Honors Program

Honors in History

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Dr. John Rankin

Thesis Professor Department


Thesis Reader(s)

Dr. Daniel Newcomer


The entirety of modern academia is founded on some form of historical authentication and interpretation. Historical exploration, in fact, represents the necessary element for the cognitive linking of interdisciplinary learning. At essence academic historiography is first - the product of intrigue - and then its contemporary expression. But though the field of academic history poses the perfect union of science and literary arts, modern instruction has sometimes grappled with finding and striking the optimal balance for effectively teaching historical authentication and its interpretation. Recognition and application of both aspects are essential to the effective demonstration of history as a viable, if not primary choice of high school-aged students for academic career path.

The focus of this project relies on the premise that young people find fascination in history as readily as they might music, mathematics, medicine, or any other form of science and art. Using the dramatic Wars of the Roses as a backdrop, Constructing History: Richard III and the Wars of the Roses: A Teaching Unit aims to whet the historical appetite of students, and to instill in them a sense of historical awareness as individuals.

Our curriculum provides high school educators with lessons that clearly demonstrate to students the difference between academic historiography and historical narrative while highlighting the imperative for interdisciplinarity. The unit introduces and profiles figures - both likely and unlikely historians - of various academic and public professions from the past and the present. Students will begin to understand the importance of discovering for themselves whether the histories they themselves have either accepted (or rejected) are true. Armed with this knowledge they can then determine how best to reasonably express their conclusions, leading directly to the main focal point of the project wherein students will learn that history is a cultural construct, and that especially now, all of us participate in its construction as both actors and narrators.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


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