HIST-H585 graduate digital-methods research course

Fall 2019: History in the Digital Age

H585 History in the Digital World

This class will run concurrently with an undergraduate H301 Digital History course with its own Canvas course site to which you have been added. Our graduate section will meet for an additional hour to talk theory and work through some of the more complex questions that our individual projects bring to the fore.

An overview of the semester

Our graduate class will have 3 primary focal points:

  • Digital history theory: There are a variety of digital histories, each rooted in a particular kind of theoretical approach. We'll tackle these theoretical underpinnings early in the semester to ground our practical encounters.
  • Digital history analysis and proposal: Early in the semester, you’ll identify a digital project with a history bent to it, along with a national grant or fellowship funding opportunity for which your personal project is suited. Your large-scale individual project will be a grant proposal plus prototype of the project for which you’re asking for imaginary funding. The goal here is reuse: you’ll use the project charter you’re using in the project-management portion of the class to shape your grant proposal and prototyping work, and you’ll take a grant-proposal draft out of the class with you to use later in your career. This will be the primary focus of your out-of-class time and will draw on the content of our 1-hour-a-week graduate-only discussions.
  • Project management & technical skill acquisition: This History Harvest that we’re doing will be on an as-we-go basis. The primary deliverable there will be a project charter that each graduate student does separately, but on the same main project. We’ll peer review those 3 times during the semester so that you can see how other folks diverge from you using the same document to manage the same project. You’ll also take on a tech-manager role based on your incoming skillset (everything from HTML/CSS to batch photo digitization to network viz to GIS) so that your project charter will have some focus. This will primarily be done in class as the undergraduates work on their class project.

Weeks 1-3: First principles

Dave Parry, "The Digital Humanities or a Digital Humanism" (Debates in the Digital Humanities, ch. 24): "There are two digital humanisms: one that sees the digital as a set of tools to be applied to humanistic inquiry (design, project, tools, data) and another that sees the digital as an object of study (social media, digital games, mobile computing)." We will primarily be looking at the first of these two things, but to understand the work we do, we need to engage with the second.

Weeks 4-6: Basic methods

Weeks 7-10: Practical Considerations

Weeks 11-14: Complex/mixed methods

Possible topics include:

  • Week 11: Named Entity Recognition & Natural Language Processing
  • Week 12: Informal speed presentations. You will each get 2-3 minutes (timed; see below) and we'll spend some time in class troubleshooting and seeing if any of you have overlapping concerns/solutions that might help your peers.
    • What your main research question is and how it's changed since the initial project proposal
    • What is proceeding well (if you have early results or cleaned data, show it off here)
    • What you're worried about
  • Week 13: AR/VR and 3D
  • Week 14: In-class troubleshooting and work time focused on modes of presentation
    • Getting static images to represent interactivity properly
    • Handling web site stuff
  • Week 11: Named Entity Recognition & Natural Language Processing
  • Week 12: Informal speed presentations. You will each get 2-3 minutes (timed; see below) and we'll spend some time in class troubleshooting and seeing if any of you have overlapping concerns/solutions that might help your peers.
    • What your main research question is and how it's changed since the initial project proposal
    • What is proceeding well (if you have early results or cleaned data, show it off here)
    • What you're worried about
  • Week 13: AR/VR and 3D
  • Week 14: In-class troubleshooting and work time focused on modes of presentation
    • Getting static images to represent interactivity properly
    • Handling web site stuff
    • Week 11: Named Entity Recognition & Natural Language Processing
    • Week 12: Informal speed presentations. You will each get 2-3 minutes (timed; see below) and we'll spend some time in class troubleshooting and seeing if any of you have overlapping concerns/solutions that might help your peers.
      • What your main research question is and how it's changed since the initial project proposal
      • What is proceeding well (if you have early results or cleaned data, show it off here)
      • What you're worried about
    • Week 13: AR/VR and 3D
    • Week 14: In-class troubleshooting and work time focused on modes of presentation
      • Getting static images to represent interactivity properly
      • Handling web site stuff

    Week 15-6: Controversies and submissions

    Held for individual reference: