Taking MO3351 has been the most unusual and unique academic experience I’ve had at St. Andrews. While I enjoy historiography, I didn’t know much about transnational and global history as a topic and field. So the terminology used was entirely new to me, as were many of the concepts we were working with. It took some time and a good amount of work in order to get my head around things.
Leaving aside the transnational part of the course, I think the most interesting aspect of M)3351 has been the ‘work experience’. I really like the idea (and implementation of that idea) that students should go through the motions of researching and preparing a paper in a similar way to actual working historians. Just as law students learn about the actual practice of law and not just legislation and judicial precedent, history students can and should learn about the working life of historians.
Even if you’re not aiming to go into academia, I think it’s a good framework through which we have learned a lot. I don’t think it would be possible to write a 5000 word project without the sort of guidance we’ve had in MO3351. Having these checkpoints (both the presentations and the blog postings) has, for me at least, been extremely useful. They’ve kept me on track in terms of getting work done as well as provide a platform for reconsidering my approach to my own work.
The blog system has also meant that this was one of my most interconnected courses. Sometimes, especially in courses with little discussion, it can feel like you’re in a bubble working on your individual assignments with the other students not being a consideration. Both the class format and the blog system have meant I’ve gotten loads of interaction with my classmates, which I think has sharpened my thoughts and just made the course much more enjoyable. Overall it’s been a great time and I’d recommend MO3351 to almost any history student!