Final Project Reflection: Schindler’s List: An Intersection of History and Memory

This project brought me to avenues that I never could have imagined when I first began to consider looking at historical films and TV shows for my final project. I first watched Schindler’s List when I was in ninth-grade and it was honestly a formative experience. I was deeply affected by the film, along with Elie Wiesel’s titular memoir Night, which I also read in ninth grade. These two things truly set me on the path to becoming deeply interested in history and, in turn, becoming a historian. My senior year of undergrad I took a class about History, Memory, and the World Wars. When I first began this project I figured I would investigate how several different historical films and TV shows have affected the popular memory of the events they depicted, but as I dived into studying that very thing in regards to Schindler’s List I found an almost overwhelming amount of information. So much so that I decided to focus my entire project solely on Spielberg’s film. I delved into what both academics and critics were saying about the film, though various journal and newspaper articles, as well as how general audiences have engaged and continue to engage with the film via mediums such as IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, and YouTube. Particularly fascinating were the opinions of the general public as expressed via YouTube videos and their comment sections. Some of the main criticisms that scholars and critics had about the film were that it condensed both historical facts and the complex personalities of the real individuals that it portrayed. The condensing of historical facts, according to many academics, resulted in the loss of important historical context, such as the broader understanding of why the Holocaust happened or the overall causes of World War II. The simplifying of complex, real-life people like Oskar Schindler and Amon Goeth would, critics stated, lead general audiences to believing that Schindler was a one-dimensional character who was an over-the-top savior by the end of the movie or that the Holocaust was conducted by outlier psychopaths like Amon Goeth, rather than the reality, which is that most of the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany were committed by “ordinary” men. 

Despite the criticisms from various scholars, general audiences viewed this film extremely positively, viewing this film as very “authentic” and historically accurate. Pursuing places like Rotten Tomatoes and especially YouTube reveals that the general public, even thirty years after Schindler’s List was released, view this film quite oppositely from how scholars and critics believed they would view it. Rather than seeing the film’s portrayal of Oskar Schindler as one-dimensional, much of the general audience views Liam Neeson’s Schindler as a complex character that experiences some genuine character growth while also remaining a morally gray character. Many people in YouTube videos and various comment sections expressed that their first real interaction with the topic of the Holocaust occurred through their viewing Schindler’s List. They often viewed the film either as a teenager or as a young adult and were most often deeply affected by the film. In many cases, a person’s main frame of reference in regards to the topic of the Holocaust was Schindler’s List. 

One of the most significant things that I learned from this project is that there were a lot of critics and academics talking about how audiences will react and how they will engage with Schindler’s List and other historical films. There were some elements of audience evaluation in the form of surveys and the like; however, digital, online platforms like YouTube, Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB, TikTok, Reddit, and more provide us with unparalleled insights into how people actively engage with and think about films like Schindler’s List. These platforms allow for people to engage with the film in a way that was not possible when the film first came out. Using online platforms and social media to gauge what general audiences are thinking about historical films like Schindler’s List allows an even deeper understanding of how mass media mediums affect the popular memory of certain historical events. 

I plan to take the research that I conducted for this project and mold it into a full-fledged research paper for my Graduate Research seminar class next year. I want to dive even more into how general audiences use online platforms to engage with historical films like Schindler’s List and how these engagements reveal how said historical films have affected the popular memory of the historical events that the films portray. I want to further explore how popular memory is influenced by historical films/TV shows. I believe that this is an important avenue to study because a great number of people who engage with these films and TV shows draw a majority of their historical knowledge from these mediums; therefore, it is essential to understand these mediums, the ways they portray history, and how they affect people’s understandings of history. In the making of my website for this project, I worked through a lot of frustrations in learning how to use WordPress in a way that looked aesthetically pleasing, but by the end I gained an appreciation for WordPress and the materials that it makes available to the public for free. After some trial and error, I was able to figure out how to work through setting up my WordPress site. It is an excellent resource for those who wish to create a website because it is available for anyone who wants to use it and beauty of it is that anyone can use it. There was a bit of a learning curve when it came to first figuring out how to use WordPress, but once I got the basics down it was relatively easy to work through creating the rest of the site.

Here is my finished website for anyone who wants to check it out!

This week, our class is all about “Opening & Expanding Forms of Scholarly Communication.” The following tools are meant to do exactly that, open the modes of scholarly communication to as wide an audience as possible. 


Scalar is a Alliance for Networking Visual Culture (ANVC) project, which was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities and is associated with Vectors and IML. Scalar is a “semantic web authoring tool” that allows authors to write and publish “long-form, born-digital scholarship online.” It is free and open-source. Clicking on the “open-source” hyperlink will lead you to a, where you can find additional information on Scalar’s code, including updates, information for downloading Scalar onto your own server if you so wish (and are technically capable), the contributors to the code, and even the languages used to write it. 

Scalar allows people to “assemble media from multiple sources and juxtapose them with their own writing in a variety of ways.” Scalar supports media from sites like YouTube and Vimeo and has archive partners like the Internet Archive and the Shoah Foundation Institute Visual History Archive that provide media resources for Scalar users. Users can customize the styles of their pages and write in tandem with other users. Scalar also offers built-in visualizations. There are two variations of Scalar visualizations. 1) Page level, which “show only content linked to that page” 2) Book level, which shows content book-wide and lets readers “choose the type of content and relationships they’d like to see visualized, as well as the graphic format of the visualization itself.” 

Under the tab of Showcase, a selection of Scalar projects are presented under the categories of: Digital Exhibits, Critical Editions, Digital Monographs, Book Companions, Multimodal Research Projects, Multimodal Digital Archives, Journal Issues & Articles, Theses & Dissertations, Class Projects, and Student Research Projects. 

I explored one of the Digital Archives–Welcome to Our Dark Materials: Rediscovering an Egyptian Collection:

  • This archive is meant to serve as a supplement for a 2018-2019 physical exhibit. Both the digital and physical exhibits display materials from Stanford University Archaeology Collections’ Egyptian collection. 
  • When you first see this archive you see an introduction to and background information for the collection. Then you see a Contents list and a big blue button saying: Begin with “Materials.” The materials of the exhibit are shown through a visualization:

Clicking on one of the four material types results in an array of items made of those materials along with each of those items’ unique Object ID:

Clicking on one of the items takes you to a page on that item, with a description of the item as well as other information as it relates to its position within the Scalar project. Clicking on the name at the top of this page takes you to another page that details from whom Stanford acquired the described item.

If you scroll down on the page with the main visualization chart, you see another “Contents” where you can click on another blue box labeled “Begin with Stone” which will take you to a page that speaks about the material and displays photos of each item that you can click on and get the same information as above. 

DH + Lib

DH + Lib is meant to be a space where librarians, archivists, Library Information Science graduate students, and information specialists all come together to discuss digital humanities and libraries. It spawned from the ACRL Digital Humanities Discussion Group (DHDG) listserv. The site first came to life in 2012 during the Digital Library Federation forum meeting in November of 2012. Its founding editors were Roxanne Shirazi and Sarah Potvin with support from Angela Courtney and Kate Brooks and other advisors from the DHDG listserv.  

In 2013, the dh + lib Review was launched which, via an aggregator function, provides a weekly collection of readings, resources, job postings, calls for papers/participation, etc. Volunteer Editors-at-Large shift through the aggregator content and highlight selected items. Weekly editors then take pieces from these selected items and write contextualizing posts about them, which are then published on dh + lib. The site also features original content as well. 

Here is the dh + lib Review page:

Here is an example of a post from this page, about an event. The editors are listed out at the bottom of the post:

This little box on the About Page lets you select a month and a year, which then leads you to the dh + lib Review posts for that month:

dh + lib also has a Resources Tab:

The dh + lib Registry page which provides a list of library groups that “offer digital humanities and digital scholarship services.” 

