Looking back at this module over the course of the semester, I have gained incredible knowledge and a new understanding of history as a discipline. I was never interested in medieval or ancient history, always wanting the material I was learning to be relevant to my life and future aspirations. This class as well as HI2001 are some of the only history classes I actually felt have pushed me as a student, making me reconsider the discipline of history. By focusing on not just the act of studying history, but how to practice history, the doing, I have been inspired by the various methods and tools that I had not even considered to be historical. From looking at the concept of a “transnational actor”, seeing how people’s’ lives can span across borders, the topic of transnational history was made relevant to me, and kept creeping into my mind as I read books, articles, or even watched student run fashion shows.

The discussion of what counts and what does not count as transnational has inspired me and pushed me to critically analyse historical papers in ways I never had before. Additionally, I really enjoyed the loose structure of tutorials, with lots of freedom for seminar based discussion. It was one of the only classes I have had where students are not afraid to speak, but encouraged. I listened to my classmates takes on papers and concepts and really felt everyone contributed something unique.

Personally, I think this class has really pushed me specifically in the realm of the assignments. While I have had to write 5000 words essays before, I have never had to do a 5000 word project. Reading example project proposals, spending an embarrassing two hours coding a graphic to put into my project, and attempting to do math to calculate the budget of my project, I have been tasked with doing things I have never done before. Though this project was/is scary, I really have enjoyed it. My parents always say if school is easy, you are doing something wrong, so I think I have been faced with just the right dose of a challenge. From translating a 30 page Spanish interview (rest in peace my Friday night), to trying to decide whether it is worth it to fill out an ethics form, submit it, then possibly not even be able to use the names of the EU reps, I have been frustrated, challenged, tested, but consistently determined to come out on top.

In many ways, this class has been a great asset to future projects I will undertake whether that be my long essay for my special subject, or even the tedious process of getting access to certain documents (a challenge I know I will face as a pre-law student). I have also realised my Spanish is a lot better than I thought but I am not eager to go round two on translating an entire document so please no one enlist me for help.

Thus in conclusion, I have come a long way from the girl who argued with Kai saying this class was called Transglobalism. With this newly established transnational framework, I am prepared to read history with a more delicate eye, really analysing how different actors, concepts and people span across borders, creating a network of connections or a honeycomb (throwing it back to Clavin). This class has proved not only interesting and exciting but also extremely helpful for future history classes as well as making quick connections and recognising existing transnational ties.

Reflection Post

One thought on “Reflection Post

  • April 25, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    I appreciate the line “I am prepared to read history with a more delicate eye…” Prior to this class, I felt inclined to wave off historiographical perspectives and methodologies in the effort to simplify the history that I was engaging with. I took many things at face value and never sought to scrutinise literature beyond a basic level. Over the semester, I think I’ve learned how to pick apart an academic article and discern history from a wider variety of levels. Through the methods that we used in the class, I think I’m also better equipped to write a comparative history in that I can step back from whatever research Im doing and ask “where does this perspective differ from others?”
    I also agree with your statement that everyone was able to contribute something unique. The blog posts were a great way to stimulate free flowing, creative thinking on transnational history. The research projects were similarly important as they allowed us to pursue our individual interests in transnational history and experiment ourselves with the various concepts like translocality that we discussed in class.

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