AOK 1: History preeti iyengar

Name: Preeti Iyengar - Group Members: Thomas Vincent, Divya Rath, Valeria Espinosa Start Date: 5/4/17 - End Date: 18/4/17

Progress Journal

The question we chose for our first area of knowledge is "what is the relationship between history and memory". My first impression of this question is that it can be talked about very broadly, it is not so specific therefore it will be easier to write about. History and memory are two things that a knower would know that they correlate together in some way shape or form. But the point that we want to make is the specific relationship between history and memory and how they are dependent to each other. History refers to past events that have happened. And without being being to remember the those past events we would not have been able to pass down history to other generations.

Now that we have created our presentation and researched more on our knowledge question, I believe that I have a better understanding about what the relationship between memory and history. Our main point that we want to make in our presentation is that memory allows us the create history which aids people in forging a sense of identity and developing their world view. Another point that we would like to make is that evidence can be used as a primary source for the evidence of history

We had a skype call for our presentation we have changed many things in the powerpoint that we are going to show the class. We realized that there was excess information that we did not need, such as the definitions of memory and history. Instead of describing, we went straight to the point. We wrote our knowledge question down and our claim for it which was " Memory is a form of evidence used to further enrich our understanding of the world around us." we derived this claim from the knowledge question " what is the relationship between history and memory". By further explaining our point, we chose the example of a concentration camp survivor who had been interview thus being used as a primary source for the events of the Holocaust.

We have just presented and it did not go so well. Mr. Morrison asked us to redo the presentation because we had all the points but we did not do a good job at connecting them together to relate back to the claim. We are going to talk to him to make up for the redo. -- It is the day we do the redo and we have just finished talking to him about our points that we did not make in the presentation.


Reflection Journal

After our presentation, and our redo, we learned many things and expanded on our claims. What we talked about was that yes, memory can be used as a form of evidence for history's events but we do not know the extent to how reliable memory is. Theodore is an old man and the events that happened to him happened 50-60 years ago. Memory is a reliable source to store information but it decays overtime as an individual ages. This can be seen as a limitation of using memory as a primary source for evidence. Another thing that goes into using memory as historical evidence is the emotional bias that comes with the person. Although Theodore has emotional bias towards Hitler, he was still there, and was living in the concentration camps, which makes him enough of a reliable source for the evidence of the Holocaust. While we did our first presentation in front of the class, we forgot to mention the limitations of using memory as a form of evidence for history. While we did our redo presentation with Mr. Morrison, we further explained what we did not mention the first time. This includes that along with using memory as a form of evidence, we must take into account the fact that memory can be decayed overtime and clouded with emotional bias. But the oral interview of the person retaining the memory is still reliable to an extent because they were still there when it happened, and lived through it, so to an extent it is correct, and those events did happen.

Elective Reading

This is an article about a women who last saw her father in the concentration camps, giving her a tomato and onion as the last thing he ever gave her before he was murdered. Now 87, with a different perspective on the Jewish life in Europe, she believes that the lessons that should have been learned from World War II have not been learned yet, therefore they should not be forgotten. After hearing about the radical Islamist's attacking Paris, she further believes that the world is not doing anything to change the bad things that have happened in the world, and not learning from others' mistakes. In her memoir about her experience, she states very vividly the torment she was put in. Both her brother and sister had committed suicide, and she was very close to doing so herself twice in her life. The Nazi guards forced her to strip down naked, never allowing herself to be comfortable with her body ever again. Because of the terrible life events that she had to live through, she feels very pessimistic about the world.

Extension Proposal

Is history supposed to teach us a lesson, such as learning our mistakes?

I do believe that to an extent, history is there to allow us to not repeat the same mistake again. But currently, history is not helping out problems. History is there to merely allow us to learn what our ancestors did in the past and how we can advance as a community. There is no main purpose for history, and I believe that history does not have a purpose at all. It is ambiguous, and open to make interpretations regarding the subject. I believe that this knowledge question should be looked in further because it can allow us to have a deeper understanding on why we use memory as a form of evidence. It arises questions such as, what kind of evidence are we trying to prove with history? Is it just to give evidence of the event that happened? Or give evidence on an example of a situation that had been tried, and failed.

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