Programming Historian

The Programming Historian began in 2008, and it was created by William J. Turkel and Alan MacEachern. It was open access from the get-go and initially focused mainly on Python. In 2012, with an expanded editorial team, the Programming Historian launched “an open access peer reviewed scholarly journal of methodology for digital historians. The site is now available in four languages: English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. All of Programming Historian’s tutorials are peer-reviewed. At its core, the Programming Historian is open-source and is committed to allowing the widest range of participation in its tutorials and resources possible. 

The Programming Historian is possible through a large collection of talented volunteers. Its “Contribute” page presents categories of work for which they need volunteers, which include: write a new lesson, edit lessons, translate a lesson, provide feedback or report problems, add us to your Library Catalog, and make a suggestion.

The Programming Historian’s Lesson Index is sorted by phases of the research process (i.e. acquire, transform, analyze, present, and sustain) and by general topics (i.e. python, data management, distant reading, machine learning, network analysis, etc.) Clicking on one of the buttons will sort the lessons accordingly. You can also sort the lessons by difficulty.

You can then select any lesson you want, like for example, Heather Froelich’s “Corpus Analysis with Antconc,” which teaches you how to use corpus analysis (a kind of text analysis) that “allows you to make comparisons between textual objects at a large scale (so-called ‘distant reading’).”

At the top of the page, you are provide with the following information: the editor, the reviewer(s), the publication date, the modification date, and the difficulty level. You can also find here what languages this lesson is available in:

Each lesson has a table of contents which allows you to navigate through it with ease:

This lesson provides step-by-step instructions all along the way, often with pictures to help guide the reader through what they are supposed to do. 

The end of a lesson page has: further resources for the tutorial, an about the author section, and a suggested citation for the lesson:

There is also a Programming Historian blog that is a place for people to share news about PH, how technology can be used in your work, and how PH has been applied to the real world. 

Humanities Commons

Humanities Common is a network for humanities people. Through it, one can “discover the latest open-access scholarship and teaching materials, make interdisciplinary connections, build a WordPress Website, and increase the impact of your work by sharing it in the repository.” The site’s sidebar provides you with lots of things to explore. You can also create a profile, join a group, create a WordPress site, discover OA scholarship and more.

Humanities Commons’ social networking features use Commons In a Box, an open-source platform created by City University of New York and CUNY Graduate Center. It also uses an open-access repository called the Commons Open Repository Exchange (CORE). 


Members of Humanities Commons can join groups, which are “micro-communities” where one can find other scholars with similar interests. Within groups there are the following categories: activity (all the activity happening in the group), events (group calendar for events of interest), discussion (place for communication amongst group members), docs (a place for collaborative authoring amongst the group), files (shared storage area), from CORE (all the materials uploaded into the CORE repository from members of the group related to the group), and site (group members can collaboratively create a WordPress site for their group). 

Clicking on Sites brings you to a list of a large variety of WordPress sites created through Humanities Commons.

One quick click and you are on the listed site:

Clicking on the Members tab literally shows you all the HC members. HC members are able to follow each other on the site. Clicking on a member shows you their profile.

Clicking on the CORE Repository tab brings you to the CORE Repository where all sorts of materials uploaded by HC members can be found (i.e. papers, book reviews, scholarship, etc.)

The News Feed is a quick way to see all the new things that have been posted in the various corners of the network.

Digital Project Draft

My project is going to be a blog about historical films and their effects and influences on popular memory of the historical events that they possess. The second major aspect of my project is to study how audiences engaged with these films. The main subject of study in this project is Schindler’s List, which is undoubtedly one of if not the most influential Holocaust film ever made. It’s influence on popular memory and the way it has engaged audiences is unlike any other film on the topic, which my blog will show. Schindler’s List was often people’s first real introduction to the Holocaust. It tended to: have a significant emotional impact, be one of the main references for information on the Holocaust by many people, and be seen as an authentic film that is telling a true story. There ended up being way more information on this topic for Schindler’s List than I anticipated. Since I have so much information, the post on Schindler’s List might end up being broken into a couple/few different posts. The aim is to include the following posts to the blog as well: a brief post providing context for what popular memory and the field of history and memory is; posts on the tv series Holocaust (1978) and Claude Lanzmann’s documentary Shoah–these posts will be similar in nature to the one on Schindler’s List. The post on Holocaust (1978) and Shoah will serve as comparisons to Schindler’s List as both of these films had significant influence on popular memory of the Holocaust in their own right. The inclusion of posts on these other works will also serve to show just how great the influence of Schindler’s List  on popular memory of the Holocaust (both in the United States and outside of it) has been. Audiences are still actively engaging with the film in recent years (as can be seen in the articles, videos, and comment sections analyzed in the blog post), and the movie came out 30 years ago. 

