Syllabus – Fall 2016

Week 1: September 1st

Discussion:

  • Introductions
  • Digital Natives or Immigrants?
  • Public? History? New Media?
  • Digital Humanities?

Common Reading:

Practicum:

  • WordPress – Please make sure you sign up for a new WordPress site in advance of class. You will use this for your weekly posts throughout the semester.

Week 2: September 8th

Discussion:

  • What is New Media?
  • What is “Old” Media?

Common Reading:

  • Lister, Dovey, Giddings, Grant and Kelly, New Media: A Critical Introduction (2nd edition, 2009), 1.1-2 (9-43)
  • Lisa Gitelman, “Introduction: What’s New About New Media?” in Gitelman and Pingree, eds. New Media, 1740-1915 (MIT, 2004)

Selected Reading:

  • One additional chapter from Gitelman and Pingree, eds. New Media, 1740-1915 (MIT Press, 2004) – students will sign-up for this in advance of class

Critique:

  • Course Blogs

Practicum:

  • Twitter

Assignment due:

  • Set-up WordPress Blog;
  • Create an About Page introducing yourself to reader;
  • Blog post: Write a blog post introducing the historic medium in the chapter that you selected from Gitelman and how it reflects the concerns that historians have about the relationship between “old” and “new” media.

Week 3: September 15th

Discussion:

  • What does it mean to digitize something?
  • What is copyright?

Common Reading/Viewing:

Practicum:

  • Adobe Photoshop

Assignment due:

  • Set up Twitter Account and Profile;
  • Blog post: Based on four days’ observations, write a blog post reflecting on the different ways that Public Historians, Digital Humanists, and their institutions use Twitter.  What strikes you as useful? In what ways are you skeptical or suspicious?  Create a narrative in Storify drawing from Twitter and other social media content to illustrate your argument. (Helpful Storify tutorial here.)

Week 4: September 22

Introduction to the final project options.  We will be meeting:

  • 7:00 pm – Catherine Nichols, Curator, May Weber Ethnographic Study Collection – Mundelein 419
  • 7:30 pm – Michelle Nickerson, Associate Professor, History Department – Piper Hall, 2nd Floor
  • 8:00 pm – Nancy Freeman, Director, Women and Leadership Archives – Piper Hall, 2nd Floor
  • 8:30 pm – Hope Shannon, Public History Lab – Mundelein 603

Practicum

No assignment due this week.

Instant History: The Postwar Digital Humanities and their Legacies Conference, September 24th

8:45AM-6:00PM, Information Commons, 4th Floor

In 1949, Jesuit scholar Fr. Roberto Busa began to collaborate with IBM to build a massive lemmatized concordance to the works of St. Thomas Aquinas. By the mid-1950s he established in Milan the first humanities computing center, which both IBM and Fr. Busa referred to as a Center for Literary Data Processing.

The day-long conference will represent several aspects of Fr. Busa’s legacy of  mid-century humanities computing.  Speakers include Steven Jones, Geoffrey Rockwell, Laura Mandell and Ted Underwood.  Their presentations will be followed by a round-table and general discussion.

Schedule for the conference:

9:00 – 10:30 a.m, Geoffrey Rockwell, University of Alberta, Canada, “Replicating Father Busa’s Methods”

10:45 – 12: 30 a.m., Steven Jones, University of South Florida, “Reverse-Engineering the First Humanities Computing Center: A Media-Archaeology Approach”

1:45 – 3:15 p.m., Ted Underwood, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, “Genealogies of Distance”

3:30 – 5:00 p.m., Laura Mandell, Texas A & M, “What Can You Do with ‘Dirty OCR’?: Digital Literary History beyond the Canon”

Week 5: September 29th

Discussion:

  • What is the difference between Web 1.0 and 2.0?
  • What is the history web?
  • How do we present the past on the web?
  • How do we design an effective website?
  • How do we remediate an old website?
  • What are HTML and CSS?

