Monday, May 27, 2019

Unauthorized history

We are pleased to announce that medievalist professor Rachel Fulton Brown will be offering a Medieval History 101 course to Unauthorized subscribers. She has a few questions for prospective students.
The first question that I have is about format. What kind of format would make for a good course online?

What I do not want is to have these videos simply be lectures, the canonical professor-talks-while-the-students-doze lectures you get in the movies before the professor starts encouraging the students to stand on their desks.

I want, in fact, to make them real—in the sense of the kinds of discussion I would give my students at the University of Chicago.

Which means you are going to have to do a bit of homework. Don’t worry, it will be fun!

Here’s the format I would like to try. I know that those of you who have been following Vox are familiar with his blog. Professor Fulton Brown is a great fan of blogs! You can see several that I have designed for courses I have taught on animals in the Middle Ages, Mary and Mariology, medieval Christian mythology, and Tolkien: Medieval and Modern.

I use these course blogs as a place for students to talk about the readings they have done and the themes we have discussed in class. I am always encouraged at how much insight they are able to bring to our discussions, as well as stimulated by the questions they raise.

This is how I would like to use the blog for our online course.

I will post a short reading (about a page) a few days before our scheduled “class.” You will be invited to leave comments on the blog, whether asking questions about the text or suggesting themes you would like me to address. Your comments will help me gauge the level of familiarity that readers have with the text, as well as help me craft my comments on what I would like you to learn from it. Following the video “class,” you can return to the blog and leave additional comments. Our goal will be to build up a common understanding of how to study history beyond learning the relevant facts.

I will also post reading lists for those who want to delve further. There are thousands upon thousands of books already published on the history of Europe in the Middle Ages. My role as a teacher is to help you learn how to read and evaluate them.
All subscribers will have access to the history course, but it will also be possible to purchase access to it whether you are a non-subscriber or not. I was extremely amused when Prof. Brown sent me a picture of what she said would be the textbook - all eight volumes of the first edition of the Cambridge Medieval History series published from 1926 to 1936! Don't worry, you won't be required to acquire your own copy for the course.

Also in Unauthorized news, the fifth episode of Chuck Dixon on Comics is now available for subscribers.

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Blogger GrzyMcKneezy May 27, 2019 5:38 AM  

Not that I wish to cast a shadow on yourself or the other creators, but this is the most excited I have been about Unauthorized content. Thanks Vox.

Blogger Gregory the Great May 27, 2019 5:45 AM  

Same here

Blogger Unknown May 27, 2019 6:05 AM  

This is amazing news.

Blogger Gregory the Great May 27, 2019 6:49 AM, the future authority on most things under the sun.

Blogger Rek. May 27, 2019 6:52 AM  

Absolutely looking forward to this. Unauthorized philosophy, politics and economics would be highly valuable to me as well.

Blogger Durandel May 27, 2019 6:57 AM  

Looking forward to this.

Blogger Daniele Grech Pereira May 27, 2019 7:12 AM  

Nice work. This is what is called "delivering". I knew unauthorized would be a good bet.

Blogger ReluctantMessiah May 27, 2019 7:35 AM  

"Where did you graduate"

From Voxiversity

Look forward to this one

Blogger Damn the torpedos May 27, 2019 8:06 AM  

(((Prager U)))<<<<<Voxiversity

Blogger Stacey May 27, 2019 8:31 AM  

This is what I've been waiting for!

Blogger Doktor Jeep May 27, 2019 8:42 AM  

May I suggest the "Voxiversity Format"?

Blogger rotekz May 27, 2019 9:33 AM  

This is right up my street. Great stuff!

Blogger sammibandit May 27, 2019 9:33 AM  

I'm in. I'm happy with low fi to high fi video. Used to overhead projectors and acetate slides. Prefer them. Not into powerpoints.

Blogger Dave May 27, 2019 9:35 AM  

This sounds interesting. Is it safe to presume the pretentious know-nothing Prof. Beard will not be a guest lecturer?

Also, I was going to request you make one of the Chuck Dixon on Comics shows available to non-subscribers, however, it appears you've already done that for #1. This is great, it gives us subscribers something we can refer to non-subscribers who may have an interest.

Chuck did a stream the other night with John Trent of BIC in which he mentioned Unauthorized TV very, very briefly, you know, because of course, primarily, everyone wants to talk all things Batman and Bane when you have The Legend on. I wondered if you might ask Trent if he has any interest in doing a BIC feature on the Chuck Dixon on Comics Unauthorized TV shows.

I'd like to see a short one to two minute commercial for Unauthorized TV, something we could send potential interested parties. Rather than trying to describe it, let's show it. Big Bear should be able to work something up fairly easily.

Blogger Zorlig May 27, 2019 9:58 AM  

Ok ok I'll subscribe then!

Blogger maniacprovost May 27, 2019 9:59 AM  

You're making this service pretty tempting.

Blogger Raker_T May 27, 2019 11:03 AM  

I can't participate, but it sure is neat how she set up that interactive intro. Good job professor Brown!

