Digital Public History, LBSC 708 (Section D), University of Maryland, College Park Maryland, Spring 2015, Thursday nights, 6:00-845 

This course explores the current and potential impact of digital media on the theory and practice of history. A central thesis of this course is that digital history is an increasingly public endeavor, and as such it makes sense to approach digital history as something in dialog with public history. That is, good digital history is also public history.

We will focus on how digital tools and resources are enabling new methods for analysis in traditional print scholarship and the emerging possibilities for new forms of scholarship, public projects and programs. For the former, we will explore tools for text analysis and visualization and work on interpreting new media forms as primary sources for historical research. For the latter, we will explore a range of new media history resources, including practical work on project management and design. We will read a range of works on designing, interpreting and understanding digital media. Beyond course readings we will also critically engage a range of digital tools and resources.

Course Goals

After the course students will be able to:

  1. Thoughtfully and purposefully engage in dialog about history on the public web with a range of stakeholders in digital history: historians, archivists, museum professionals, educators, and amateurs, etc.
  2. Discover, evaluate, and implement digital tools and resources to support emerging and traditional forms of historical scholarship, public projects, and teaching.
  3. Develop proposals for digital history resources with detailed plans for project management, design, outreach, and evaluation.
  4. Understand and articulate the key issues in collecting, preserving and interpreting digital and digitized primary sources from the perspective of a historian.

The Public Course Blog for the Course that Never Ends

This course, and this site, previously served the home of two earlier incarnations of this course. The 2011 and 2012 versions of the course are still present here, as well as all the body of work and writing that students in those versions of the course engaged in. For more information on the structure and design of the course see The Public Course Blog: The Required Reading We Write Ourselves for the Course That Never Ends in Debates in the Digital Humanities (2012).

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