Here are google doc links to 1) my Schindler’s List post and 2) my notes for the whole of the blog. Check them out if you want!


Videogames, Interactivity & Action

This week’s readings all have to with how things like play, video-games such as 텐텐벳, and the Internet are mediums that can be used by historians, archivists, librarians, etc. to communicate about the past. These readings explore different types of interactive transmedia, exploring their unique features that can make them great tools for introducing larger audiences to the past while also discussing the challenges that come with using these mediums.

Critical Play: Radical Game Design by Mary Flanagan

Flanagan’s book, rather than being about video games as I first suspected, is actually a rather complex deep dive into play. In the first chapter of this book, Flanagan nicely lays out what the book is about, defines important terms, and poses questions for the reader to think about whilst reading. These things help prepare the reader to sift through a lot of fairly complex information, theory, and discussion on play and critical play. Not only will you get a good commission when you play spin oasis, but you will also get a lot of entertainment.

On the very first page of the book, Flanagan poses this question: “What if some games, and the more general concept of ‘play,’ not only provide outlets for entertainment but also function as means for creative expression, as instruments for conceptual thinking, or as tools to help examine or work through social issues?” (pg. 1) This question immediately provokes the reader to think about what Flanagan is trying to discuss and explore throughout the book. As Flanagan states in chapter one, Critical Play “investigates games designed for artistic, political, and social critique or intervention, in order to propose ways of understanding larger cultural issues as well as the games themselves” and it explores “historic instances of artists using play in their work.” (pg. 1-3) Flanagan makes clear that the ultimate goal of Critical Play is to “examine the ways in which individuals and groups involved in creating and playing games have worked, and are working within, social, political, and cultural systems. Their critical radical play can be considered the avant-garde of the game as a medium.” (pg. 15)

The important terms that Flanagan provides and defines in this chapter are: 

  • Artist: Flanagan defines artist as someone who is “creating outside commercial establishment, and, often, those who are ‘making’ for ‘making’s sake.’” (pg. 3-4)
  • Play: Although Flanagan discusses the various scholarship that has evolved from the attempt to define play, she ultimately seems to settle on the definition that most anthropologists and historians agree upon which states that “play is central to human and animal life; is generally a voluntary act; offers pleasure in its own right (and by its own rules); is mentally or physically challenging; and is separated from reality, either through a sanctioned play space or through an agreed upon fantasy or rule set.” (pg. 5)
  • Critical Play: According to Flanagan, critical play “means to create or occupy play environments and activities that represent one or more questions about aspects of human life,” and it is “characterized by a careful examination of social, cultural, political, or even personal themes that function as alternates to popular play spaces.” (pg. 6)
  • Games: Flanagan defines games as “instances of more-or-less constructed play scenarios” and as “situations with guidelines and procedures.” (pg. 6-7)
  • Technology: Flanagan believes that games could serve as a kind of technology themselves, and that games and play “with their emphasis on order and conventions, act as technologies that produce sets of relationships, governed by time and rules, played out in behavioral patterns.” (pg. 8) 
  • Subversion: For Flanagan, a subversion is “an action, plan, or activity intended to undermine an institution, event, or object.” (pg. 1o)
  • Activist Game: Flanagan defines activist games as “characterized by their emphasis on social issues, education, and, occasionally, intervention.” (pg. 13)

Chapters two through seven cover the “historic instances” of artists using play and provide historical context for critical play. Flanagan explores playing house, board games, language games, performative games and objects, artists’ locative games, and critical computer games like those available at delhi satta king. Throughout each chapter, Flanagan explores how “art and social movements” have engaged with each genre of game that she discusses. 

