Create a character or choose a real person who lived during the Black Death. Write that person’s account of the Black Death in either the first or third person. You may choose to focus on one day or event over the time of the Black Death or to narrate several years of your Black Death experience, as Hatcher did.
The final product should be 1000-1500 words in length. You should not require citations BUT if you draw heavily on a specific reading please include it on a Bibliography page and if you draw quoted material directly from the readings you, of course, need to use footnotes and proper citations.
I will evaluate your work using many of the same benchmarks that I have all semester:
Think of this assignment as writing like Hatcher. Like Hatcher, you are now well grounded in the history of the plague, including debates among historians and areas where we simply do not have answers. Your job is to create a (semi)-fictional tale that incorporates accurate historical detail to better help the reader understand some aspect of the plague.
We will be looking for:
historical accuracy based on a deep understanding of class texts and rich historical detail.
critical thinking as demonstrated through creativity
cohesion, clear writing, and proper formatting
(Where am I getting this secret information? the paper prompt)
You do not need to cover ALL the material from class or ALL the plague. You can cover a long period or a short period of time. You can cover it from one person’s perspective and leave out what that person would not know. For example, if your main character is a doctor in England, you will probably draw heavily on the symptoms and medical understanding but might not mention violence against Jews (didn’t happen in England as the Jewish population had already been expelled) or the Muslim perspective or the Mongols. If you focus on one short period while your main character is waiting for the plague, you will cover the preparations heavily but not touch on, say, labor disputes, which happen after.
You can introduce whatever fictional elements you want but you do not want to change the historical elements. So, go ahead and write it in the perspective of an alien sending reports back to your overload of what you see happening, but stick to the historical detail in what the alien is describing.
You can write in whatever voice or style you want. First or third person, use old timey language if you want. Whatever.