I hope that this message finds you safe and well. I’m excited to share this post as a kickoff to the start of Digital History Spring 2021 at American University.
This year marks the tenth anniversary since the first time I taught this course back in 2011 and I always really enjoy the chance to explore how digital technologies are changing what it’s possible for historians to do.
For a little more background on me, I’m the Head of Digital Content Management at the Library of Congress and have worked in a range of roles over the last 15 years on digital history and digital library and archives initiatives. You can see more about me on my website.
Given the global pandemic, we are going to be having our class discussion sessions on Zoom. Along with that, we are going to largely work with each other over the course of the semester through our course’s public blog. The course blog is effectivly like a journal or a magazine that we publish both for each other and for anyone else around the world that wants to follow along and join in.
All the instances of this course, and a few other that I have taught over the last decade, work through this blog. Given the focus on public writing and public history his is a key part of our course design.
I would encourage you all to take some time going back through the course blog and through some of the lists of projects from pervious semesters. It’s both a nice resource for seeing how the course has worked in the past and for getting ideas for things you might focus on for your course project.
Of note, all the course readings are available online. This includes all the course text books which you can get access through the AU Library’s eBook collection. If you prefer to read print copies of the books, they are also relatively inexpensive.
As we get started, or if you’re following along from outside the class, be sure to read the course syllabus. Our first class session is really focused on talking through the syllabus and making sure everyone is comfortable and clear on the course requirements. If you have any concerns or issues that you want me to be aware of up front, don’t hesitate to reach out to me over email.
Everyone’s first task on the blog is to introduce yourself to the class and those who might read along from elsewhere.
The world is a strange and scary place right now and we are all going through a lot. I’m happy to help anyone talk through/think through anything we need to do together to all be safe, supported, and successful in this semester.