For me, life is about people. This goes for my interests in history as well as in life. This post is a brief reflection on my ‘Learning Outcomes’ from the MO3351 module. Reading the ‘Learning Outcomes’ section of any handbook usually makes me switch off, but let me outline some of the very real learning experiences that this module has given me. Hopefully, my classmates will agree.
The structure of the MO3351 course has been original in that we only had assigned tutorial readings for the first few weeks, and after that the teaching has been focused on our own work or skill sessions. For me, this course has been an eye-opener to what it feels like to be a practicing historian at a university. Being a historian means scouring yourself to find out what your research interests are. It involves teamwork with other people across institutions, archives and disciplines. With regards to Transnational and Global History in particular, the ‘Introduction. Space and Scale in Transnational History’ by Struck, Ferris and Revel comes to mind. They included a brief reflection on how transnational history had brought together three historians from very different historical fields to write an introduction together, which might not have happened under any other circumstances. This, above all else, is what I have loved the most about this course. The whole class is a melting pot of different cultures, interests, ideas and approaches, but we are all brought together as a group and a team through the concepts of networks and border crossings. Making such a diverse environment work can be difficult, for each individual student as well as for the tutor(s). Our tutors have treated us as students, but also as friends. They have taken a personal interest in our projects, and been encouraging and enthusiastic when we were sometimes unable to see where we were going (for the record, I’m still not 100% sure where I am going). The class itself has sorted out questions through the Facebook group we created, which also included frantic posts about how we could not find the books we needed, or that we had no clue how to get an essay together in a day(!) Thus, as part of this post I want to say a big THANK YOU to the whole class, and to our encouraging, challenging, supportive and wonderful tutors. This is, without a doubt, the most stimulating module I have taken. I cannot stress enough that its experience has been shaped first and foremost by the people, but transnational theory has also been a fantastic eye-opener.