History Methods | Twitter Re-Enactment

Course: Craft of History: Green Bay Fire of 1880 (Dr. Jon Shelton)

Context:

  • Required course for history majors, with an emphasis on public history. Twenty-eight students participated in this offering of the class.
  • Focus was on 1880 fire that destroyed the east side of Green Bay and was extinguished by Green Bay Fire Department. Collaborative project with local author, Brown County Historical Society, and Archives.
  • Via primary sources, each student identified and researched citizens of Green Bay from 1880 to create character sketches. Students looked for details about occupations, families, immigration, and businesses.
  • The course culminated with students participating in a real-time reenactment of the events of September 1880 via Twitter. Each historical character tweeted to interact with each other. The Twitter reenactment was followed by two media outlets.

“In course evaluations, many of the students remarked on how the innovative collaboration made history quite literally come alive for them. It truly was a memorable and one-of-a-kind experience.”

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