First Reading: Scholarship vs. Propaganda

My poker game was off last night but, I read a very interesting article for my Master’s class.  It was called, Scholarship or Propaganda: How Can Librarians Help Undergraduates Tell the Difference by Sonia Bodi. Ms. Bodi is a Professor of Bibliography and head  reference Librarian for North Park College in Chicago, IL. This article came from the Journal of Academic Librarianship. Ms. Bodi is trying to get the first-year undergraduate students to understand the difference between Scholarship and Propaganda. Based on the study that Ms. Bodi and the team at North Park College, many undergraduate students do not truly understand the difference between true scholarship and propaganda. They think that by reading various sources and coming to and informed position, they are not giving in to propaganda. Instead they are skewed by the information that they have used for research. Within this article, Ms. Bodi detailed what is the difference between Scholarship and was is Propaganda, below I will elaborate further in the below space.  I thought at this was very interesting.

What is Scholarship?

Describes limits of data.

Presents accurate description of alternate views.

Presents data that do not favor preferred views as well as data that supports these.

Encourages , e.g. debate, discussion, and criticism.

Settles disputes by use of generally accepted criteria for evaluating data.

 

What is Propaganda?

Excessive claims of certainty. (e.g. We have, The Way, The View)

Personal attacks/ridicule.

Emotional appeals.

Distortions of data unfavorable to preferred views.

Suppresses contradictory view/facts.

By reading this article, I feel I have a better understanding of what the difference between scholarship and propaganda. This article is going to help me with my research as I decide what I will do my major paper for the the semester. I still have no idea what I will do my paper on so far. We will see what the future will bring.

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The First Day of Classes

Well, today is the first day of classes for me at American Public University. I am very Excited about starting again. This semester, I have two classes that I will be taking, History 500 Historical Research Methods and History 501 Historiography. The next 16 weeks are going to prove to be very interesting. I ordered two books today for my History 500 class and they are From Reliable Sources: An Introduction to Historical Methods  and The Information-Literate Historian: A Guide to Research for History Students.

I am most interested in reading the second book by Jenny Presnell. In this technical world  that we live in, it will be interesting to see was Presnell will say about the role of technology in the field of History. I have never really given any thought about the role of technology in the world of History. I graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2005, but when I went to college for the first time in 1994, things were very different. The internet was a new and exciting tool that had limitless opportunities. Now you can find any and everything on sites like Google and Wikipedia, to me, this is truly amazing. I am still trying to hash out what I will do my research project on, I have a good feeling that something will come to me while I’m playing poker, so off to the felt for some good ideas.

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Back From the Dead

For those of you that thought that I had quit my blog, you were wrong, I had some issues with the online school that I was attending, National University. I since have changed schools. I will be attending American Public University. I am still pursuing my Master’s Degree in History. At APU, I will be working on a Degree in Military and Diplomatic History. I first started out working on India’s relationship with the British Empire after the Second  World War. I may have to re-vamp my whole thesis at APU.  All I know is that it will be very interesting within the next year to see where my thesis will go. Stay tuned the bloggings of Confessions of  Master Student.

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Indian History through the eyes of an Indian

I just picked up a wonderful book from my local used bookstore. The name of the book is “The Making of the Indian Nation” by B.G. Gokhale. the book was first printed in 1958. I really think that this book will help me with my research on India. The book starts with the development of the India several millinia before the British ever set foot in the sub-continent. I will begin reading this book sometime this week.

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Eurocentrism and Southernization

In the last three weeks of class, I have learn many important terms in historiography. Eurocentrisim and Southernization are terms that continue to poo up through the historical discourse. From what I have read, most history books and history that is written is extremely Eurocentric. meaning that Europe is the main focus of history written and taught in high school and college throughout the United States. Southernization states that history did not start in the Western hemisphere but in the Southern hemisphere. South Asia was the impetus of all the development in the Southern hemisphere and it all began with the the sub-continent of India

One of my textbooks for my surrey of World History is The Human Web: A Bird’s Eye View of World History by J.R. McNeill and William H. McNeill.  In the book, it is explained that civilizations developed human webs of networks and through these networks, trade commerce, art, literature and writing were passed 0n to other civilizations. to me, this is and intriguing theory and McNeill does an excellent job of explaining his theory through is book. I am going to have some issues with my thesis. I am going to have to find ways that India influenced Britain  during the colonial period and after 1947, for India was one of the first countries to gain independence after the Second World War from Britain. This will be a most daunting task, but I’m up to the challenge.

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My True Confession

They say that “confession is good for the soul.” I must admit, I don’t think that my undergraduate history career prepared me well for my Master’s Work. Don’t get me wrong, I had some of the best history professors in the Southeast teaching at the University of Tennessee and I learned so much from them in their respective fields of expertise. Sometimes I think that I should have taken course from those professors that taught a graduate course at Tennessee. I think that my Master’s thesis is off to a good start. I think it will be hard to look at India as an influence on Britain. for so many years, I have thought that Britain was the influence on India, I believe that in my Master’s course, this Eurocentric idea will be burned out of my psyche.

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Why India?

Almost three weeks ago, I started my Master’s of History with National University. It is a online school out of San Diego, CA. When I first heard about this school, I was unsure an worried that no one would hire me except for a very backwoods historical society. Well, I must say, three weeks into the program and I am really enjoying myself. I am taking a semmiar on World History. So far, in the three weeks that I have been in class my views of world history and Western Civilization have rapidly changed. The pace is very rapid and between my work schedule and my girlfriend I try to squezze at much time as I can to keep up with the readings.

So why India, so much has been written on the subject of India, I could spend the next twenty years writing a discourse on India. I think the most interesting thing to me about India is how much time the British Empire spent on developing and maintaining its relations with India. India for the British is like the relationship that the United States and Puerto Rico have had in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  I wanted to explore how the British Empire influenced India and shaped it and molded it into the the colony Britain wanted. My professor told me to think how India influenced Britain during the colonial period. This will be a daunting task but and interesting viewpoint nonetheless.

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