Assignments

There are a number of assignments which will help you demonstrate your expertise in doing history with technology. Some are more focused on the technology while others are focused on producing historical analysis.

Discussion board post 1 (due August 30)

After reading through the articles assigned for today and setting up your WordPress site, reflect on your current digital presence. When you Google yourself, what results do you get? Do those results reflect who you are and how you want others to perceive you? In what ways will your website help you in creating or modifying your existing digital presence? (400 words minimum) 

Discussion board post 2 (due September 6)

Consider the four literacies we discussed today (ethics, privacy, copyright, and licenses). How do these literacies affect your research and scholarship as historians or scholars? What surprised you about these literacies? What are some important considerations to think about before beginning a digital humanities project? (400 words minimum)  

Discussion board post 3 (due September 13)

What are the three principles of tidy data? What are the best methods for organizing your research? Consider how you might implement both tidy data and organizational research methods into your scholarly practice. (400 words minimum) 

Discussion board post 4 (due September 27)

Use the following resources to select a highway marker to explore. Describe the marker you chose and why you chose it. In what ways will you use Trouillot’s methods from Silencing the Past to learn more about the history of your selected highway marker? (400 words minimum) 

Discussion board post 5 (due October 4)

Consider the primary sources we have looked at already in this class as well as primary sources you have encountered in your own work. How might these primary sources be represented as data? What are the advantages of considering primary sources as data? What are Wickham’s principles of tidy data? (400 words minimum) 

Creating a Tidy Dataset (due October 11)

This assignment will allow you to demonstrate that you understand how to create a tidy dataset for historical research. This work will be done in small groups and will require you to submit a spreadsheet that transcribes the handwritten source and a document which describes the decisions you made when constructing the dataset.

We will be using an archival source which has been digitized by the American Philosophical Society called “Curator’s Record of Donations to the Cabinet, 1769-1818 Volume 1: 3 February 1769-20 February 1818.”

Minimum Elements to consider:

  • Page Number of Folio
  • Date of Meeting
  • Donor
  • Donation Item(s)
  • Description of Donation

In blog post 5 you may include this work in your considerations. Please articulate the kind of project(s) in which this data can be used.

Timeline Assignment (due October 18)

This project is designed to help you demonstrate your ability to use visualization tools for telling historical stories.

Using the site called “George Mason University: A History” students will select a page that tells a distinct story such as “The Day Care Center Controversy.” Using the tool TimelineJS students will create a timeline of the story that is described on the page. Better projects will include images from the site. Effective entries will include descriptions of an event that will likely be more than one sentence. Also, it will be useful to have at least five events which are significant to the telling the story on the timeline.

To make the timeline follow the instructions from KnightLab for making a timeline. They also created a video. 

You can view a timeline on the George Mason Statute Omeka S site: https://silverbox.gmu.edu/legacy/s/masonstatue/page/timeline.

Adding Items to Omeka (due November 1)

Historic Marker Research Package Draft (due November 22)

Self-Assessment (due November 29)

Reflect on the semester and the work you have done and write a blog post that communicates what you have specifically learned. We are particularly interested in how you feel you have improved in understanding how to use technology in your major. We would also like you to share what you have learned about history in the class. (400 words minimum)

Historic Marker Research Package (due December 6)