Historical Thinking in a Digital Age: Tool or Relic?

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 4:00pm to 5:30pm

RSVP by October 13 at bit.ly/WineburgCITRALTwo.

The Zoom link for the workshop will be sent once you complete the RSVP.

Observing a history class a few years back, I sidled up to an 11th grader filling out a worksheet. Naively, I asked what she was doing. She glared at me with one of those how-could-this-guy-be-so-stupid looks: “I have no freakin’ idea," she said, "all this stuff is already on my phone.” This young woman's astute response not only inspired the title of my last book, but set me thinking: what does historical thinking have to offer when we carry the British Library in our back pocket? In this workshop, I’ll share highlights of three decades exploring what historical thinking offers to a democratic society. However, I will do so with reference to the challenges facing us when we become historicized—not by books and scholarly articles, but by the information that flows ceaselessly across our screens.

Sam Wineburg is the Margaret Jacks Professor of Education and, by courtesy, of History & American Studies at Stanford University. Educated at Brown and Berkeley, he holds a doctorate in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford and an honorary doctorate from Sweden’s Umeå University. In 2004, Wineburg founded the Stanford History Education Group (sheg.stanford.edu), whose curriculum and assessments have been downloaded over nine million times, making it the largest provider of free curriculum in the social studies. His latest research focuses on “civic online reasoning,” or how people judge the credibility of the Internet. His latest book, Why Learn History When It’s Already on Your Phone, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2018.

Center for Innovative Teaching, Research, and Learning
CITRAL, UC Santa Barbara Library, Room 1576

Event Type

Classes & Workshops

Target Audience

Graduate Students, Faculty & Staff



Center for Innovative Teaching, Research, and Learning


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