Today marks the end of my first full week in Western’s Pubic History MA program. While I suspect my transition to Western’s campus has not been as difficult compared to some of my colleagues who hail from across North America, there has been a minor transitional period in trading Huron’s campus for Western’s.
Out of all the assignments in this course, the podcast likely worries me the most. Up until this point, every assignment I have had mainly relied on my research and writing skills. Outside of the odd class presentation, I have not been marked on my ability to perform the material I researched. I am sure it will take some practice to get used to recording myself, but it will be a worthwhile skill to have as a Public Historian.
At the moment, I believe the best method to tackle this assignment is to take an interesting topic I studied as an Undergrad and modify it to work as a podcast. My essay on German Abwehr agents in WW2 sticks out to me and could prove to be an excellent topic for a broad audience. Currently, I am thinking about whether it will be better to frame the topic from a global perspective or keep the discussion focused on a specific country i.e Canada or the United Kingdom. Both approaches have their advantages, but I am leaning towards a global perspective as it allows me to discuss the “best hits” of Abwehr agent incompetence.
I am very excited to build new skills and test myself in the independent project due at the end of the semester. Currently, I am thinking about designing a mod for Europa Universalis IV, one of the numerous grand strategy games by Paradox Interactive. The game allows users to control a historical nation in a sandbox environment from 1444 to 1821. Unlike other strategy games such as Civilization and the Total War series, there are no victory conditions, meaning that players often choose their own end goals in a campaign. While players can choose whether to become a military, economic or colonial superpower, mission trees provide players with minor rewards for following the historical path of a nation.
While I have not pinned down what exactly the mod will entail, I think it would be interesting to either add a historical event to the game or expand upon one that is currently lacking flavour. Although I have no experience with coding outside of 9877A, all of Paradox Interactive’s recent games utilize the same engine and is according to the community, not hard to modify in events for nations. Alongside my other work, I will be spending the next few weeks narrowing down my historical event and reading modification guides.