January 22 – Thinking Like a Historian
- Review the course web site, including requirements & assignments. Come with questions!
- Read: Sam Wineburg, “Thinking Like a Historian,” TPS Quarterly
In-class Workshop: We’ll complete the student technology survey.
- Purchase student/individual hosting at Reclaim Hosting. Use promo code reclaim4edu for 10% off the $30 fee for a year of hosting. Keep ALL administrative emails from Reclaim Hosting! You will receive two to three emails from them – you need these!) Please think carefully about the domain name you choose.
- Set up a Google Account if you don’t already have one | How to Use Google Drive
January 31 – Doing History in the Digital Age
How historians view the world and the types of digital projects do they do. Install and set up your course portfolios.
- Read: William Cronon, “Getting ready to do history” [pdf] read pages 1-7 only.
- You must have purchased your domain and hosting prior to class. You must have access to all Admin emails from Reclaim Hosting during class.
We’ll install and set up your sites; experiment with posts, pages, plugins & themes.
- Install & activate AwesomePress theme..
- Set your time zone to New York
- Install some basic plugins:
- WP Word Count,
- Last Modified Timestamp,
- LH Dashboard Notes
- Grant me administrative user access.
- Post a test blog post
- Submit your portfolio URL to me via the Assignment Submission Form
Writing Assignment #1 due Sunday, February 4th by midnight. Please respond to this blog prompt.
February 7 – Searching for Chicago’s Criminal Past
Broad themes in Gilded Age and Progressive Era America. Introduction to the history of Chicago and its criminal past. Exploring the Chicago Homicide Project.
- Explore: The Chicago Homicide Project at Northwestern University.
- The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, Volume 92, Issue 3 (2002) contains articles all related to homicide in Chicago based on the data contained in the Chicago Homicide Database. As this database will be core to the work we do in this class. Please review the article titles, take note of the topics that interest you and bookmark this issue. We will be using this issue throughout the class.
- Watch: Google, How Search Works on YouTube (approx. 3 min.)
In-class Workshop: Using your new search skills, we’ll explore Chicago’s history.
February 14 – Finding and Evaluating Secondary Sources in the Digital Age
Finding and reading secondary sources to help set context and background. What is a secondary source? Where can you find them?
- Watch: Heavy Metal Umlaut by Jon Udell(video ~8.5 min)
- Explore: “Belva Gaertner,” and “Beulah Annan,” Wikipedia
- Useful: Caleb McDaniel, “How to Read for History”
- Read: Jeffrey S. Adler, “I Loved Joe, but I Had to Shoot Him: Homicide by Women in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago,” Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, Vol 92, Issues 3, 2002.
- Read Intro & Conclusion first – what is his argument? Make a note.
- Pick a section that seems interesting and read it thoroughly. What is his argument about that section’s topic? What is his evidence? Did he persuade you? Take notes on the strengths and weaknesses.
- Re-read his Intro & Conclusion – upon a re-read, does the section you read support his argument?
- Make notes and bring them all to class.
In-class Discussion: We’ll review the Adler article at length and discuss the value of Wikipedia other web-based history sites to historians.
February 21 – Finding and Evaluating Primary Sources in the Digital Age
Finding and using primary sources. What is a primary source? How are they digitized? Where can you find them? How can you read them?
- Read: Reference and User Services Association’s Primary Sources on the Web: Finding, Evaluating & Using (please read these three short sections.)
- Read: Visual Literacy, UC Irvine Libraries
- Browse: GMU Library History Sources.
In-class Workshop: We’ll read primary sources together and analyze them. We’ll also search for primary sources using:
- The open web; AND
- Proquest Historical Newspapers; AND/OR
- Museum, library, or archives collection, including the DPLA and/or Hathitrust.
Fill out the Midterm Topic Interest Form by Sunday February 25 by midnight! You’ll get an invite to our class Slack channel, which we’ll use to collaborate on midterm project.
Useful: Getting Started with Slack
Writing Assignment #2 due Sunday, February 25 by midnight. Please respond to this prompt.
February 28 – Narrative Storytelling
Introduction to the elements of narrative storytelling, specifically timelines and narrative maps.
Explanation of Midterm Assignment, a group project, which will be due March 21 before class.
- Read: Karen Abbott, “What (or Who) Caused the Great Chicago Fire?” Smithsonian Magazine (2012).
- Browse: Using TimelineJS, read through steps OR watch the video.
- Browse: StoryMapJS
In-class Discussion & Workshop: We’ll review narrative storytelling and history, create a Timeline and a StoryMap in class and review the Midterm projects in detail. I’ll share the group and topics assignments in class.
