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World History through Film Syllabus
Ms. Burge
503-985-7516 ex. 238
[email protected]
World History through Film is a semester long class offering .5 credit. It is offered to students 912 as a social science elective.
What is history? It is a body of facts that have been accepted by historians as valid and
significant. History is seeing the past through the eyes of today. The main task of the historian is
not to record facts, but to interpret and evaluate them. History is the selection, arrangement, and
interpretation of facts for the purpose of telling “how it really was.”
This course examines Hollywood feature films and historical dramas as historical evidence.
Students view movies on various topics and participate in discussions, and write essays
comparing that film evidence to information in more traditional sources, such as articles, film
reviews and critical commentaries. The course is based around six broad questions:
1. Is film a legitimate historical source?
2. To what extent is film evidence legitimate?
3. What determines the legitimacy of film evidence?
4. What determines the illegitimacy of film evidence?
5. Is film evidence ever better than traditional historical sources?
6. Can Hollywood films be used to teach history?
1. Students must come to class prepared and ready to learn.
2. View all movies either during the days they are shown in class, or if you are absent view them
at home. It is your responsibility to watch movies that you may miss due to an absence.
3. Complete all assignments in a timely manner.
3. An independent viewing and analysis of another film in one of the categories/historical topics
covered will be completed for each quarter. This will take the form of a short 4-5 page typed
Ancient Greece
Ancient Rome
Elizabethan England
Napoleonic Wars
World War I
Aborigines in Australia
World War II
Japan after Hiroshima
 Cold War
 South Africa Apartheid
 Hutu/Tutsi war in Rwanda
1. To give students practical experience in critical analysis by evaluating full length feature films
as historical evidence.
2. To motivate students in the interrogation of traditional historical sources by exposing them to
relevant written material on past events.
3. To use film as a means of motivating students to study selected topics in United States history
4. To improve students’ research and writing skills through the assignment of critical essays on
selected subjects that use film and traditional sources as evidence.
5. To impart an in-depth knowledge of major topics in U. S. history.
Standards: For a complete list of standards covered in this and other social science classes at
the high school level see the following ODE website.
Regular attendance is crucial to academic success. If you must be absent due to illness or other
issues make sure that you get your missed work and turn it in on time to receive full credit.
Come to class on time! Tardies will result in lunch and after school detention as outlined in the
student handbook.
The following is the grading scale for Gaston High School:
F=64 and below
Need Help?
I am available before and after school daily. Do not hesitate to come and ask for help!
I have read the course syllabus. I understand the expectations and requirements.
Parent:___________________________________ Date: _____________________
Student: __________________________________ Date: ____________________