Interesting Things You’ll See If You Study in UNAIR Historical Studies

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Illustration: UNAIR NEWS.

UNAIR NEWS – Some of us might think that learning history is boring. It may be caused by many things, one of them is the learning method used to teach history was not very effective to make the students interested with this important studies. Historical studies invite us to learn from the past from all dimension of life which can be used to determine policy in the future.

This time, with Gayung Kasuma, S.S., M.Hum., as the coordinator of UNAIR Historical Studies program, UNAIR NEWS covers some interesting things you’ll see if you study in Historical Studies program, Faculty of Humanities Universitas Airlangga.

  1. From Creative Writing, Film-making to Interpreting the Truth.

In UNAIR Historical Studies program, there is a course on Creative Writing which teaches the students to write opinions, feature, article, poem or write for mass media. The works resulted from the course will be published in a book. The topic of the course is of course in relation with History.

There is also a course Historical Visualization. The works from this course is a documentary related to historical events. Film is an effective media in communicating a message, such as for historical events.

Department of UNAIR Historical Studies in 2011 received an endowment fund from Institution Competition Grant Program (PHKI) for facilities and equipments of students’ video making.

“It is a supporting course and there is a long term plan, that for graduation, students will not only write a thesis, but they are expected to make films on historical event,” said Gayung.

Furthermore, students are encouraged to interpret historical events through Methodology and Practice of Historical Research with sources’ criticism, through it students are encouraged to interpret historical events from various sources.

“There is a saying among academicians that history belongs to people who win, people with power. We can’t deny it. It can be true as it is directed to a certain interest. There could be relations with power, politics and some interests, therefore there is sources’ criticism,” said Gayung.

  1. Historical Events Never Stop

“We need to know that historical events never stop in a ‘period’, only ‘comma’. A historical event will never end to be absolute,” said Gayung.

What does it mean? It means that in the process of getting new findings, there will be clarifications or rectification of history. In history there are principles of subjectivity and objectivity. History records as far as the sources elaborate. As Gayung said, if there are new historical sources, then the history will be rewritten.

  1. Accepting Diversity of Versions

Through sources criticism, students are encouraged to study a historical event coming from different versions. Students must pay attention to some details, the author and the origin of the written historical sources.

“That’s why, in the history of our nation there are some controversial events. So, learning history means learning to accept various versions. Then we can determine the sources’ criticism,” said Gayung.

For example, the historical textbooks at schools said that Indonesia has been colonized for 350 years by the Dutch but when we get into university and learn the history, we find different facts. The Dutch actually needed 300 years to conquer Indonesian regions. It was stated by Gj Resink in his book,   Bukan 350 Tahun Dijajah (2012), and Jos Wibisono in his article in Majalah Historia titled Mitos 350 Tahun Penjahan (13/09/2011).

It is a small part of past historical events, with various versions depend on the writers’ interests. The students get a great deal and various understanding. For example for G30S/PKI, we did not get only one version from one source. But we got versions from the government, military, practitioners and also victims.

  1. Learning Directly to the Source of History

All courses offered by Historical Studies program required the students to visit historical places such as Museology expects the students to visit museums. Learning history is not only through lectures and reading books but also through visits to historical objects or places.

  1. Museum of History and Cultures, the First in Indonesia

Since December 2016, Museum of History and Cultures UNAIR has been opened and managed by Department of Historical Studies. This museum is the third museum located in UNAIR after Museum of Ethnography (FISIP) and Museum of Medicine (FK).  Museum of History and Cultures keeps ancient books and important archives in historical researches, also photos and things representing daily lives of people in the past, such as old projector, keris, spear and wayang.

  1. Your Knowledge is Useful Anywhere

From the various things learned, students of historical studies have creativity and soft skill applicable in their workplaces after graduation. Gayung said that the graduates of Historical Studies spread to various fields of work.

“After graduation, they do not have to work in historical field, but they express themselves from the history. In a company for example, the graduates can be people who look after the records in the past. Why did the company decline and succeed? The analysis contributes to the company’s development,” he said.

If they work in a linear field, one of the choices is to work in museology, working as a curator. (*)

Author : Binti Q. Masruroh
Editor    : Nuri Hermawan

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