Yoder. Perspectives on the Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79, Sarah J. Kaka and Christopher T. Dobeck. Mad Rulers, Wise Men and Brutal Gladiators: Exploring Ancient Rome Through Film and Source Analysis, Nancy Sardone and Nick Santucci. PART IV: Exchange and Encounter (300 C.E.–1000 C.E.). Christians in Rome/Constantine and the Battle at Milvian Bridge, Keith Rivero and John P. Myers. Hypatia, Woman Astronomer: Using Film to Examine the Roles of Christianity, Science, and Philosophy in Late Antiquity, Nancy Sardone and Nick Santucci. King Arthur: Heroes and Villains; Fiction and Reality; Legends and Movies, William Gary Cole and Amberly Cole. PART V: Interactions (1000 C.E.–1500 C.E.). The Crusades—Holy Wars, Monopolies, and Economic Incentives, Emmett V. Wilson. Medieval Scotland and the Semi-True Story of William Wallace, Janie Hubbard. Cause and Effect, What is a Siege?/Siege of Orleans, Starlynn Nance. PART VI: The Global Age (1450–1770). Seeing the Mayans/Issues of Representation in Media, Tim Monreal and Jesús Tirado. Pilgrim’s Progress?: A Critical Juncture in Native American History, Eric Groce, Damiana G. Pyles, and Mina Min. The Middle Passage and Depictions of Slavery, Alex Honold. Background and Mary I/Elizabethan Religious Settlement Acts, Starlynn Nance. PART VII: Revolutions (1750–1914). Mirrored Personalities: The Teen Queen and the French Revolution, Janie Hubbard. The Lives of Children During the Industrial Revolution, Sarah J. Kaka. Knowledge is Power: Utilizing Education for Control in Rabbit-Proof Fence, Anne Aydinian-Perry. PART VIII: Crisis and Achievement (1900–1945). Industrial Era Warfare/Ethical Dilemmas During Times of War, Natalie Keefer. Using Schindler’s List to Explore Historiographical Debates, Mark Pearcy. Love Me, But Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina: Evita Peron’s Political and Social Significance, Nancy Sardone and Emily Whelan. The Life of a World War I Soldier, Jeff Koslowski. PART IX: The 20th Century (1945–2001). First They Killed My Father: Life Under the Khmer Rouge, Lisa K. Pennington and Aaron Johnson. Argentina’s Dirty War/The Mothers of the Plaza, Keith Rivero and John P. Myers. Origins of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Jeremiah Clabough. About the Contributors.

"Overall, the volume serves as a worthy introduction and resource for teacher considering how to engage students in world history topics through film. In particular, the activities and materials in the chapters provide an easy starting point for teachers to introduce analytical strategies and epistemic understanding of how films represent the past and present and, in turn, shape how we view history." Jeremy Stoddard University of Wisconsin - Madison in Theory and Research in Social Education (Read full review)