The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) is proud to announce the launch of Understanding Sacrifice (abmceducation.org/understandingsacrifice).
Sponsored by the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC), this website is part of an 18-month professional development program for middle- and high-school teachers. Working with National History Day and RRCHNM, 18 teachers are developing interdisciplinary lessons about WWII in Northern Europe. They are also researching the life of a service member buried or memorialized at an ABMC cemetery. The resulting profiles will be incorporated into the lessons.
The goal is to bring ABMC resources into classrooms to help students better understand the service, experience, and sacrifice of American service members who served and died during World War II.
In online courses, as with face-to-face courses, assessing learning is a central issue. In a recently published book chapter, CHNM staff contributed to this discussion based on their experiences developing and teaching online courses for practicing teachers.
In “How We Learned to Drop the Quiz: Writing in Online Asynchronous Courses,” graduate research assistants Celeste Tường Vy Sharpe and Nate Sleeter and education division director Kelly Schrum, talk about eliminating multiple-choice quizzes from online courses, an experience that enabled both instructors and participants to focus on providing meaningful feedback. Without the quiz, instructors were better able to emphasize iterative writing and its relationship to historical thinking.
As the authors write, “The opportunities for course participants to revisit and revise their interpretations over the span of a module and the course as a whole allowed for a stronger focus on the process of historical thinking over rote memorization.”
Online humanities education represents an opportunity to reach new students. In order to best serve students, especially given the rapid growth of online courses, the scholarship teaching and learning online is vitally important. Teaching and learning, the authors believe, must prioritize providing students with meaningful feedback. How to best to incorporate this feedback will remain a central focus going (more…)
RRCHNM will create seven curriculum units focused on Pivotal Moments from Eisenhower’s life: West Point, D-Day, NATO, The Presidency, Waging Peace, Little Rock, and NASA. Each unit will contain lesson plans for middle and high school classrooms, as well as related primary sources and activities. Additionally, RRCHNM will develop content for an interactive timeline of Eisenhower’s life and relevant moments in history.
“Our partnership with the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University will develop engaging teacher resource materials for the state of the art Eisenhower E-Memorial. We believe that today’s students will greatly benefit from learning about how President Eisenhower helped shape the world in which we live today,” commented Brigadier General Carl Reddel (Ret.), Executive Director of the Eisenhower Memorial Commission in Washington, DC.
Last summer, Sharon Leon and I (Sheila Brennan) led a team at RRCHNM with the challenging goal of increasing capacity within the fields of history and art history for doing digital work. We started with novices and invited them to learn with us for two weeks last summer. At the end, those digital novices transformed into ambassadors who are engaging with the growing community of digital humanities practitioners and who serve as advocates supporting digital history and digital art history work at their institutions and in the fields at large.
Recent studies conducted by Ithaka S+R document how historians and art historians are reluctant to engage in digital methods and to integrate those methods and related tools into their teaching. The cycle perpetuates itself as these established scholars are then unable to mentor graduate students or even to point them to appropriate training opportunities. These same scholars may also dissuade junior colleagues from pursuing digital work.
Doing Digital History 2014, NEH summer institute participants
Even as digital work is receiving increasing recognition in academic circles, one major question remains for faculty interested in digital humanities and in new publishing mediums: will it count?
Despite decades of amazing work in digital (more…)
The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media is developing a new course, Teaching Hidden History, with funding from
4-VA, an initiative dedicated to expanding educational opportunities and increasing collaborative research among Virginia universities.
A hybrid course, Teaching Hidden History features online components and in-person meetings utilizing the 4-VA Telepresence rooms on the Mason and Virginia Tech campuses. Students from both institutions will participate simultaneously. The course integrates digital history, history education, and best practices in teaching and learning history. Students will conduct research using primary and secondary sources to develop online history modules using an open-source platform. The first iteration of Teaching Hidden History will run in summer 2015.
In the changing higher education landscape, distance education has become increasingly common and attractive to institutions and students. Models for online education, however, have been dominated by science, math, and technology. Humanities disciplines have been slow to develop online educational opportunities, but they have the potential to incorporate and model best practices for inquiry-based, active learning.
Teaching Hidden History provides a unique opportunity for graduate students in history and social studies education to strengthen historical research and historical thinking skills while utilizing digital tools and exploring history education in an online environment.
The National Council on Public History selected Histories of the National Mall as the winner of the 2015 Outstanding Public History Award. The award is presented each year for work that contributes to a broader public reflection and appreciation of the past or that serves as a model of professional public history practice.
