The digital age is affecting all aspects of historical study. In research, traditional archival practices are giving way to online search and discovery; digital surrogates are standing in for material objects; and abundance is replacing scarcity as the discipline’s most pressing methodological concern. Meanwhile, new forms of historical communication and public engagement are emerging alongside the rise of new media platforms and web technologies. This course examines the changing information landscape to provide students with a hands-on introduction to the methodologies and conceptual challenges of doing history in the digital age.
*This is a course website. If you are a student, please sign into the platform to complete the following course assignments. Course assignments will be made available to the class to facilitate peer review assignments using the platform’s comment feature. With the permission of the author, exemplary final portfolios will be published at the end of the semester.
How do you use digital technologies—i.e. electronic tools, systems, devices and resources that generate, store or process data— in your historical work? What are the affordances (i.e. possibilities) of these technologies and how do they support your historical thinking and research? What are the constraints (i.e. limitations) of these technologies and how do they hinder your historical thinking and research?
Use the knowledge and skills you have gained in Module 1 to publish a digital source criticism of a digitized or born-digital source or collection of your choosing following the guidelines outlined in Trevor Owens and Thomas Padilla, “Digital Sources and Digital Archives: Historical Evidence in the Digital Age,” International Journal of Digital Humanities 1, no. 3 (July 2021): 325–41.
Use the knowledge and skills you have gained in Module 2 to publish a formal academic review of a digital public history project of your choosing following the guidelines outlined by Todd Presner "How to Evaluate Digital Scholarship” and Geoffrey Rockwell "Short Guide to Evaluation of Digital Work." To find a project, use the National Council for Public History’s Registry. For tips on how to structure your review consult The Public Historian Digital Project Review Guidelines and Reviews in Digital Humanities Review Process and Submission.
Use the knowledge and skills you have gained in Module 3 to publish a data-critique based on the principles outlined in Data Feminism alongside a visualization of your selected dataset. Kristen Mapes and Kate Topham have compiled a great list of humanities datasets here.
Revisit your initial reflection to consider the methodologies and conceptual challenges of doing history in the digital age. Then revise 2 assignments using the feedback provided by your instructor and peers. Compile your reflection and revised assignments into a single publication and submit it using the Portfolio button below. For information on how to format, edit, and add media to your publication, go here.