Blogger Ariadne Umbrella May 27, 2019 11:39 AM  

If it accessible to people across time, that is a good thing. I watched a woman learn to read, then learn to read with footnotes and cross-references, over the course of about five years, from an online bulletin board. She watched a movie, got excited, then got the Audible book, then word to voice programs. Her learning curve helped other people. The main participants with her were teachers and librarians- elementary and middle school, and then high school, on until college level teachers. It was not a regular teaching thing. It was a fansite for a series of books that they all loved.

Blogger The Cooler May 27, 2019 11:47 AM  

Very nice, Vox.

Blogger Dave May 27, 2019 12:06 PM  

Also on comics: Stan Lee's former manager, Keya Morgan, who was on CNN at the age of 11 as a "child business genius" was arrested Saturday in Arizona and is awaiting extradition to Los Angeles to face multiple felony counts.

Blogger Nate73 May 27, 2019 12:14 PM  

I think I heard her interviewed on the Distributist's channel once, all I can remember offhand is she is a specialist in "Devotion to Mary"... and Mariology?

Blogger JG May 27, 2019 12:21 PM  

I'm really looking forward to this class. By coincidence, I have been re-reading "Mongoliad", which is historical fiction set in the Mongol invasion time frame by a group of authors led by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, et. al.

Blogger Dave May 27, 2019 12:52 PM  

Also in Unauthorized news, the fifth episode of Chuck Dixon on Comics is now available for subscribers.

Another gem from The Legend. Matter-of-fact, sensible advice delivered Chuck Dixon style to aspiring professional writers or authors.

Blogger Alphaeus May 27, 2019 1:24 PM  

My favorite part of Medieval History is the Black Death, 1346-1353, and also the later outbreaks of bubonic plague. My favorite part of the fall of the Roman Empire was the great plague of the
6th century but it's hard to find much details about it.

Blogger Beardy Bear May 27, 2019 1:26 PM  

I've told my wife I need to buy a copy for the course. It's going to happen despite her resistance.

Blogger Migly May 27, 2019 1:28 PM  

Aw c'mon. With the internet it's now possible for all the students at home to transmit video of themselves standing on their desks. It could be a moment!

Blogger Gregory the Great May 27, 2019 2:25 PM  

Okay, you are hired!

Blogger binks webelf May 27, 2019 2:56 PM  

Well, that's it. RFB has totally pushed me over the edge.

I will be subscribing to some time this week, for all that sweet, sweet Medieval goodness.

Blogger Richard Martel May 27, 2019 3:45 PM  

I had been considering subscribing for the last few weeks, you just made the decision for me. Now my only regret is the money wasted on college.

Blogger damaris.tighe May 27, 2019 7:47 PM  


Blogger InformationMerchant May 27, 2019 9:39 PM  

This is great news.

It looks like you were able to create Voxiversity, no one said you had to teach every subject yourself.

I think all you're missing is a gun channel, a weight lifting channel and a tech channel in order for Unauthorized to be an alternative to Youtube in every major category that I watch.

This is one of the best possible additions because people can learn themselves and teach their children, it's a challenge to find a strange history channel on Youtube that people can trust.

Blogger Gregory the Great May 28, 2019 4:44 AM  

OT on history and free trade:
I am currently listening to the audiobook of Charles Oman's "Seven Roman Statesmen of the Later Republic", excellently read by Pamela Nagami on Librivox. Thank you, Vox, for recommending Charles Oman, he is just great!
Anyway, the first part is about Tiberius Gracchus. Seeing that fewer and fewer farmers were working on the land and that less and less grain was produced in Italy he implemented a land reform by which from one day to the next public land was taken away from families who had had the rights to use it for more than a hundred years. This land was then distributed for free to returning legionaries and urban dwellers - among vehement protests of those who had been using it for such a long period of time. However Gracchus apparently had no understanding of economics because the main reason for the decay of agriculture had been cheap grain imports from Sicily and other colonies, and the only reasonable countermeasure would have been tariffs on imported grain. This, however, was impossible because it would have driven up the price of bread for the urban population (think: lollipops and fancypants made in China), therefore impossible to implement. The new landowners soon found out that in Italy no farmer could make a living from his land as long as he had to compete with cheap imports, and the whole project collapsed.

Blogger Gregory the Great May 28, 2019 5:23 AM  

It seems in a time when so many people believe in 2+2 equals purple, pink or punk or whatever a channel focusing on mathematics and logic might be useful.

Blogger Jack Ward May 28, 2019 11:26 AM  

Looking forward to it! An Unauthorized sub...

Blogger wreckage May 29, 2019 2:03 AM  

I would like a short, heavily visual series that I can show my meme-generation kids. For this subject, and indeed, for any subject. Broken down into compact and thematic episodes.

I know that's far from simple, and maybe it's not the focus you were thinking of, but.... culture war.

Blogger Richard Martel May 29, 2019 10:50 PM  

Will RFB be part of the Basic subscription or do we have to go premium?

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