“Why Take History?” Video Contest

Video CameraThe History Department announces up to three $500 prizes for short (1-3 minute) videos made by an undergraduate individual or team on the subject, “Why take History?”

Videos may answer this question in a variety of ways. For instance, you might address current events, the history community at UW, the uses of history for life, or something entirely different. Format is open: videos may range from informal interviews shot on a cell phone to highly-polished documentaries shot with a top- quality camera. The key is to create a compelling, persuasive video that can convince undecided students to take History classes.

Watch this video from grad student Johnny Bassett on how to record a good video. It was made for another purpose, but many of the tips & tricks are still good guidance on how to film yourself and others. Feel free to contact the Design Lab (https://designlab.wisc.edu/) for technical help; direct other questions to solson25@wisc.edu. Finalist and winning videos will be used on our website, in social media, in classes, and elsewhere to help promote our department.

For full consideration, videos should:

  • Be submitted to Sophie Olson (solson25@wisc.edu ) by February 15, 2021.
  • Be 1-3 minutes in length.
  • Acknowledge all sources. Avoid the use of copyrighted material or provide written permission from the owner of the copyright for the department’s unlimited use of the copyrighted material.
  • Include in the email submitting the video:
    • Subject line: Why take History video contest
    • The name, role, class year, and major(s) of each creator of the video. At least one creator of the video must be a declared History major/History certificate or be taking or have taken a History class at UW-Madison (designate which class or classes, which semester).
    • The social media handle(s) of the creator(s), if desired. This would allow us to link to those handles when we post the video.
    • A full transcript of the video in an attached Microsoft Word file. The purpose of this is to make this video fully accessible to all through closed captioning.
    • The video itself (as an attachment) or a link to the video. Format is open, but AVI, MOV, or MP4 is preferred.

Current undergraduates as well as students who have graduated within the past 6 months before the deadline are eligible to submit for the contest. Of course, alumni and other non-students are welcome to appear in the video.

By submitting a video for this competition, the creators attest that their video is the product of their own work, and give the UW-Madison History Department unrestricted permission to publicize and distribute the video on social media and other platforms. By submitting a video, creators also give the History Department permission to add brief material at the beginning or the end of the video to promote the Department itself. Students may be contacted after submitting to provide revisions for final consideration.

A winning video should:

  1. Capture and hold the attention of a diverse range of UW-Madison undergraduates
  2. Present a persuasive argument for the value of History classes or a History degree
  3. Acknowledge sources appropriately and follow all rules of copyright