We will be using Perusall to engage with two sets of class readings and will do a traditional reaction paper for the third set.
Perusall: You will create an account at https://app.perusall.com/home. I will provide you with the code to log in to the assignments.
- Read and make at least 10 comments on the readings following the discussion themes below,
- Comment and respond to your classmates impressions at least 5 times.
- Use the provided hashtags and your own hashtags to organize your thoughts.
Perusal will be applying scores based on the quality of the contributions you make. Their notes on scoring are here .
1. What Does Digital History Mean to You? – Due Jan. 31 (Perusall)
- Douglas Seefeldt and William G. Thomas, “What Is Digital History?” AHA Perspectives on History (May 2009).
- Lisa Spiro, “This is Why We Fight: Defining Values in the Digital Humanities,” in Matthew Gold, ed. Debates in the Digital Humanities (2012)
- Toni Weller, “Introduction,” in HDA (2012), 1-19.
#Difference – Identify places where authors define digital history as different from traditional history and discuss whether you see these changes as positive or negative and why.
#20Yrs – Will all historians be digital historians 20 years from now, or do you think there will still be a divide? What do you see as the key differences between the two?
#Challenges – Identify places where authors believe that digital history challenges the way things have always been done? Discuss whether this is a good thing or not?
#Skills – Identify places where the authors discuss the kinds of tools needed to be a digital historian. Are these different than those needed by a traditional historian? Are there traditional skills that won’t be needed as much?
You may also comment on other topics. What strikes you as important in these readings and why; what do you find not as convincing?
2. Visualizing History, Due March 25 (Perusall)
Comment on the following readings”:
- Dan Cohen, “Searching for the Victorians,”
- Cameron Blevins, “Topic Modeling Martha Ballard’s Diaries”
- Hillary Nunn, “Exploring Six Degrees of Francis Bacon,”
Think about the readings for this week and explore the possibilities and problems of using visualization as a tool for historical research. Some prompts to get you thinking:
- #Define Identify places where authors define visualizatiosn and make a case for them.
- #Yes Identify places where the author convinces you that visualization tools are a boon to scholarship and why you think so.
- #No Identify places where authors discuss visualizations and you think that they are less convincing, or describing something that you don’t see as useful.
- #Challenge How do visualization tools challenge traditional notions about the past or about scholarship? What are they good at, and what not so good?
- #Skills What kinds of knowledge or skills do historians using visualization tools need to have in order to avoid pitfalls?
3) On the Dangers of Digital History – Due May 1. (Reaction Paper) – 500-1000 words.
Read three of the five readings below and focus on one issue in your reaction paper. What are the risks or dangers of doing digital history? How can these risks and dangers be lessened? What do you think were the strongest and weakest arguments?
Use and cite at least three of the readings for this week’s class:
- David Thomas and Valerie Johnson, “New Universes or Black Holes?” HDA, Chapter 9.
- Leslie Madsen-Brooks, “I Am Nevertheless a Historian,” WHDA, 49-63.
- Adam Chandler, “A Warehouse Fire of Digital Memories,” The Atlantic, Feb. 13, 2015.
- Moya Z. Bailey, “All the Digital Humanists are White, All the Nerds Are Men, but Some of Us Are Brave,” Journal of Digital Humanities (Winter 2011).
- Timothy Brennan, The Digital-Humanities Bust Chronicle of Higher Education, October 15, 2017.
Submit via Turnitin.