The selection committee commended Histories for its clean design, and concluded “the site stands as an excellent destination for anyone interested in our nation’s Front Yard and as an outstanding example of how public historians can harness mobile technology to forge place-based historical connections.”
Histories is a place-based public history mobile website developed by RRCHNM with support of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Designed primarily for tourists in Washington, DC, mallhistory.org reveals that the National Mall has a history of its own that is invisible when walking along its paths and lawns. There are four different entry points– place-based, thematic, chronological, and biographical–allowing users to connect the physical space and its development, together with the social, cultural, and political events that have transpired there.
The project’s co-directors, Sheila Brennan and Sharon Leon will accept the award at the NCPH conference in April on behalf of the Center (more…)
We are thrilled to announce that the Getty Foundation awarded a second grant to the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media to organize and run another summer institute in digital art history. This year, the Getty Foundation asked us to focus on graduate students in Masters and Doctoral programs.
Participants will learn from experienced RRCHNM and GMU faculty whose expertise span a range of digital humanities methodologies. Together with returning Project Co-Directors, Sheila Brennan and Sharon Leon, are Lisa Rhody, Stephanie Westcott, Lincoln Mullen, and Michele Greet.
“Building a Digital Portfolio” will run from July 13 to July 24, 2015 at George Mason University’s Fairfax campus. This institute is part of an ongoing initiative from the Getty Foundation to increase adoption of digital methodologies and use of digital tools across the fields of art history.
Applications will open Monday, February 9, 2015. If you wish to receive an email indicating applications have opened, leave your name and contact information on the form available on the “Building a Digital Portfolio”(more…)
We’re pleased to announce that the Department of History & Art History at George Mason University has received another round of funding from the Provost’s PhD Award Program to admit two Digital History Fellows in each of the next three years.
Fellows enrolling in Fall 2015 will receive stipends of $20,000 for two years, during which time they will take a practicum course each semester here at RRCHNM, and then a further three years of support from the Department of History and Art History. The practicum courses provide an opportunity to be part of a digital history center and to contribute to a range of projects across all three of the Center’s divisions. Syllabi for the practicum courses can be found on the Fellows’ blog, which also includes posts by all three cohorts of fellows reflecting on their experiences at the Center.
Students interested in applying to the GMU History PhD program and being a Digital history Fellow, should consult the information on the department website or contact the department’s graduate director, Professor Cindy Kierner. Applications close January 15, 2015
The Center recently learned that a long-time collaborator and friend, Michael Mizell-Nelson, passed away after a battle with cancer. He was a driving force behind the success of the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank (HDMB), and was a public historian committed to his hometown of New Orleans and to teaching and fostering civic activism in his students.
Two weeks after evacuating from New Orleans, a young Assistant Professor at the University of New Orleans (UNO) contacted Roy seeking advice for developing a documentary on Hurricane Katrina: the destruction, the responses (and lack thereof), and recovery. Roy discussed Michael’s ideas and the possibility of creating an online collecting project modeled after the September 11 Digital Archive with Center staff. Thankfully, the Sloan Foundation wanted to support an electronic collecting project. As Roy began to assemble a project team, he asked Michael to take the lead at UNO and to serve as the project’s Outreach Lead for what would become the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank: http://hurricanearchive.org/.
Michael and his community of colleagues, friends, and neighbors were profoundly affected by Hurricane Katrina and the second hit from Hurricane Rita a few weeks later. They struggled not only with physical destruction of place, but also with emotional trauma (more…)
This is the text of my presentation in the session on the future of digital humanities centers, on day two of RRCHNM20. November 15, 2014. I wasn’t originally slated to be one of the speakers, but by the time it became clear that one person we had invited could not attend, I realized that I should be speaking, that people wanted to hear from me about the future of RRCHNM. Accordingly, I departed from the brief and spoke not about DH centers in general, but instead about the future of the center whose anniversary we marked that day. We will soon be posting video recordings of both this session, and the afternoon session on the future of digital history. In the meantime, Bethany Nowviskie, one of the other speakers has also posted her talk online: “speculative computing and the centers to come.”
The twentieth anniversary of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media finds it in a period of transition. A little more than a year ago, both Dan Cohen, the director, and Tom Scheinfeldt, the managing director, whose names appear in the credits of at least twenty-six Center projects, left to pursue new opportunities. The departure of visionary leaders has generally been fatal for digital humanities centers. But (more…)