Common Reading:

Practicum:

  • HTML and CSS

Assignment due:

  • Take the following Code Academy online tutorials under “Web Fundamentals”: Introduction to HTML; HTML Structure: Using Lists; HTML Structure: Tables, Divs, Spans; and Introduction to CSS;
  • Photoshop project: Play around with Adobe Photoshop to create a public history or digital humanities meme and see if you can get any traction for it on Twitter, Facebook, or another social media platform.
  • Blog post: Select any site that you think would fall under Cohen and Rosenzweig’s definition of the “History Web” and critique it.  What works? What does not? Is this site a good example of history? of public history? of digital humanities?

Week 6: October 6th

Guests:

  • Rachel Boyle, ABD, Joint US-Public History Doctoral Program, LUC
  • Anne E. Cullen ’13, Terra Foundation for American Art

Discussion:

  • What is “participatory culture”?
  • What is the “connected museum”?
  • What are the communicative options and obstacles that social media services entail for public history institutions?

Practicum:

Common Reading:

Assignment due:

  • One-pager for class project due by Tuesday, 10 pm;
  • Blog post: Select a social media site from the list maintained by Wikipedia and write a blog post on the history of the site, how it reflects the hallmarks of Web 1.0 or 2.0, and how you might imagine it could (or could not) be effectively used by public historians.

Week 7: October 13th

Discussion:

  • What is metadata?
  • Can we create a universal standard for metadata?
  • Who should generate the metadata?
  • What can go wrong?

Practicum:

  • Omeka I: building the digital archive

Common Reading:

Assignment due:

  • Blog post: Different fields — archives, libraries, museums, etc — have different metadata standards. Pick one and research its origins, who controls it, how it is used, and whether there are alternative forms with which it is in competition.

Week 8: October 20th

Discussion:

  • What is a digital narrative?
  • What are the different types of digital narratives?
  • How do we make an effective digital narrative?

Practicum:

  • Omeka II: creating collections and an online exhibition

Common Reading:

  • Bryan Alexander, The New Digital Storytelling: Creating Narratives with New Media (Praeger, 2011), Part I (chapters 1-3)

Selected Reading:

  • Select one chapter from Alexander, The New Digital Storytelling, on a mode of digital storytelling (chapters 4-11)

Critique:

  • Discussion of digital archive creation in Omeka

Assignment due:

  • Populate the Omeka archive with 5 different types of items;
  • Personas for class projects due by Tuesday, 10 pm;
  • Blog post: Write a blog post reflecting on the type of digital storytelling covered in the selected reading chapter you chose from Alexander and critique an example of that form of storytelling that you found.

Week 9: October 27th

Guest:

  • Nancy Harmon, Chief Curatorial Office, Encurate

Common Reading:

  • Jones, The Emergence of the Digital Humanities, chapter 4
  • Farman, The Mobile Story, chapters 1 (Site-Specificity, Pervasive Computing, and the Reading Interface), 2 (The Interrelationships of Mobile Storytelling), and a chapter from the list in class.

Critique:

  • Discussion of digital collection and exhibition creation in Omeka.

Assignment due:

  • Create a digital narrative using five items that have been uploaded into our class Omeka archive, Paris of the Midwest: Chicago, 1837-1987. Your narrative can be made using either the collection or exhibition feature.  You must use items uploaded by multiple classmates.  Please promote with a one paragraph teaser and image on your blog by Tuesday, 10 pm.
  • blog postIn advance of class, download the Encurate app from the iTunes store (search for “Encurate Mobile Technology”) and go to the International Museum of Surgical Science to try it out.  Reflect on your experiencing of using this app.  What worked well? What would you like improved? How did it change your own experience of the museum? How do you envision it might be used by other types of visitors to the museum?

Week 10: November 3rd

Guest:

  • Elizabeth Hopwood, Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities

Discussion:

  • What is mark-up? What is TEI?
  • What does it mean to analyze texts?

