Fall 2024

This project-based course provides a unique cross-disciplinary opportunity to study important historical questions surrounding firearms. Combining quantitative methodology in data science with qualitative research methods in history, students will answer questions of interest using existing datasets.

Students will read, discuss, and write responses to the latest historical scholarship on guns, including technological development, gun violence statistics, and the place of guns in media and advertisements. They will choose one of four datasets to research and analyze. These include data sets related to firearms patents since the 1820s, firearms in media (film, television, anime, games), firearms-related deaths, and advertisements of firearms. Students will develop skills in hypothesis testing and inferential statistical analysis alongside qualitative research methods used in history.

The course offers one-on-one support and training in the skills required to complete a team-based final project, a hybrid between a research paper and an exhibit (e.g., film, website, media, art installation). Students will present their work at the center’s third annual Undergraduate Research Conference in Spring 2025. Select students can apply to continue on as QAC summer apprentices and Baker Collabria Fellows in Data Analysis, and as CSGS NEH-funded summer history research fellows and as history thesis researchers.