Digital History – HIST 706

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 07/15/2022

Course Description

An examination of the leading works of digital history scholarship, best practices, and the needs within the historical community, culminating in a professional digital project.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Rationale

Digital history is a broadly growing field of public history. Expertise and understanding of the tools, methods and approaches to digital history will broadly equip students for greater vocational and professional opportunities as historians.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

For this assignment, students will closely examine three different digital public history projects, write an evaluation of the effectiveness of sites, focusing specifically on the use of digital tools supporting historical elements.  This project is meant to specifically apply the lens of digital history to looking at the “what” and “how” of these projects. Specific steps of the project are included in the assignment instructions. An example list of possible digital history projects is provided in the assignment instructions as well. (CLO: B, D)

For this assignment, the student will generate a data set from a scholarly text, locating 15 examples of historic dates, places and events. These dates will preferably be within 40-50 years of each other. It is also recommended that the places be in the same geographic area. This information will serve as the foundation of the timeline and mapping assignments. This data set is essential for the following class projects; if lacking in scope or robustness, the remaining assignments in this class will be difficult to accomplish well. (CLO: D, E)

For this assignment, using the data set constructed in week 2, build a timeline consisting of 15 slides that highlights the timeline elements of your data set. Each slide will be a different point in time. These can be different years or different days within a year. Include 3-4 sentences of specifically descriptive text for each timeline entry/slide. The goal with these sentences is to be concise and direct. It may help to think of these sentences functioning in a similar capacity as an exhibit description in a museum gallery 10-12 slides should also have an image or video embedded in those slides in order to provide context and detail. Specific steps of the project are included in the assignment instructions. (CLO: C, D)

Mapping Draft Assignment

Using the data set constructed in module 2, produce a map of 15 points highlighting the geographic elements of your data set. Include 3-4 sentences of specifically descriptive text for each point on the map. The goal with these sentences is to be concise and direct, connecting the user to the mapped point. Like the timeline project, these sentences function in a similar capacity as an exhibit description in a museum gallery. You should also selectively use 10-12 images throughout the 15 mapped points. All images need to either be in the public domain, accessed through the JFL databases or images to which you own the copyright. Additionally each image needs to be credited/cited.

For this assignment, using the data set constructed in module 2, produce a map of 15 points highlighting the geographic elements of your data set. Include 3-4 sentences of specifically descriptive text for each point on the map. The goal with these sentences is to be concise and direct, connecting the user to the mapped point. Like the timeline project, these sentences function in a similar capacity as an exhibit description in a museum gallery. You should also selectively use 10-12 images throughout the 15 mapped points. Specific steps of the project are included in the assignment instructions. (CLO: C, D)

Writing Digital History Draft Assignment

Write a summarizing, explanatory text that, in the context of your timeline and mapping projects, provides responses to the following questions: “what is the goal of the project, who is involved, where and how are you sharing what you are learning, and how do these findings fit into and/or change what is known about …history…?”

For this assignment, write a summarizing, connecting narrative that provides additional context to the what and how of the project. The writing should be directed towards a general public, giving detail and direct, largely avoiding discipline-specific jargon. This writing should seek to bring the explanation and care from historical scholarship with the openness and accessibility of public history. This narrative should be well-supported by research, using both scholarly and public/popular sources. Specific steps of the project are included in the assignment instructions. (CLO: C, D, E)

For this assignment, students will write a reflective essay highlighting and summarizing your three key takeaways from this course.  This essay should offer reflective analysis and assessment on your engagement with the interactions of digital history tools with public history. Your observations from the class readings and interactions with the digital history tools discussed in this class should inform the focus and content of this essay. (CLO: A, D)