Who did not cry when Bambi’s mother died? Animation has the ability to make us cry and laugh, create worlds we have not imagined, defy the laws of physics, and sell raisins. In addition to a history of animation and its practitioners and development, Download
HIST 389 Syllabus PDF

the course also explores what happens to history when it is animated and how animation has been used during the twentieth century to interpret the past. The course also pays attention to the aesthetic of the animated image as well as the unique ability of the image to communicate. Finally, the offering will explore the tools, technology used in animation, and the various techniques: claymation, cel animation, CGI, and so forth. Participants will view animations (all right, cartoons) from various studios, feature-length animated films, and experimental shorts as well as try their hands at a simple (or sophisticated) animation or optical toy.


The following book is required for the course. It is available in the Campus Bookstore or from other vendors far and wide.


One of the requirements for the course is maintenance of a blog. There are many possibilities. Let me suggest two. First, there is WordPress, a free service (or ad-free paid service) with a number of useful add-ons. Simply register and begin setting up your blog. Second, for those who want even more ease of use, there is TypePad, but TypePad costs, albeit not much for a semester. The advantage in using TypePad is its photo album feature, a nice option in a visual history course. Finally, there are a number of blog software programs available—both open source and commercial—that allow you to design your own blog.

What I do not want to see are the following: 1) a lot of advertisements; and 2) comment spam with ads for Viagra, among others. If the blog service that you select includes too many ads or does not have a sufficient spam filter, I will ask you to upgrade to the ad-free version or move to another service. Please do not use Blogger. It’s free but plagued by ads, spam, difficult commenting, and so on.

A word about design. There are a number of designs suitable for history but please avoid anything on a black or dark background with light or white type. Known as “reversing out” among graphic designers, this format is very difficult to read. If you elect to use TypePad, avoid the special interest design or media designs unless you will be using the features of a media design template extensively. Be sure to enable comments and the RSS feed so that you can access your classmates’ blogs using a newsreader. This will save you an enormous amount of time. Or, you can simply use the “Students” list on the website.