The Evolution of a Name

Yikes! I have seriously neglected this blog during the past four weeks. No excuses. Let’s resume, shall we?

Officially, I’m no longer a “Rookie Journalism Prof,” so I guess I need to tweak that title — unless you consider that I’m teaching my first master’s class during the Summer 1 term. Four students were brave enough to sign up for my Media History Research Methods class.

Was that a collective “blech” I just heard? Yeah, I know. History, particularly a historical research methods class, doesn’t seem like it’s on the top of most students’ list of “classes I must experience.” One of my students actually campaigned for folks to sign up for the class, and the general reaction from some of her fellow students was “no thanks.”

Even though I love historical research, and media history in particular, I understand that reaction. The word “history” seems to be synonymous with “dry” or “boring” or “arid” or “dull” or “stale” (you get it). Unfortunately, students sometimes have the idea that history is only about names and dates, and they don’t see the connections between the past and present. Not fun. I don’t teach it that way, but folks have to overcome these notions and get into my class to discover that.

I asked my grad students about it, and they might have found a solution. They suggested changing the class name from “Media History” to “Evolution of Media.” That’s quite modern-sounding, and there’s no whiff of “stodgy” to be found.

I like it.

Comments
2 Responses to “The Evolution of a Name”
  1. Mr. K says:

    I always wish I'd had a class with you. Meh. Being my boss and an awesome mentor is good enough.

  2. That was a really interesting post Dr. Cain. You are definitely not a rookie anymore.

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