The book culminates in chapter eight, in which Flanagan provides a critical play method that she believes should be included in the traditional game design process. Her critical play method can be seen laid out in the chart below, you can see it compared to the traditional model. With this critical play method, Flanagan hopes ”that other practitioners, artists, designers, scientists, and researchers will be able to question and elucidate many of the so-called ‘norms’ embedded in our current play frameworks and technology practices, ultimately including a more diverse set of voices in the game design community and a wider spectrum of game experiences.” (pg. 252) Ultimately, Flanagan’s critical play method stresses human concerns and “a new awareness of design values and power relations, a recognition of audience and player diversities, a refocusing on the relational and performative as opposed to the object, and a continued and sustained appreciation of the subversive.” (pg. 261)

Mir & Owens, Modeling Indigenous Peoples: Unpacking Ideology in Sid Meier’s Colonization

In this article, Rebecca Mir of the New-York Historical Society and Trevor Owens of the United States Library of Congress (anyone ever heard of this guy before? he seems familiar) look at the 2008 game Civilization IV: Colonization. Simply put, the game allows players to colonize the Americas. Colonization sparked controversy from the beginning. On one hand, there were many people who believed that it was fundamentally wrong to develop a game in which players engaged with the act of colonization; on the other hand, the president of the company that developed the game maintained the stance that the game did not endorse any strategy or action and that the players made their own moral decisions. The authors argue that neither position is entirely correct.

The authors analyze “how design decisions shape players’ interpretations of Native American cultures and the history of colonial encounters” thus revealing that, despite what the game company’s president said, the game’s model does, indeed, inherently suggest “certain strategies and positions and thus shapes player agency and action.” (pgs. 91-92) Colonization presents its players with an ideological model of the world and interpretation of history, and this particular model “restricts potential readings to a limited and Americanized colonialist ideology.” (pg. 92) Colonization allows players to see the world from the ideological perspective of a colonist power, and as the players engage in the disturbing views and horrific acts of colonization, it can provoke feelings of guilt. The authors claim that that provocation of guilt “suggests a potential for games that portray disturbing points of view as potent vehicles for exploring the past and understanding a more nuanced history.” (pg. 93). 

Mir and Owens pose the question of whether Colonization players are given enough agency to make decisions about “reenacting the history of colonial encounter.” (pg. 93) While Colonization players can explore certain alternative histories, the game has a strict win condition in that a war of independence must take place. The authors question if players can, instead, if players can avoid the traditional historical interactions with Native Americans; therefore, the authors explored the rules through which Colonization defines what players and Native units can (and cannot) do. In many ways, it can be argued that the ideology of colonialism is written into the game’s code. Colonization was not a result of a program made from scratch, rather the engine/code from Civilization IV was built upon to create Colonization. Another interesting aspect of the game’s code is that the source code delineates “normal peoples” which are the units that players can control, Native peoples, and Europeans–both of which are controlled by the computer. Native peoples, therefore, are–at code level–othered in the game. The game also–at code level–“systematically and explicitly restricts things like civic development from Native cultures.” (pg. 96) Overall, Colonization presents cultural transmission as only going one direction from the Europeans to the Natives. 

 Mir and Owens believe that the game does have redeemable qualities such as the feelings of guilt that the game evokes over both the evil that is wrought by the player throughout the game as well as thoughts of how history has been whitewashed. However, the authors conclude this article by stating that, ultimately, the problem with Colonization is that it is not offensive enough, it does not, for example, include the devastating effects and realities of either disease or slavery in the Americas.

