Critical Making is a term I use to describe the process of creative synthesis that animates my design of class projects. This semester I'm returning to the introductory level Critical Making project based on the idea of a visual journal I learned working with Rachel Simmons. Teaching with Rachel exposed me to the journal idea as a way to explore and explain using a mix of creative tools. Stepping back and considering the form, the visual journal offers historians working in the digital environment a way to explore primary sources in a unique way. Aligning this project with learning outcome for the class make this an assignment that can work non-majors and more advanced students alike.
For the introductory course like the African-American History Since 1877, this is a chance to engage students with basic histography debates by asking each student to identify a specific theme associated with the black experience and collect a series of primary sources to explore that them over time. The page from The Crisis is the perfect example of the kinds of primary sources they are uncovering. The final project will be interesting I'm sure.