March 7 – Copyright & Ethics in the Digital Age
Exploring copyright issues of the content available online. Understanding “fair use” and how it applies to us. We’ll explore the ethics and legality of some history sites.
- Watch: The Amen Break. *If you are interested in the legal issues involved in sampling, you can instead watch the entire Copyright Criminals program ( ~56 min), but it’s not necessary!
- Read: Stan Adams, “Reservoir Clogs: Copyright and the Public Domain,” cdt (2017).
- Read: George Mason Copyright Office sections on copyright and fair use.
- Explore: Creative Commons, including the “license deed” for each license.
In-class Workshop: We’ll also explore the legality of the following sites:
March 14 – Spring Break
March 21 – Weather cancellation
Midterm Assignments are due before class.
March 28 — Data for Historians
The value of historic data. Using data for history projects.
- Pick an article from The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, Volume 92, Issue 3 (2002) and read it. Review the Chicago Homicide Project in light of the information contained in the article. Can you find those crimes in the Project’s online interface?
- I will provide you with a link to download the entire Chicago Homicide Database (in a spreadsheet format) and the corresponding data dictionary (a pdf). Please download and bring these to class.
In-class Workshop: We’ll pull back the curtain on the data fueling the Crimes of the Century website. I’ll share the raw data and the data dictionary. We’ll begin “cleaning” this data so that we can begin to analyze it.
We’ll discuss the final project assignment and I’ll share examples. Examples can be found here.
April 4 – Using Data in History Projects
Exploring historic sources of data. The challenges of working with “free” data. Cleaning the Chicago Homicide Project’s database. We’ll ask questions about homicide in Chicago and attempt to answer them using the data we have.
- You will need your copy of the Chicago Homicide Database (in a spreadsheet format) and the corresponding data dictionary (a pdf).
In-class Workshop: Using the actual database and the data dictionary, we’ll begin working with the database underlying the Chicago Homicide Project. We’ll ponder the types of questions we can ask about homicides in Chicago.
Writing Assignment #3 is due Sunday, April 8 by midnight. Please respond to this blog prompt.
April 11 – Crafting a Good Research Question & Doing Digital History with Maps
Introduction to using maps.
I’ll share the final project proposal assignment, due April 18. Project proposal example — slides.
- Read: Edward L. Ayers & Scott Nesbit, “Seeing Emancipation: Scale and Freedom in the American South,” Journal of the Civil War Era, Vol 1 No 1 (2011): 3-24 [pdf]
- Explore the accompanying digital project: Visualizing Emancipation
- Browse: Urban Experience in Chicago: Hull-House and Its Neighborhoods, 1889-1963
- Explore: Rumsey Collection
In-class Workshop: We’ll explore how maps are used in history projects, sources of geographic or spatial data & online mapping tools.
April 18 – Making Maps with Data
Making your own maps using Google’s My Maps.
Your project proposals are due to me before class!
In-class Workshop: We’ll make our own maps using Chicago Homicide data.
April 25 – Building Projects, Developing Arguments, Using Visualizations
Using evidence and visualizations to make arguments. Refitting your websites to hold your final projects. Web usability.
- Read: Anne Curzan, “Permission to Footnote,” Chronicle of Higher Education, Lingua Franca (2015)
- Explore the digital project Railroads and the Making of Modern America and the related article: Richard G. Healey, “Railroads and Immigration in the Northeast United States, 1850-1900,” Geography Compass, Volume 6, Issue 8 (2012): 455-476 available via GMU Library journals access. On campus: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.mutex.gmu.edu/doi/10.1111/j.1749-8198.2012.00501.x/abstract
- What is his argument?
- How is he using evidence, visualizations or other evidence — in his published article? On the project site?
- Pay attention to his footnotes. How does he use them? What does he include in his footnotes?
In-class Workshop: We’ll watch an animated data visualization and discuss its strengths and weaknesses.
- Neil Halloran, The Fallen of World War II (approx.. 18 min.). You can also view/download the project’s underlying data set.
ALSO we’ll hold a critical WordPress workshop to help you fit your sites to the project: Menus, Advanced Design, Footnotes, Fonts, Headers, etc.
May 2 – Security Issues in the Digital Age & Wrap Up
Epic hacking and security issues. Wrapping up the class. Project workshop.
- Read: Mat Honan, “How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking,” Wired (2012).
- Read Mat Honan, “How I Resurrected My Digital Life After an Epic Hacking,” Wired (2012)
- Explore: GMU’s Basic Security Practices.
May 9 – Final Projects due by 10:15pm
Last updated: April 14, 2018 at 14:42 pm