Blog Post VI

When I first started to put together my presentation, I wasn’t sure if I would have enough to talk about, but when I went to practice I found that I had to cut back on what I had. I also found that in order to cover everything I wanted to cover I would have to speak at a pretty brisk pace, but not too fast or I wouldn’t be understood. I found the best way to go about the presentation was to make the visual component with regard to what you want to talk about then just do a run through of all the things you want to do, meaning that first practice will be super long. Then, use that presentation in your memory to refine the talking points and once you settle on the main ideas, practice using those and creating transitions until it works well. I find that the presenters who don’t use notecards or have a strict list of talking points are the most interesting because they must have practised and known their subject/presentation.

Blog Post IV

Cohen’s last few chapters on the mythologization of the past change the commentary of history from what history “should be” to what it “can be” and “can be used for.” These chapters show that history is shaped by how it is told, as Cohen says, ” Correct labelling literally defined reality.” These chapters also emphasise that the same event can mean different things to different people; for example, the Boxers were viewed as heroes to the Communists but were reviled by others. Knowing that how we write history changed how history itself “is” forces us to be more conscious of the evidence we present and how we interpret it. We must be vigilant in ensuring that we are not telling a history from one point of view without accounting for differing perspectives unless we do so after informing the reader that we are doing so.

Blog Post III


“Certainly, mythologizers start out with an understanding of the past, which in many (though not all) cases they may sincerely believe to be “correct.” Their purpose, however, is not to enlarge upon or deepen this understanding. Rather, it is to draw on it to serve the political, ideological, rhetorical, and.or emotional needs of the present.” 213

“The mythological past need not be historically accurate. But if it is to be effective in persuading or mobilizing people in the present, it must be bound by at least a loose conception of ‘truthfulness.’” 214

Mythologizers use events that have occurred in the past and using sources, often cherrypicked to their benefit, to shape the present and use for their own means. In many cases, this happens through competing ideas becoming filed down to a singular “truth.” Cohen attempts to avoid this by providing differing viewpoints on a singular event. These new “truths” express themselves in different ways: art, television, propaganda, theatre, books, etc. Commemorations of the past i.e. monuments, days of remembrance, affect how the “truth” around an event is shaped.

Chapter 8

Different groups throughout Chinese history have used the Boxers for different reasons. The communists used the Boxers as a positive, stating that they were the spark needed for the Communist ascent. Cohen attempts to differentiate between anti-imperialism and anti-foreignism and explain which the Boxers better identify with.

Blog Post II

My areas of special interest in History are the ancient world and theatre throughout the ages. Pertaining to 1850-1940s China I find the relation between the Boxers and opera quite interesting because they are very seemingly incongruent things. The opera is a very “high-art” and is often related to the upper classes and the wealthy, but the Boxers were very based in the commoners and those whose income was based on agriculture rather than trade or artisan work. Cohen also brought some very interesting ideas regarding the acts of the Spirit Boxers relating to acts of theatre and whether or not their efficacy was due to their inherent histrionics. As for works of note that have inspired me, I found 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created by Charles C. Mann very informative in regard to how a seemingly simple set of events could have global effects. I have also found that podcasts are a good new medium for learning about topics, in particular, I have found Stuff You Should Know and Stuff You Missed in History Class to be very useful.

Blog Post I

Image I                         Image II                       Image III

Hello! My name is Erick Boscana and I am a sophomore at the University of Mary Washington. I am majoring in Theatre and History. My other interests include swimming, gardening, improv, gardening, crocheting, reading, cooking, baking, and generally not connecting with popular culture. This past summer I worked at Jamestown 4-H Educational Centre where I taught canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding to children aged 9-13. My favourite musician is Taylor Swift, my favourite colour is blue, my favourite celebrity is Paul F. Tompkins, and my favourite flower is lavender. I somewhat speak Spanish and am learning Latin. A fun fact about me is I have a cat named Mischief (Missy) because her brother was named Mayhem but he ran into the road and is no longer with us.

Photo Citations

Image I- Normandie, Korova. Image_0099. February 17, 2017. Accessed September 8, 2017.

Image II- Yengel, Katherine. Cotswold Lavender. July 8, 2017. Accessed September 8, 2017.

Image III-M, N. Swimmer. July 30, 2011. Access September 8, 2017.