Schedule: Digital Past Fall 2018

Week 1: Intro to Digital History and the Progressive Era

Week 2: The Party’s Over / Finding and Using Sources

Week 3: The Power of the Middle Class / Wikipedia Editing

Week 4: Reshaping Personal Behavior / Building an Archive

Week 5: Seeking Interclass Harmony / Spatial History

Week 6: Confronting Corporations / Mapping

Week 7: American Apartheid / Text Mining

Week 8: Modernism, Movies, and Migration / Building an Exhibit

Week 9: Amusing the Millions / Timelines

Week 10: Over There / Audio and Storytelling

Week 11: Political and Social Sagging / Gaming

Week 12: Creating a Video Essay / Historical Documentary

Week 13: No Class (Happy Thanksgiving!)

Week 14: Documentary Workshopping

Week 15: Documentary Premiere Fest

back to Digital Past Fall 2018 Syllabus

August 29, 2018             Week 1: Intro to Digital History and the Progressive Era

Reading due:

In class:

  • Discussion: What is digital history? What is the Progressive era? Why am I even here?
  • Sign up for web hosting at Reclaim Hosting.
  • Installing WordPress via Reclaim Hosting

Assignment due next week:

  • Write a blog post reviewing one digital history project found listed on Blackboard. What topic, period, and place of history do they cover? What arguments or interpretations do they make? What is the audience for the site? What sources are they based on? Who created them, and who did what work? Who funded them? What technologies do they use? Include screenshots of important parts of the website. Be sure to cite the project according to the Chicago Manual of Style
  • Download Evernote and Evernote Web Clipper on your computer.
  • Download Zotero and Zotero Connector on your computer.

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September 5, 2018         Week 2: The Party’s Over / Finding and Using Sources

Reading due:

In class:

Assignment due next week:

  • Sometime in the next week, visit the Fenwick Library and check out an academic book regarding some topic about the Progressive era (1870-1920). Write a short blog post describing why you chose this book, its main contents (this may require you to skim the introduction) and include a full citation. Bring this book to class on September 12th.
  • Create a frame-comparison image using Juxtapose using public domain images. Explain your choice of images in part two of your blog post and whether you think your frame comparison is effective (total word length for both parts need not exceed 300 words).

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September 12, 2018       Week 3: The Power of the Middle Class / Wikipedia Editing

Reading due:

In class:

  • Quiz 2 (open note)
  • Discussion: Why was the middle class so committed to social and political reform?

Assignment due next week:

  • Edit one section (around a paragraph of 150-250 words) of an existing Wikipedia entry. Be sure to include proper citation and follow Wikipedia’s guidelines.
  • In a short blog post, explain why you chose your Wikipedia topic, the sources you consulted, and any difficulties or concerns you had about this assignment.

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September 19, 2018    Week 4: Reshaping Personal Behavior / Building an Archive

Reading due:

In class:

  • Quiz 3 (open note)
  • Discussion: Why were Progressives obsessed with controlling individual behavior? How did they attempt to remake the working class?
  • Download Omeka via Reclaim

Assignment due next week:

  • Check back on your Wikipedia entry. Write a blog post describing whether your Wikipedia entry has been edited or altered in any way. Why do you think these revisions (or lack of revisions) took place? Do you find Wikipedia effective in its role as an online encyclopedia? Why or why not?
  • Using the primary sources that you gathered earlier and other sources that you have found, create an Omeka collection with at least six (6) Omeka items. Each item must be fully described in the metadata, though you likely will not use every Dublin Core field. Be sure to include a reference to the place you found the source in the appropriate field and be sure to include a number of tags for each item.

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September 26, 2018       Week 5: Seeking Interclass Harmony / Spatial History

Reading due:

In class:

Assignment due next week:

  • Pick a map from the period of the long Progressive era (1870-1920) from the David Rumsey Map Collection. Georeference your historical map using MapWarper. Post a link to your georeferenced map onto the assignment section on Blackboard (be sure it’s public on MapWarper).
  • In a blog post, explain what you learned from the map and how georeferencing maps might be useful for understanding the Progressive era or historical questions in general. What did you make of Social Explorer or Kepler.gl? Be sure to include images of a maps you found compelling. Also, be sure to include citations and acknowledge any permissions that have been granted to use it.

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October 3, 2018             Week 6: Confronting Corporations / Mapping

Reading due:

In class:

  • Quiz 5 (open note)
  • Discussion: Why did Progressives fear big business enterprises? Were they successful in curtailing them?
  • Download Omeka Geolocation plugin
  • Sign up for History Pin

Assignment due next week:

  • Add geolocation data to at least four (4) items on your Omeka page. If your items do not contain geographic data, add new items that can be listed in a map. Include a screenshot and link of your Omeka map with your blog post.
  • Add one pin to the History Pin collection “HIST 390: Progressive Era in Northern Virginia” relating to the collection’s topic. Do not repeat an item already added. Be sure to include proper metadata and embed this pin to your blog post.
  • Write a short blog post describing your experience adding geolocation data to your Omeka items and your History Pin.

