This article reflects on the experience of teaching an online summer course that focused on rethinking history, in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake of January 2010, as an avenue for critical reflection about the present. Tracing the students' responses to course readings and debates, the article considers the challenges of overcoming ethical disengagement in the classroom, and — in this context — both the advantages and disadvantages of an online learning environment, in a course that aimed specifically to generate answers to these questions: After the earthquake, how might a deeper knowledge of history allow us to make better sense of the present of Haiti, the international role of the United States, and our own position as historical observers? How might our knowledge be useful, in a renewed effort to achieve another possible world?

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