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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
September 30, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Winner Sabrina Brown
Winner Sabrina Brown


Faculty of Arts

Integrating the Non-Traditional Assignment in the History Classroom

Oct 28/11


Dr. Amy Milne-Smith, Department of History (

Students in Dr. Amy Milne-Smith's new course, "Britain in the late Nineteenth-Century: Crime, Sex, and Violence" produced some pretty exceptional work this fall. Asked to research a historical crime or scandal, write a short essay and produce a small diorama recreating the scene, most of the class went above and beyond, doing extensive research and producing impressive essays and accompanying dioramas. The resulting Victorian "peep" shows, where friendly marshmallow treats became the main characters in scenes of infanticide, pickpocketing, and hangings were informative, disturbing, and a little bit funny.

After the grades were in, Dr. Milne-Smith decided that some of the students should be given a chance to share their work in the history department main office. Faculty, staff, and students were invited to drop by and vote for their favourite assignment.  

Voting was intense as most the projects were both creative and intense. The winner, Sabrina Brown, produced a project detailing the "Bermondsey Horror," a crime of adultery, betrayal, and murder. Her project exemplified what was best about all of the projects; incorporating extensive details about a Victorian crime based on trial records from the Old Bailey, and placing that event within its historical context. An honourable mention went to Jessica Bouchard whose diorama of Victorian prostitution best captured the mood and atmosphere of Victorian London. Congratulations to all of the students in HI346D for all of their hard work.

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