HUMS 193, Screening the Past
An interdisciplinary study of cinematic representations of the historical past. Films that treat historical events realistically; others that deliberately present history as it did not happen. Standards that can be applied to judge history on the screen; lessons for evaluating history on the page.
Professor Stuart Semmel
Stuart Semmel teaches courses on modern British history, British imperial history, global history, and historical consciousness. He is also the Associate Head of Pauli Murray College.
He received his A.B. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. His book Napoleon and the British (Yale, 2004), shortlisted for the Longman/History Today Book of the Year prize, considers how Napoleon Bonaparte was used in British political argument and political culture. His publications include articles on tourism and radical politics. His current book project examines an early nineteenth-century British woman’s career as a freelance propagandist.
Before coming to Yale, Semmel was a tenured Associate Professor at the University of Delaware. He has also taught at Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, American University, Peking University, and Yale-NUS College. He has been a fellow at the National Humanities Center and the Penn Humanities Forum. His courses include “Nineteenth-Century Britain,” “Britain’s Empire,” “The World Circa 1800,” and “British Identity since 1800” (graduate seminar). He also teaches classes on various aspects of “historical consciousness”: “Thinking About History” (a first-year seminar), “Screening the Past” (in the Humanities program), and “Nineteenth-Century Historical Narratives” (in Humanities, with Professor Stefanie Markovits). He also teaches “Historical and Political Thought” (from Herodotus to Arendt) in the Directed Studies program.