Since its inception, the George Mason history PhD program has emphasized exposure to the Digital Humanities (DH). The program requires completion of two courses that introduce students to digital tools and developments in the DH community. In addition to these courses and others, the department also allows students to pursue a minor field in Digital History.
This summer, seven graduate students, including four graduate research assistants at RRCHNM, participated in a readings course to complete the Digital History minor. Working with Dr. Kelly Schrum, our class explored creative uses for social media, games, digital maps, and data visualizations. This readings course was atypical in that the students were expected to demonstrate mastery through frequent creative assignments in addition to discussing influential publications and debates within the field.
The products of these assignments demonstrate the wide-ranging applications of digital technology for teaching, learning, research, and presentation of scholarship. For example, in one assignment I used Google Art Project to create a gallery of artwork depicting sheep and shepherds. Using this gallery, I showed that sheep are often associated with specific concepts, such as solitude, religious devotion, or an idyllic landscape. Within minutes, I was able to gather and (more…)
Guest post by RRCHNM Graduate Research Assistants, Jeri Wieringa and Celeste Sharpe
As women graduate students working in digital humanities, we know first-hand the gender gap in our field. With few women programmers working in the digital humanities, and a lack of opportunities generally for women learning to code, there is a serious need for creative solutions to these systemic problems. Building on current conversations about the cultural and structural obstacles that make it difficult for women to learn to code, we decided to organize a workshop where women interested in programming could come together and learn.
On September 7, forty-five people came together and participated in Rails Girls Digital Humanities at George Mason University. This one-day, intensive workshop combined the intellectual pursuits of humanities scholars with the structure of Rails Girls, an international movement of free workshops that introduce women to technology and programming through Ruby on Rails. This combination offers both an entry point for understanding the technology behind web applications as well as an opportunity to grow a community of academic women interested in the code that powers digital humanities scholarship.
Thirty women–undergraduate and graduate students, librarians and archivists, scholars and professors–from the DC metro area, Virginia, Boston, and California comprised (more…)
As fellows in the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, my cohort and I will spend the better part of this year working within the three divisions, engaged in hands-on work with the tools and projects CHNM produces.
But how do we evaluate the impact of the work that we do? As we assess the resources required, apply for funding, and think about site maintenance, this is a question that we frequently revisit in the digital humanities. I took the opportunity to sit down with Kelly Schrum, director of educational projects at CHNM and director of Teachinghistory.org, and Jennifer Rosenfeld, associate director of educational projects at CHNM, to discuss impact and their vision of work within the (more…)
During this day of remembrance, we urge you to browse through some of the materials collected by the September 11th Digital Archive, a collaborative effort between RRCNHM and the American Social History Project at the City University of New York to preserve and present the history of September 11, 2001 and its aftermath. Officially launched in 2002, the Archive is among the earliest online collecting projects that championed the crowdsourcing of materials from anyone effected by September 11 and interested in sharing their stories, photographs, digital art, audio recordings, documents, or videos.
The site’s blog is highlighting special collections within the digital archive, groups like the Madison Area Peace Coalition that organized soon after September 11 and collaborated with other groups with similar objectives. These source materials offer researchers an opportunity to trace the organization and growth of one post-911 political movement.
With over 150,000 digital items, the Archive is large and has become increasingly challenging to manage. To help preserve this valuable collection of unique user-generated content and specialized collections, the project team is working with a Saving America’s Treasures grant to stabilize the current infrastructure and move all of the collections to the Omeka platform. Digital Archivist Jim (more…)
The first Monday all-staff meeting of the year at RRCHNM was devoted to an orientation for the fourteen Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) who will be working at the Center in 2013-14. GRAs are a key part of the Center’s staff, working in a range of capacities on projects in all three divisions – Education, Public Projects, and Research — and in some cases on multiple projects in different divisions (watch for future posts describing exactly what they are doing).
The second cohort of Digital History Fellows are part of this group; you can find them and the earlier cohort here. Supported by the Provost, this program admits three graduate students each year, who each receive two years of funding at $20,000 p.a., in addition to three years of funding from the History Department, and undertake a practicum course for credit at RRCHNM each semester for two years.
