This course is an introduction to the role of new media and the digital humanities in the service of cultural heritage.  It will focus on examining the ways that emerging media have affected our historical understanding in the past and present and on developing facilities with digital applications, methodologies, and platforms that scholars and public history professionals increasingly need to use in the present and future. This includes archiving, blogging, digitizing, digital storytelling, editing and analyzing, social media, virtual exhibitions and web design. It will also take up broad social and ethical questions surrounding media and contemporary culture, including accuracy of evidence, intellectual property, and open access to knowledge. By the end of the semester, students will have produced a digital portfolio of their work.


  • Class meets once a week.  Most classes will be divided into three components: theoretical readings on the day’s topic; a practicum on a specific software or technology; and peer critique of projects.
  • Students should be prepared to post a weekly reflection on their individual blogs.  Blog posts are meant to help facilitate our conversations, so please make sure you have your blog post up by 10 pm on Tuesday before our Thursday class.  Students should get in the habit of reading and commenting on the blogs of other class participants.
  • Throughout the semester, there will be a series of projects for students to undertake using different technologies.  Because so much digital humanities work is collaborative, several of the assignments for class will involve working in small groups.
  • Students are not required to have previous knowledge of or experience with humanities computing, but must have a willingness to experiment and learn.

Over the second half of the semester, students will work collaboratively to create a proposal and prototype for one of four university or local community clients.  These final projects will touch on different issues common to archives, museums, local community historical societies, and university-based scholars.

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