Common Reading:

  • Rockwell and Sinclair, Hermeneutica

Practicum

Assignment due:

  • Literature review for your class project due by Sunday, November 6, 10 pm;
  • blog post: Play around with the different textual analysis tools on this handout, and then write up a blog post reflecting on your experience with each:
    • Digital images vs the plain text that OCR creates in the major databases we use;
    • What Voyant can tell you about a text that we might not know from just reading;
    • NGram vs Bookworm for thinking about the changing usage of words over time.

    Conclude your post by reflecting on how you could see using any of these tools in your work as a Public Historian, Historian, or Digital Humanist.

Week 11: November 10th

Discussion:

  • What is 3-D printing?
  • Why are Public History and Digital Humanities folks so excited about it?

Common Reading:

  • Jones, The Emergence of the Digital Humanities, chapter 5
  • Andrea Witcomb, “The Materiality of Virtual Technologies: A New Approach to Thinking About the Impact of Multimedia in Museums,” Cameron and Kenderdine, Theorizing Digital Cultural Heritage (MIT, 2007): 35-48.
  • Fiona Cameron, “Beyond the Cult of the Replicant: Museums and Historical Digital Objects – Traditional Concerns, New Discourses,”Cameron and Kenderdine, Theorizing Digital Cultural Heritage (MIT, 2007): 49-75.
  • Deirdre Brown, “Te Ahua Hiko: Digital Cultural Heritage and Indigenous Objects, People, and Environments,”Cameron and Kenderdine, Theorizing Digital Cultural Heritage (MIT, 2007): 77-91.

Practicum:

  • 3-D printing
  • Proposal Writing

Assignment due:

  • Storyboards/Wireframes for your prototypes are due by Tuesday, 10 pm;
  • Blog post: What does the analog object mean in the digital age? Reflect on how the meaning of physical, material objects in an age of digital surrogates? Do you see more continuity or discontinuity? How has this affected questions of authenticity?

Week 12: November 17th

Guest:

  • Liz Venditto, Project Manager, Immigrant Stories, Immigrant History Research Center, University of Minnesota.

Discussion:

  • What is audio and video editing?
  • How do we do it?

Practicum:

Resource

Common Reading:

  • Alexander, New Digital Storytelling, Part IV (chapters 12-15)

Assignment due:

  • Blog post: We have talked about digital storytelling in class and explored how it worked in an online exhibition using Omeka. Now we turn our attention to digital storytelling using audio and video.  Spend some time exploring the “Stories for the Classroom” page on the Immigrant Stories website.  Reflect how well sound and images combine to form narratives about different aspects of the immigrant experience. Which examples work well? Where do you think they could be strengthened? After considering individual narratives, think about how these combined stories work together as a site for public history.

Week 13: November 24th – No class

Week 14: December 1st

Guest:

  • Anne Flannery, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

Discussion:

  • How do we sustain public history and digital humanities projects for the long term?
  • How have our practices changed? What does the future hold?

Common Reading:

Critique:

  • Lab time to work on projects

Assignment due:

  • Draft of proposal due by Tuesday, 10 pm;
  • blog post: Use the Storymaking website to try to create a short video with a partner from class. Your video can be of a topic of your choosing, but try to focus on one that relates to the themes of the Immigrant Stories Site. Post your video to your blog along with your assessment of the usefulness of the storymaking tool.  How useful was the site itself? Could you actually make and submit a story, start to finish, entirely in the site? Why or why not? How might you use the site in the classroom? How might you use the site in a community public history project?

Week 15: December 8th

Presentation and Critique of Final Projects

Assignment due:

  • Make a group presentation to the class of your proposal and prototype.

FINAL PROPOSAL AND PROTOTYPE DUE TO PROFESSOR ROBERTS BY 10 PM ON THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15TH.

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