The Fellows program is as an extension of the central role of digital history in the PhD program at GMU. Set up as ‘a PhD with a difference,’ it requires all students to take two core courses, Clio Wired: An Introduction to History and New Media Credits, and Creating History in New Media, which provide exposure (more…)
The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media are happy to welcome Lisa Rhody to our ranks as a Research Assistant Professor. Lisa comes to us having completed a doctorate in English at the University of Maryland at the end of 2012. Her dissertation made use of computational analysis to explore the ekphrastic work of twentieth-century female poets to challenge widely held critical assumptions about the genre.
At RRCHNM, Rhody will be engaged on several different projects. First, in the Public Projects Division, she continues the work she began on a part time basis several months ago, guiding the programming for the Institute of Museum and Library Service’s annual WebWise meeting. This conference brings together cutting edge digital work from the nation’s libraries, archives, museums, and science centers. Second, in conjunction with the year-long planning that goes into making WebWise a success, Rhody is also contributing to a number of institutional planning and digital strategy projects. Together this work places her at the heart of the Center’s efforts to encourage innovative digital cultural heritage work. Third, Rhody will serve as the co-editor of the Journal of Digital Humanities, the flagship publication of the PressForward project. This work will bring Rhody’s insights (more…)
Serendip-o-matic works for many different users. Students looking for inspiration can use one source as a springboard to a variety of others. Scholars can pump in their bibliographies to help enliven their current research or to get ideas for a new project. Bloggers can find open access images to illustrate their posts. Librarians and museum professionals can discover a wide range of items from other institutions and build bridges that make their collections more accessible. In addition, millions of users of RRCHNM’s Zotero can easily run their personal (more…)
This week, RRCHNM is once again hosting the One Week | One Tool Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The big question for this week is can a dozen scholars, students, and librarians build a digital humanities tool in one week? And if so, what will they learn in the process? Participants were selected in a competitive process from an international pool of over thirty applicants. While the tool remains under wraps until Friday, August 2nd, the team is sharing details about their collaborative work process.
To decide what to build, the team engaged in an open brainstorming process and nominated software application ideas to meet the needs of humanities researchers and educators. They then invited public feedback to inform their decision-making. Nearly one hundred people posted comments and voted for their favorite ideas. (Although the poll has closed, see results at http://oneweekonetool.ideascale.com). “I was surprised by the number of engaged commentators actively watching what we build,” explains Meghan Frazer, a digital resources curator from Ohio State University whom the group selected to be their project co-manager. Tom Scheinfeldt, the RRCHNM director-at-large who organized OWOT, describes it (more…)
The National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Digital Humanities awarded the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media one of three grants in their Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities program. With this generous support, the Public Projects division will organize and host, “Doing Digital History: An Institute for Mid-Career American Historians” during the summer of 2014.
“Doing Digital History” begins to fill a much-needed gap for established historians who need instruction and a professional learning community to engage with new media methods and tools. We will seek applications from historians who have had very limited or no training in using digital methods and tools, or in computing, and who lack a supportive digital community at their home institutions.
NEH IADTH grants support a wide range of training programs for scholars and advanced graduate students to broaden and extend their knowledge of digital humanities. Through these programs, NEH seeks to increase the number of humanities scholars using digital technology in their research and to broadly disseminate knowledge about advanced technology tools and methodologies relevant to the humanities.
Planning for “Doing Digital History” will commence this fall, and a call for applications will be announced in early 2014. Watch the (more…)
The AASLH Leadership in History Award, now in its 68th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.
Teachinghistory.org is a free online resource for K-12 teachers that has been called “a ‘non-negotiable’ — a tool so valuable no history teacher should try teaching without it” (History Tech Blog). Originally funded by a 2007 U.S. Department of Education contract, the website welcomes over 1.7 million visitors annually from all 50 states and more than 150 countries. While the majority of users are K-12 teachers, the site is also a favorite of librarians, social studies methods instructors, homeschoolers, and public historians.
Presentation of the awards will be made during the 2013 AASLH Annual Meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, on September 20.
The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and
local history throughout the United States. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards not only honor significant achievement in the field of state and local history, but also bring public recognition of (more…)