Maya Jasanoff, X. D. and Nancy Yang Professor of Arts and Sciences and Coolidge Professor of History, uses narratives to engage students and deepen their understanding of course content. From her Gen Ed course Ancestry to her upper-level seminar Narrative History: Art and Argument, Jasanoff demonstrates that “stories do not necessarily mean fiction; rather, stories are simply arguments based on the evidence. The former cannot exist without the latter.”
Instructors can point students to resources for improving presentation skills available across the University including the Graduate School of Arts and Science’s Center for Writing and Communicating Ideas.resources.
Gabriela Soto Laveaga, Professor of the History of Science,illustrates how combining nineteenth century documents with oral histories can help unpack complex current issues and disrupt certain assumptions on topics such as undocumented border crossings, addiction, and disease along our southern border. All topics are covered in HISTSCI 140 - The Border: Race, Politics, and Health in Modern Mexico,in which she challenges students to expand their own perspectives on these current themes through a variety of assignments including an oral history of an individual.