The Un-Essay, and Teaching in a Time of Monsters


  • Ryan Irwin University at Albany-SUNY



This essay explores three examples of the Un-Essay---the recorded video, the podcast, and the multimedia lecture---arguing that each assignment advances traditional learning objectives like argumentation, information literacy, and narrative-making. As such, the author pushes against the premise that the Un-Essay is a “creative” alternatives to prose storytelling. To the contrary, the Un-Essay’s value arises from the way it teaches craftsmanship and self-awareness, two skills at the heart of the historian's craft. Embedding the Un-Essay into our curriculum can improve established learning objectives while leveraging technologies like TikTok and YouTube, leading to better outcomes that help more students understand the merits and complexities of historical thinking.


Download data is not yet available.




How to Cite

Irwin, Ryan. 2022. “The Un-Essay, and Teaching in a Time of Monsters”. Teaching History: A Journal of Methods 47 (1):13-25.