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October 10, 2018           Week 7: American Apartheid / Text Mining

Reading due:

In class:

Assignment due next week:

  • Create on Google Books ngram visualization about a historical topic (related to the Progressive era or a topic of your choice) and embed it into your blog post.
  • Using one of the text datasets provided to you on Blackboard (Inaugural and State of the Union addressees), use Voyant to do a basic text mining assessment of a corpus. Take screenshots of relevant visualizations that you will discuss in your blog post
  • Write a blog post your experience using text analysis tools. What did you learn from this distant reading of texts? What does this approach reveal that other methods do not? Are there limitations to text mining?

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October 17, 2018  Week 8: Modernism, Movies, and Migration / Building an Exhibit

Reading due:

In class:

Assignment due next week:

  • Create a coherent Omeka exhibit that tells a story about some aspect of the Progressive Era. The exhibit should include a minimum of five items, each with metadata and in most cases with images. Link these items together with prose in at least three separate exhibit pages. Your exhibit should look aesthetically attractive and, if possible, utilize other media like embedded YouTube videos or your Juxtapose slider. Each item used should include proper captions Remember, you are practicing not just the technology behind Omeka, but the craft of writing for the web.
  • Write a short blog post addressing some of your thoughts on building an online historical exhibit. What issues did you encounter? In what ways did you make your exhibit stand out? This blog post need not exceed 150 words.

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October 24, 2018           Week 9: Amusing the Millions / Timelines

Reading due:

In class:

  • Quiz 8 (open note)
  • Discussion: Did America become a pleasure obsessed society during the Progressive Era? How did leisure change understandings of race, sex, and sexuality?
  • Timeline.js. (Make sure you have a Google account before coming to class.)

Assignment due next week:

  • Using Timeline.js, create timeline of events involving some aspect of the Progressive era. The timeline should include at least 10 events. Each event should include an accurate date, several sentences of description, links to more information when appropriate, and an image if possible.
  • Embed your timeline into a blog post. Describe any challenges or issues that arose during the creation of your blog post. What topic in the Progressive era did you choose and why? This blog post need not exceed 150 words.

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October 31, 2018           Week 10: Over There / Audio and Storytelling

Reading due:

In class:

Assignment due next week:

  • Write a brief 200-250 word statement on one topic of the Progressive era utilizing at least two (2) instances of inline audio with Soundcite. Be sure to include proper citations, including for all audio you used.
  • Embed this text into a blog post. Along with your Soundcite text, write a personal reflection blog post. Provide your thoughts about some of the audio projects we explored in class and your Soundcite assignment. What role does audio play in helping understand the past? Do you find Soundcite’s inline audio capabilities distracting or helpful for a reader? Why?

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November 7, 2018         Week 11: Political and Social Sagging / Gaming

Reading due:

In class:

Assignment due next week:

  • Write a blog post reflecting your thoughts on the McCall and Pepple readings and some of the games we briefly played in class. Browse Playing History’s list of games and write a short review of one game of your choice. Do you find it an effective educational game? Provide relevant screenshots and captions. 

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November 14, 2018        Week 12: Creating a Historical Video Essay / Documentary

Reading due:

In class:

Assignment due November 28, 2018:

  • Write a blog post describing your progress thus far in the documentary. What topic have you chosen and what sources are you consulting? What software are you using? What issues have arose?

Assignment due December 5, 2018:

  • In a group with four to five students, create a short 3.5-5 minute historical documentary or video essay using video footage, images, and audio collected from throughout the semester. Your documentary should be on a subject related to the Progressive era, broadly defined ( do not do an overview of the entire Progressive movement). Runtime should be between 3.5-5 minutes, not including your citations or end credits. The documentary must include a Chicago Manual of Style formatted bibliography at the very end in the form of the credits. All documentaries must make a historical argument, and all students in each group should speak at least once in the documentary. 

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November 21, 2018        Week 13: No Class

Happy Thanksgiving!

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November 28, 2018       Week 14: Documentary Workshopping

Reading due:

In class:

  • Spend this class period working on the video essay with your team. By the end of the class period, you should have a draft of a storyboard and, if possible, a script to upload onto Blackboard. Your storyboard is allowed (and is likely) to differ from the final finished documentary. Upload this storyboard (either the digital version or a picture of your handwritten storyboard) onto Blackboard by 7:30 PM tomorrow night (November 29, 2018.)
  • You may wish, though are not required, to use the Storyboard Template for Creating a Digital Documentary by Baltimore County Public Schools.

Assignment due next week:

  • In form provided on Blackboard, please briefly list contributions of you and each of your team members to the documentary. Submission may remain anonymous. Turn this form in before your documentary premiere on December 5.

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December 5, 2018         Week 15: Documentary Premiere Fest

Reading due:

  • Read some fiction for pleasure.

In class:

  • Presentations of 3.5-5 minute video essays and documentaries. Light refreshments will be provided.
  • Turn in team contribution assessments.

Assignment due December 12, 2018 at 11:59 PM :

  • Portfolio assignment: Create a page on your website which links to all of the assignments and blog posts you have created for this course. Include images of the assignments as the link where appropriate. Make it attractive. You should write prose describing what each assignment contributed to understanding the history of the Progressives, and you should tie the assignments together with prose about the Progressive era . The total length of the text on this page should be about 250 words (max 500 words).