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Teaching with Discovering the South

A key goal of this web project is to provide primary sources and links as well as accessible, scholarly analysis for use in classrooms. The site is meant to be a resource and springboard for inquiry into a fascinating and important part of U.S. history: the Jim Crow South and the ways that the New Deal facilitated the start of the long civil rights era.

Teaching ideas using Discovering the South include:

  • Student-designed Omeka exhibits: Students could conduct their own research to dig deeper and say more about the historical context of a particular stop on Daniels' journey. Or they could investigate a person Daniels interviewed or highlight a "hidden" history of the 1930s South. To download free Omeka web-publishing software, go to omeka.org.
  • Research papers and understanding historiography: Students looking for paper topics could begin by asking what more they want to know about a topic this site only touches on. They could then build their knowledge of the existing scholarship on their subject by reviewing the relevant endnotes and the bibliography of Ritterhouse's book, Discovering the South. In the Introduction and elsewhere in the book, Ritterhouse tries to show how different historians' emphases and points of view have varied and changed over time as the scholarly literature on the South and the civil rights movement has matured.
  • Timelines: This site is organized geographically and topically. Students could rearrange the topics addressed here in chronological order to create timelines and highlight different themes based on their interests. Free timeline creation tools include: Neatline (a suite of Omeka plugins), TimelineJS, TimeGlider, and Tiki Toki

 Other ideas? Please contact Jennifer Ritterhouse (jritterh@gmu.edu) with your ideas for using this site for educational purposes.