My name is Bryce, and I am currently working through my fourth year in the history department as I prepare for my honor’s thesis by Fall 2021. I have taken a few courses that deal with more modern history like War and Society in 20th century Britain or the history of the U.S. borderlands. My passion, however, (and where I have focused much of my studies) has always been the Middle Ages, and I minor in Greek and Roman Studies as well.
In terms of this class and what I know of it, I can say I may be a millennium or two behind. Although as an aspiring Medievalist, I have come across the issues found in the misconceptions of the Middle Ages and how the history has been used by right-wing populist groups today. After the first week of readings for this class, I feel, even in my lack of knowledge about 20th century fascism, populism, and authoritarianism, that my understanding of the medieval past can offer counterpoints in the topic itself, from its unique perspective.
Beyond the scope of this class, my focus in history has allowed me to place my creativity and love for history together. I have spent much of my time trying to change the popular culture of history by adopting video games, films, historical fiction, etc. as methods of telling accurate history to a broader audience. In terms of interests, however, I have been engrossed by the philosophical concept of Neoplatonism and its equally divided impact on both Medieval Christianity as well as the study of Occult practices, further growing into the study of magic and witchcraft from the Classical Period all the way to early modern Europe.
Although I may not have much of a background for a class on 20th century Europe, and especially topics like populism and authoritarianism, I hope that I may use the ideas and concepts from this class to combat even places like popular culture and its creation of stereotypes and misconceptions of the past. I am eager to learn and get to know more of what is to be offered. I am also excited to hear from others and their opinions and own perspectives that they bring to the table as well.