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 they are passionate about based on existing datasets. Students will read, discuss, and write responses to the latest historical scholarship on the technological development of guns, firearms in media, gun violence statistics, and advertisements. Students 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. The final project will be hybrid between a research paper and also an exhibit (e.g., film, website, media, art installation). Students will present their work at the center’s third annual undergraduate research conference (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.

Categories: Seminars


Jennifer Tucker is a historian who studies the interrelations of art and science, photography, and mass visual culture, with a specialization in 19th to mid-20th century British, U.S., and trans-Pacific history. The common threads in her diverse research fields are the dynamics of visual media in modern history, the nature of evidence, public perceptions and practices of history, and the interrelationships of science, technology, and the law.


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