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Digital History Fellowships available for Fall 2015

Monday, December 15th, 2014

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 Future of RRCHNM

Monday, November 17th, 2014

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.”
—Stephen Robertson

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…)

RRCHNM20 Site Live

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

We’re pleased to announce that the RRCHNM20 site is now live. This site is a collection of material about projects created by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University in the first twenty years of its existence, 1994–2014.

This material has been gathered and made public to mark the Center’s anniversary, and to provide resources for the first day of the RRCHNM 20th Anniversary Conference (#rrchnm20), on November 14, 2014, which is devoted to hands-on work with Center projects—past and present.

Our aim in sharing this material is to provide insight on the process of creating digital history, and to highlight the roles of a range of staff and collaborators, across twenty years of changing structures, practices, concerns, hardware, and software.

RRCHNM20siteThe collection encompasses more than 60 of the 149 projects undertaken by the Center, as of November 2014. Not included are twelve current projects, as well as small contract and web design projects. Most of the documents are grant proposals and reports. We have removed the detailed budgets from these proposals, as well as letters of support and CVs; they are otherwise complete. The site also includes information on most of the just over 150 people who worked (more…)

Celebrate 20 Years of RRCHNM in November 2014

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Plans are taking shape for the upcoming conference to mark the 20th anniversary of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, November 14-­15, 2014. The conference will reflect the spirit of THATCamp: the first day will be spent hacking the history of RRCHNM, working collectively to tell the story of how projects were created and what they tell us about digital history’s past. The second day will feature short talks by invited guests, each followed by extended discussion, and unconference­-style breakout sessions.

We’re thrilled that Edward Ayers, Brett Bobley, and Bethany Nowviskie have agreed to share their thoughts on the future of digital humanities centers, while Tim Hitchcock, William Thomas, Kathryn Tomasek and a collective of GMU graduate students will offer visions of the future of digital history. We’re inviting all the fantastic folks who have worked with and at RRCHNM over the past two decades to celebrate with us.

You only turn 20 once, and we want to do this right. So, in 2014 we will focus on the 20th anniversary events. This means a hiatus for THATCamp Prime in 2014, but we’re already talking about ideas for 2015.

The 20th anniversary event is free and registration will open in early (more…)

PressForward Editors-at-Large | DH Fellow’s Blog

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Amanda Morton (2nd year Digital History Fellow)

This semester the second year Digital History Fellows are sticking with one of the three divisions at RRCHNM (Research, Education, Public Projects) and participating in selected projects within those divisions. Some of us are coming in at the start of a new set of projects, while others are joining projects already in progress. There’s a certain benefit, I think, to being able to join a project in mid-flow and provide both an extra pair of hands and the type of feedback that comes from a fresh look at ongoing processes. By essentially acting as full-time floaters, we can also lend work hours and a different set of opinions to changes already set in motion,

I’ve been assigned to the Research Division this semester, directed by Sean Takats, and am currently spending the majority of my time working under Joan Fragaszy Troyano on the PressForward project. This project received an influx of graduate research assistants this semester, most of whom were, like myself, new to the division and to PressForward, and needed to be introduced to the way the different parts of the project are managed, particularly the weekly management of Digital Humanities Now.

A PressForward publication, Digital (more…)

How can technology help teachers to teach historical and critical thinking? | DH Fellow’s Blogpost

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Amanda Regan (1st Year Digital history Fellow)

How can technology help teachers to teach historical and critical thinking?  Getting students to think critically about historical events rather than just memorizing the facts is challenging, but digital technology can help.  With so many new digital tools being developed each year, teachers are eager for resources to help locate free, quality tools that can help students become better critical thinkers and historians.

screen shot--teachinghistoryOne of the RRCHNM’s projects, Teachinghistory.org, has a section called Digital Classroom devoted to providing tips and resources for incorporating digital tools into the classroom.  The introductory video for Digital Classroom explains how digital tools can engage students and help them to think critically about the past.  The goal of Digital Classroom is to provide teachers with resources to help them incorporate digital technology in their classroom and to provide examples of how to enhance learning by using technology in the classroom.

To help teachers find free, digital tools for use in social studies classrooms, Digital Classroom includes a collection of digital tool reviews, called Tech for Teachers.  Over the last week the Digital History Fellows have been researching and writing reviews for this section and we’ve been thinking a lot about what kinds of digital tools are (more…)

How It’s Made: Public History Projects | DH Fellow’s Blogpost

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Spencer Roberts (2nd Year Digital history Fellow)

In a recent conversation, a friend inquired about the projects on which I am working here at the RRCHNM. I explained that I am currently assigned to a project about the War of 1812 on behalf of the National Park Service, and described the basic elements of the project. “I understand the project,” she replied, “but what do you actually do?”

Our exchange illuminated an issue that seems obvious but is rarely addressed: the average American is told little about the work that goes into producing public history or heritage projects. Although such projects and exhibits dot the social landscape in parks, museums, galleries, libraries, books, and the web, the processes of preserving, interpreting, and presenting the past are largely hidden from users. In response to these observations, I’d like to describe some of work done by researchers to produce public history projects.

Each project taken on by the RRCHNM staff has unique characteristics that shape the processes by which it is built, but some projects inevitably require similar constructions. The September 11 Digital Archive, the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, and other projects all required a platform to host large collections of digital materials; as a result, (more…)

The Challenges of Making a Challenge | DH Fellow’s Blogpost

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Anne McDivitt (1st year Digital History Fellow)

For the past few weeks at the Center for History and New Media, my fellow first year Digital History Fellows and myself were assigned to work in the Education division, which produces projects that are designed to teach history to a wide scope of people through various educational resources. While in the Education division, we have been working with a new web project meant to engage and educate the audience by allowing them to examine liberty in the United States in a new and interesting way. This is achieved by incorporating age and ability-appropriate “challenges” and access to primary documents and images. This project seeks an audience of teachers, K-12 students, as well as the general public.
There are intriguing methods in creating a challenge for students. While creating our own challenge for the project, there were multiple questions that we had to ask ourselves. First, what was the goal of the project? What did we want the students to achieve from doing the challenge? What skills would they use? In terms of examining the sources, we attempted to view them in an analytic manner, but with a basic guided direction so that the students do (more…)

Readings Course in Digital History | DH Fellow’s blogpost

Friday, September 20th, 2013

Ben Hurwitz (2nd year Digital History Fellow)

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…)

The Impact of Education Projects | DH Fellow’s blogpost

Monday, September 16th, 2013

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.

We’ve begun our foray in the educational projects division of CHNM and as I described in my introductory blog, the content and materials created and maintained in this area are expansive. Projects like Children and Youth in History, Popular Romance, History Matters, and others, are built with commitment to open access content and resources in history education. And these efforts consistently earn awards. The American Association for State and Local History recently recognized CHNM’s Teachinghistory.org with a 2013 Leadership in History Award of Merit.

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…)

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About

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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Teachinghistory.org

Teachinghistory.org is the central online location for accessing high-quality resources in K-12 U.S. history education. Explore the highlighted content on our homepage or visit individual sections for additional materials.