Dr. Jessica Otis
Class: Baker 246A, M 1:30-4:30
Office Hours: Hunt Library 302, W 10-11am & by appt. or Hunt Library Studio B, W 12:30-2:45pm
Digital history encompasses a wide variety of computationally-assisted historical scholarship methods, tools, and publications. As with the larger digital humanities community of practice, it is often–but not always–associated with an ethos of collaborative, iterative, open, and/or public-facing scholarship. This course will introduce the rapidly evolving field of digital history with the practical goal of enabling students to incorporate digital history into both their current research agendas and their future teaching experiences. Students will learn how to use and critique digital methods; assess and employ digital tools; evaluate the merits and pitfalls of digitally publishing various forms of scholarship; and generally navigate this digital research environment.
By putting your name on your assignments, you are acknowledging the integrity of your work. If you have any questions about academic integrity, please either consult with me or go to http://www.cmu.edu/academic-integrity/
Because many of this course’s activities will require you to have an active internet presence, please contact me immediately if you have privacy concerns or experience online harassment doing class activities during the course of this semester. Aliases may be an appropriate solution and/or alternative activities may be substituted for required course activities, as necessary. While I believe that your education will benefit from your participation in the online digital history community (on the internet, no one knows if you have a PhD!), your privacy and security is a higher priority than any particular course activity.
If you have learning needs and have been evaluated or are in the process of being evaluated by the Office of Disability Resources, please let me know so that I may make certain you are receiving the support you need.
Should you require other accommodations during the semester, particularly if it involves obtaining access to the necessary technology to perform your coursework, please contact me as soon as you are aware of the issue.
- Constance Crompton, Richard J. Lane, Ray Siemens, eds. Doing Digital Humanities (DDH) (Routledge, 2016).
- Claire Battershill and Shawna Ross, Using Digital Humanities in the Classroom (Bloomsbury, 2017).
Requirements and Grading:
Class attendance is mandatory, however students may be excused for family emergencies and extreme illness. If students need to miss class for another unavoidable conflict (such as athletic conflicts or military service), they should notify me beforehand, preferably in the first week of the semester.
Readings, as well as detailed instructions for assignments and projects, will be posted on the course website. As many of these readings and assignments are web-based, students should have a device capable of connecting to the internet that they can bring to class. On occasions, a laptop (rather than a tablet, e-reader, smartphone, or other device) will be necessary to run specific websites or software.
Students will write weekly blog posts (ca. 500-1000 words) reflecting on the week’s readings, discussion, and technical assignments.
Grades for the course will be based upon the following:
- Course Participation: 30%
- Weekly Blog Posts: 30%
- Project Environmental Survey: 10%
- Project Work Plan: 10%
- Project Presentation: 10%
- Final Project: 10%
Class Schedule, To Be Finalized in First Class Meeting:
Jan. 22 – Defining Digital Scholarship, Digital Humanities, and Digital History
- Douglas Seefeldt and William G. Thomas, “What is Digital History,” May 2009
- Scott Weingart, “Submissions to DH2017 (pt. 1),” November 2016.
- browse the 2017 AHA program digital history sessions
- browse the AHA’s Teaching with #DigHist blog posts
Jan. 29 – Managing Your Projects and Your Professional Portfolio
- Lynne Siemens, “Project management and the digital humanist,” DDH p. 343-357.
- James O’Syllivan, et al “Dissemination as cultivation,” DDH p. 384-397.
- Miriam Posner, “Creating Your Web Presence: A Primer for Academics,” February 2011.
- Glen Wright, “The Weird and Wonderful World of Academic Twitter,” September 2015.
- Google search yourself and set to private any existing social media you don’t want public
Feb. 5 – Building Blocks: Data, Metadata, and Databases
- James Baker, “Preserving Your Research Data,” April 2014.
- Christof Schoch, “Big? Smart? Clean? Messy? Data in the Humanities,” Summer 2013.
- Sarah Higgins, “What are Metadata Standards,” February 2007.
- Harvey Quamen and Jon Bath, “Databases,” DDH p. 145-162.
Feb. 12 – Text Analysis
- Jan Rybicki, et al “Computational stylistics and text analysis,” DDH p. 123-144.
- Shawn Graham, et al, “Putting Big Data to Good Use: Historical Case Studies” and “Basic Text Mining: Word Clouds, their Limitations, and Moving Beyond.”
- Megan Brett, “Topic Modeling: A Basic Introduction,” Winter 2012.
Feb. 19 – Networks and Ontologies
- Scott Weingart, “Demystifying Networks, Parts I & II,” Winter 2011.
- Shawn Graham, et al. “Network Analysis,” and “Network Analysis Fundamentals,” Autumn 2013.
- Ian Davis, RELATIONSHIP
- Browse Six Degrees of Francis Bacon
Project Environmental Survey Due
Feb. 26 – Spatial History
- Ian Gregory and Patricia Murrieta-Flores, “Geographical information systems as a tool for exploring the spatial humanities”, DDH 177-192.
- Ian Gregory and Paul Ell, “Using GIS to visualise historical data,” on Canvas.
- Ian Gregory and Paul Ell, “GIS and quanitative spatial analysis,” on Canvas.
- Anne Kelly Knowles, “A Cutting Edge Second Look at the Battle of Gettysburg,” June 2013.
Saturday, Mar. 3 – Pittsburgh Mapping and GIS THATCamp (optional)
Mar. 5 – Coding and Encoding
- Julia Flanders, et al. “Text encoding,” DDH 104-122
- Kevin S. Hawkins, “Introduction to XML for Text.”
- Ian Milligan and James Baker, “Introduction to the Bash Command Line.”
Note: if you’re not on a Mac, you may prefer this other command line lesson.
- optional: Daniel van Strien, “An Introduction to Version Control Using GitHub Desktop“
Project Work Plan Due
Mar. 12 – spring break
Mar. 19 – class cancelled
Mar. 26 – Digital Exhibits, Public Humanities, and Diversity and Bias in a Digital World
- Safiya Noble, “Power, Privilege, and the Imperative to Act,” (start about min 26)
- Tara McPherson, “Why Are the Digital Humanities So White? or Thinking the Histories of Race and Computation,” in Debates in Digital Humanities
- Nick Shockey and Jonathan Eisen, “Open Access Explained!” June 2015.
Browse the 9/11 Archive and TheClio
Apr. 2 – DH and Pedagogy I: Introduction
- Claire Battershill & Shawna Ross, Using Digital Humanities in the Classroom.
Apr. 9 – DH and Pedagogy III: Teaching With Crowdsourcing and Wikis
- Wikipedia Training Modules: Wikipedia Essentials, Editing Basics, Evaluating Articles and Sources, Sources and Citations, Plagiarism and Copyright Violation
- Browse one of the Zooniverse humanities/transcription projects
- Examine model classroom assignments, on Canvas
Apr. 16 – DH and Pedagogy II: Designing Your Own DH Assignments
- Diane Jakacki and Katherine Faull, “Doing DH in the classroom: transforming the humanities curriculum through digital engagement,” DDH 358-372.
- Aaron Mauro, “Digital liberal arts and project-based pedagogies,” DDH, 373-383.
- Kalani Craig, et al., “Correcting for Presentism in Student Reading of Historical Accounts Through Digital-History Methodologies,” (2017).
Apr. 23 – The Future of Digital History
- Bethany Nowviskie, “Evaluating Collaborative Digital Scholarship (or, Where Credit is Due),” Fall 2012.
Apr. 30 – Project Presentations
Friday, May 11 – final projects due