Archive for 2005

CHNM-affiliated project profiled in Chronicle

Saturday, April 16th, 2005

The Business Plan Archive, a project directed by David Kirsch at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and hosted at CHNM, is featured this week in the Chronicle of Higher Education. The Business Plan Archive is a cousin to CHNM’s own Echo: Exploring and Collecting History Online project, and CHNM has collaborated with Kirsch on several projects to collect, preserve, and present digital materials in the history of science, technology, and industry. Both Echo and the Business Plan Archive are funded by major grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Click here to download the article.

Cohen, Syllabus Finder featured in Inside Higher Ed

Sunday, April 10th, 2005

Reviewed this week in Inside Higher Ed is an article by CHNM Director of Research Projects, Dan Cohen. The subject of the article, which appears in the most recent issue of the Journal of American History is CHNM’s innovative software tool, Syllabus Finder and the sophisticated analysis of the place of textbooks in U.S. survey courses that Cohen performed using this tool.

Syllabus Finder was created by Cohen as an experiment in the fledgling world of web services, where computers talk directly to each other to try to solve complicated problems or complete tasks that would be difficult to do otherwise. In this case, the computers that talk to each other are the Center for History and New Media’s web server and Google’s web server. The Syllabus Finder sends an optimized, specially packaged version of your query to Google, which sends back information and possible matches. The Syllabus Finder then processes this information and combines it with simultaneous searches on in-house databases (e.g., a database of educational institutions, so it can tell you which university or college a syllabus comes from). It also has algorithms that try to extract additional information from matching syllabi, such as assigned books. When this complex process is finished, the Syllabus Finder displays all of the information it has found.

Digital Stories: Multimedia Narratives, Cultural Resources, and Humanities Knowledge

Thursday, March 31st, 2005

This spring’s Washington DC Area Forum on Technology and the Humanities, which will focus on new ways of representing humanities knowledge through short multimedia narrative. Authors of these multimedia narratives combine images, music and sound from personal and cultural archives, cultural institutions, popular culture, and their own research and interviews to produce short pieces, sometimes called digital stories.

Questions raised by this panel include:

- In what ways can humanities knowledge be expressed in short, multimedia-enabled, narrative forms?

- What are the advantages and disadvantages of this form?

- How can we represent cross-cultural and cultural understanding in these forms?

- What is the relationship between issues in multimedia literacy and the development of these new ways of making and presenting humanities knowledge?

- What is the role of cultural institutions and their archives (especially digital) in this work?

- What does it mean to have “amateurs” making this knowledge? How does this work relate to the work of “professionals” in the humanities academy, cultural institutions and public work?

Panelists Cecilia O’Leary (History, California State University-Monterey Bay), Bernie Cook (American Studies, Georgetown University), J.P. Singh (Communication, Culture & Technology, Georgetown University) and Michael Coventry (Communication, Culture & Technology & Visible Knowledge Project, Georgetown University) will show and discuss student-authored multimedia narratives from their courses, followed by vigorous and engaging discussion with the audience. Student authors may also be present to discuss their work in light of these issues.

The forum will be held on Wednesday, April 27th from 4pm to 6pm in Lauinger Library on Georgetown’s campus. There will be an informal dinner after the forum, at a cost of $10 per person. You must RSVP online for dinner at http://chnm.gmu.edu/tools/surveys/683/ by April 22.

Directions and Parking information for Georgetown University can be found at http://otm.georgetown.edu/. Parking can also be found on the street. The nearest metro station is Rosslyn, across Key Bridge. For more information, please contact Michael Coventry (*protected email*).

Co-sponsored by the Center for New Designs in Learning & Scholarship (CNDLS) at Georgetown University and George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media (CHNM), the DC Area Technology and Humanities Forum explores important issues in humanities computing and provides an opportunity for DC area scholars interested the uses of new technology in the humanities to meet and get acquainted.

Censer & CHNM Publish Electronic Article

Friday, February 25th, 2005

Jack Censer (Chair of the CHNM Advisory Board) and Lynn Hunt (Eugen Weber professor of history at UCLA) have–in collaboration with five other scholars and CHNM–created an online scholarly article, “Imaging the French Revolution: Depictions of the French Revolutionary Crowd.” The American Historical Review has published the article, one of the very first digital articles to appear in the flagship journal of the American Historical Association.

The article includes the perspectives of six different scholars, both historians and art historians. Censer and Hunt explain that crowd actions have long been a subject of contention in the historiography of the French Revolution, but they contend that text-based sources have dominated the historiography. In contrast, the essays in this article take as their point of departure a bank of forty-two images selected to represent the variety of ways that crowds could be depicted. Censer and Hunt argue that visual evidence is particularly important in the case of the French Revolution: not only did thousands of images proliferate in a remarkable diversity of formats, but also those images often spoke to issues, such as crowd violence, that proved difficult for supporters of the Revolution to discuss frankly in speeches or newspaper articles. The electronic presentation makes it possible to view the images separately as well as within the articles, to read the discussion that took place among the authors about their findings, and to directly compare different authors’ interpretations of particular images.

Kelly Receives Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award

Tuesday, February 15th, 2005

T. Mills Kelly, assistant professor of history and art history and associate director of the Center for History and New Media (CHNM), will receive a 2005 Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award (OFA), the commonwealth’s highest honor for faculty at Virginia’s colleges and universities. Kelly was the first honoree in the new category of Teaching with Technology. Gov. Mark Warner will recognize Kelly and 11 other educators in a ceremony in the Richmond State Capitol this morning.

Read more in the Mason Daily Gazette or click here to download the full article.

Echo exhibit reviewed in The Public Historian

Wednesday, January 26th, 2005

A Thin Blue Line, CHNM’s online exhibition documenting the history of the pregnancy test kit is the subject of a website review published in the most recent issue of The Public Historian, the journal of the National Council on Public History. A Thin Blue Line is a collaboration between CHNM’s Echo project and the National Institutes of Health and features an online survey of visitor’s experiences with home pregancy tests.

Click here to read the review.

History Matters wins Robinson Prize

Sunday, January 23rd, 2005

The American Historical Association has awarded the James Harvey Robinson Prize for “outstanding contribution to the teaching and learning of history” to History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web. History Matters was created by CHNM in collaboration with the American Social History Project at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.

The award citation praised History Matters for being “an incredibly rich and ‘user friendly’ web site.” The prize committee found that History Matters “offers students and teachers an amazing array of online resources, ranging from expansive lists of annotated web sites, to annotated syllabi that take viewers behind the scenes to see how various classroom activities actually worked (or didn’t), to intensive guides of how to use various types of primary sources. As such, History Matters is a model of its kind presented in a highly attractive and easy-to-navigate format.”

HNN in NYT

Friday, January 21st, 2005

New York Times columnist John Tierney discusses Rick Shenkman’s predictions about the presidential inaugural address. Shenkman is editor of CHNM’s History News Network.

Click here to read the article.

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Since 1994, the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University has used digital media and computer technology to democratize history—to incorporate multiple voices, reach diverse audiences, and encourage popular participation in presenting and preserving the past. We sponsor more than two dozen digital history projects and offer free tools and resources for historians. Learn More

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