Nakamaura, “Gender and Race Online”

This chapter evaluates the state of race and gender within the world of console gaming, and it identifies many of the reasons for the pervasiveness of both sexism and racism within the gaming world. Another major element of this chapter is the discussion of how racism and sexism have not only flourished on the Internet but have, in many ways, defined it. Nakamaura, through the use of many different studies into the subjects of racism and sexism, reveals some of the biggest issues in the gaming community in regards to sexism and racism. Adrienne Shaw’s 2011 ethnographic study revealed that women and girls tend to identify less as gamers and underestimate or under report the amount of time that they spend playing video games. On the other hand, men and boys will more easily identity as gamers even if they do not frequently play video games because it allows them an avenue to connect with masculinity. Gaming culture has produced a “new type of male identity, that of ‘geek masculinity.’” (pg. 82) Various studies showed both that non-white men are “better-represented” in the gaming world and that non-white youths play more video games at home than white youths. Despite those two statistics, the majority of black and brown representations in video games, for example, continues to be in the forms of criminals, gangsters, and athletes, and there has been a distinct lack of non-white avatars or playable characters. (pg. 83)

Nakamaura details the two understandings of racism that were detailed by sociologist Ashley Doane: one, that racism  is made up of personal, individuals instances of prejudice, hatred, stereotyping, etc. and two, that racism is systematic and that racism is persistent and pervasive in social practices such as housing and education. The gaming world is certainly filled with individual examples of harassment, but there are also “systematic practices such as the exclusion of non-stereotyped characters of color and women from the game texts and storylines themselves are part of a harmful racial discourse as well.” (pg. 84) 

This chapter also looks at abusive language that is racist, sexist, and/or homophobic in nature and which is dismissed by many (mostly white men) as being “trash talk” that is an inherent part of gaming culture. Many blogs and forums have been created in order to discuss and catalog this kind of harassment due to a systemic ineffectiveness from the gaming industry to regulate hate speech and abusive language. 

WNET, Mission America Online Games about American History + the NEH Digital Programs for the Public Grant Guidelines 

Grant Guidelines:

  • NEH’s Digital Projects for the Public is meant to support those projects that are interpreting/analyzing humanities content via digital platforms and formats. Here are the shoulds each project needed:
    • To demonstrate the potential to attract a broad, general audience (online or in-person)
    • present analysis that deepens public understanding of significant humanities ideas; 
    • incorporate sound humanities scholarship; 
    • involve humanities scholars in all phases of development and production; 
    • include appropriate digital media professionals; 
    • reach a broad public through a realistic plan for development, marketing, and distribution; 
    • create appealing digital formats for the general public; and 
    • demonstrate the capacity to sustain themselves.

WNET, Mission America Online Games about American History Grant Application

This grant consists of the WNET requesting funding from the NEH for Mission America, which is a “ground-breaking multi-media initiative to help young people ages 9-13 learn American history. Chosen as the launch project for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s American History and Civics Initiative, Mission America centers on five free online games set in different eras in U.S. history” (pg. 1) The five missions are Revolution and the New Nation (1754-1820), Slavery and the Abolitionist Movement (1801-1861), Development of the Industrial United States (1869-1900), Emergence of Modern America (1890-1919), Emergence of Modern America (1890-1919), The Inter-War Years (1919-1940). Each mission is a character-driven narrative that is meant to supplement “the social history approach of middle school history.” (pg. 7)

The ultimate goal of this project is to “advance humanities education by a sophisticated use of interactive media to engage students in learning and analyzing U.S. history.” It wants to use gaming, the most popular medium amongst students–to immerse children in history. (pg. 1) Mission America aimed to provide students with new kinds of experiences and avenues through which to “grapple with a multiplicity of perspectives on historical issues.” The project offers: an innovative format, a curricular basis, a proven model, and wide distribution. (pg. 2) The main proposed audience for this project are fifth to eighth graders both in schools and outside of them as well as teachers, libraries, and PBS outreach stuff who wish to use the materials to engage students and young learners. (pg. 10) 

Mission America was designed with theories in history education and technology and “teacher input about the skills and concepts important for students to learn history” in mind. Moving beyond the concept that games can be a great supplementary tool for learning, Mission America is based on theory that gaming itself creates “new and richer contexts for learning.” (pg. 5). This game has three main learning goals: “learn the story of America and the ways Americans struggle to realize the ideals of liberty and equality, understand the role of ordinary men and women, including young people, in history, develop historical thinking skills that increase historical understanding and critical perception.” (pg. 5-6) Key design choices to promote the chosen learning objectives are: Authentic content, Narrative engagement, Avatar, Vocabulary support, Social context, Flexibility (pg. 9)

Initial testing of the game in classrooms revealed two significant findings: “first, players liked Mission America regardless of their gender or gaming experience” and “second, students regularly asked for more missions to play, not just at school but at home.” WNET’s game-based learning theory was also supported by this initial testing. (pg. 11) The distribution plan for Mission America is for it to take place over four years with outreach being done through PBS stations, the Mission America website, and partnerships with national organizations in school and after-school programs, libraries, etc. (pg. 12) The production and roll-out of Missions 1-4 “will take place over three years, beginning August 2009. NEH funds would support activities from April 2010 through March 2012.” (pg. 19) The second half of the document is a fairly extensive design document that goes into greater detail about what Mission America will look like, what it will do, and how it will function. 

Digital History Project:

With this project I want to create a blog that will explore popular memory of World War II through various medias–i.e. film, television, etc. I would probably aim to do around six posts. Each blog post would cover one piece of media, describing it and the history it covers. If that work is based on a book or on a “true story” then the post would also discuss that and provide a comparison between the two. 

Potential Blog Post Topics:

  • Schindler’s List (1993), directed by Stephen Spielburg: Would talk about the book and how the movie compares to the book. Plus, as I already know that there are criticisms about the accuracy of the book, I would also discuss those criticisms and also bring into the discussion one of the titular works on Oskar Schindler (which is already on my bookshelf, conveniently), and show how the film (and book) deviates from the what actually happened. In addition, to also analyzing audience engagement, etc. 
  • Band of Brothers (2001), HBO: As Band of Brothers is also based on a book, I would approach this post similarly to the one on Schindler’s List. 
  • The Pacific (2010), HBO: The Pacific takes a lot of inspiration from E.B. Sledge’s book With the Old Breed (which is also conveniently on my bookshelf, I am sensing a pattern) and Helmet for My Pillow by Robert Leckieso, again, I would approach this post like the previous two.
  • The Monuments Men (2014), directed by George Clooney: This movie is loosely based on The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter. This post would then be approached similar to the others.
  • Midway (2019), directed by Roland Emmerich: This is the only one on the list so far not based on a book, so a bit of a different approach would be taken in that regard, but this is a fun film and I believe it would be a good addition to this blog.

There would be two parts to analyzing the historical accuracy of the film, TV show, etc.: there would be a general overview of the historical accuracy of the piece, and there would also be an analysis on how accurate it is viewed to be by the general public. The second part would also go hand in hand with an evaluation of audience engagement with the piece of media. Both of these would be evaluated by exploring articles, reviews both on sites like IMDB, and videos/reviews made on films/TV shows on Youtube, TikTok, etc. I think it would be fascinating to see how these films–and branching from that the topics they contain–are covered on platforms like YouTube and TikTok, how audiences engage with this media, and if there are any differences in how audiences engage with these films and their topics on social media. I’ve already found some great videos on YouTube with excellent comment sections that really give a good sense of how audiences engage not just with these films but also with the historical topics:

  • Apathy in the Face of Horror (Schindler’s List) | Video Essay, by Ariana Alexis
  • Schindler’s List — Remembering the Holocaust, by A Matter of Film
  • History Buffs: Midway Part One & Part Two, by History Buffs
  • Midway | Based on a True Story, by The Cynical Historian
  • History Buffs: Band of Brothers, by History Buffs
  • Monuments Men | Based on a True Story, by The Cynical Historian

I would also want to attempt to see how the film/TV show was received when it first came out and if opinions on it and its representation of history have changed. Each blog post would also include a little bibliography of works on the subject that readers could check out in order to learn more about the topic. These would include books but also webpages, videos, etc. where appropriate. The point would be to give people avenues to learn more about the subject. I also want to try and make an accompanying TikTok that not only serves as advertisement for the blog, but it will also serve as another way to get some of this information out.