2014-2015 Syllabus

Digital History Fellowship Practicums 2014-2015

Students with a Digital History Fellowship in 2014-2015 take two semesters of practicum courses at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media over a one-year period. These courses supplement the introduction to Digital History provided by the Clio Wired series of required courses. Students will gain on-the-ground experience in the daily work of a digital history center, and an opportunity to explore and reflect on how digital humanities centers are run, including how projects are managed and the nature of highly collaborative work. Those experiences will provide the basis for a critical examination of research and practice in the field of digital history.

The Digital History Fellows have dedicated space in the Center, an area with a large work desk and a filing cabinet for storage.

FIRST YEAR FELLOWS

FIRST SEMESTER

The practicum is divided into four blocks, preceded by a session introducing RRCHNM. The first three blocks will involve four weeks spent in each of the Center’s three divisions: Education Projects, Public Projects and Research Projects.  Each block includes overviews of the divisions by the directors, followed by hands-on work and experience, with careful oversight by the senior staff and ongoing feedback. You will be required to do 20 hours of work each week. The final three-week block will be involve a weekly two-hour seminar led by the director devoted to exploring the possibilities and challenges of digital humanities theory and practice, drawing on experiences and insights gained from placement in the Center.

  • Orientation and Introductory Seminar: August 25
  • Research Division: August 26-September 18
  • Education Projects Division: September 22-October 17
  • Public Projects Division: October 20-November 14
  • Seminar: November 17-December 5 (day of week and time TBC)

Assignments

  • Attendance at the Monday morning all staff meeting (10 am)
  • Work in each division: Examples of possible assignments
    1. Research Division:
      1. Weekly meeting with Fellows
        1. Assignment: Reflective blog posts
      2. Work on existing division projects: Zotero documentation, blog post; Some technical output, e.g. plugin, zotero translator, CSL; Publicity and outreach
        1. Assignment: Portfolio of support/dev work
      3. Research on new technologies and trends: How to integrate new tech into digital history; Explore funding opportunities for research projects; Sustainability and ongoing support of legacy research projects
        1. Assignment: Abstract of a grant proposal for a new research division project
    2. Education Projects Division
      1. Weekly meeting with division staff
        1. Assignment: Reflective blog posts
      2. Testing educational resources for teachers and students
        1. Assignment: Test 100 Leaders website
        2. Assignment: Create sample projects for “Teaching Hidden History”
      3. Creating content educational projects
        1. Assignment: Explore selected websites; write Website Reviews (Teachinghistory.org)
        2. Assignment: Explore selected teaching tools; write Tech for Teacher entries Teachinghistory.org)
      4. Prepare for teacher workshop
        1. Assignment: Assist with preparation for ABMC Teacher Workshop
    3.  Public Projects Division
      1. Weekly meeting with Fellows
        1. Assignment: Reflective blog posts
      2. Work on legacy collecting and archive projects (911DA, HDMB, PWD, Occupy); Managing ongoing maintenance and editorial activity; Publicity and outreach
        1. Assignment: Historical scholarship with the collections
      3. Research on new technologies and trends in Public History: How to keep projects vibrant after a central exhibit launches; The increasing integration of LOD in public projects; Text-mining for non-programmers; Augmented reality and place-based computing/new mobile developments
        1. Assignment: Report on developments related to Public Projects work
      4. Omeka software introduction; learning to use Git commands and Git Hub, and software testing and documentation
  • At the end of each block, collaborate on a post for the RRCHNM blog on your experience in that division
  • Once during the semester, Tweet a day working in a division, and then write a post for the Fellows blog reflecting on the tweets as a form of scholarly communication
  • Produce two Digital Campus Podcasts, in collaboration with your second year Fellow mentor
  • Participate in the RCHNM 20th Anniversary Conference, November 14 and 15
  • Collaborate on the design of the syllabi for the seminar block
  • At the end of the first semester, list in order the divisions in which you would like to work in the second semester of the fellowship

SECOND SEMESTER

The practicum is spent embedded in one division. You will be required to do 20 hours of work each week. Every attempt will be made to assign you to the division that you nominated, but the nature of the Center’s work means it is not always possible to do so.

Assignments

  • Attendance at the Monday morning all staff meeting (10 am)
  • Blogging
    • Post on the Fellows blog at least twice during the semester. Posts should be reflections on your work (including producing the Digital Campus podcast), and what you are learning.
    • Once during the semester, Tweet a day working in a division, and then write a post for the Fellows blog reflecting on the tweets as a form of scholarly communication
  • Together with the second year fellows, organize one Brown Bag, and report on it in a post on the Fellows blog
  • Produce two Digital Campus Podcasts, in collaboration with your second year Fellow mentor

SECOND YEAR FELLOWS

The two-semester practicum is spent embedded in one division. You will be required to do 20 hours of work each week.

Assignments

  • Mentoring: Each fellow will also be paired with a first year fellow, as a mentor. That role involves
    • being a point of contact for the first year fellow,
    • commenting on that fellow’s blogs
    • collaboration with that Fellow on the production of two Digital Campus podcasts each semester
    • a summary blog post on the experience of mentoring
  • Attendance at the Monday morning all staff meeting (10 am)
  • Blogging
    • Post on the Fellows blog at least twice during the semester. Posts should be reflections on your work (including producing the Digital Campus podcast), and what you are learning.
    • At the end of the year, collaborate on a post for the RRCHNM blog on your experience as a DH Fellow
    • Once during the year, Tweet a day working in a division, and then write a blog post reflecting on the tweets as a form of scholarly communication
  • Together with the first year fellows, organize one Brown Bag, and report on it in a blog post

GRA Expectations and Responsibilities

While working in the divisions, the same is expected of Digital History Fellows as of the other GRAs working in the Center.

Since the history PhD program began in 2001, graduate students have played an integral role in contributing to the work at CHNM. We expect that you will complete the work you are given, because that work is directly tied to grant deadlines and deliverables. You will also have opportunities to learn through CHNM-hosted events, such as Brown Bag talks and THATCamp, and less formal gatherings in the lounge or at the big table with staff and other graduate students. Getting the most out of your CHNM experience depends mostly on what you put into your semesters here.

Expectations

  • Work and log 20 hours each week.
You are a GRA, and this is your job for 20 hours each week. Like any other part-time job you have, you will be required to report to CHNM on a regular schedule and log hours through the Basecamp project you are working on. You may also be asked periodically to write up performance reports that detail the work you are completing.
  • Work during regular business hours.
You are welcome to work at CHNM during regular business hours (8:30-5) on your graduate coursework, but these hours may not count towards your total hours for that week.
  • Make up hours.
 If you have missed work time for any reason, you must make up these hours.
  • Tell your supervisor when you will be absent.
 It is your responsibility to check in with your supervisor if you will be absent for illness, conference travel, family emergencies, et al. If there are external factors that will effect your work schedule in a more permanent way, please schedule a meeting or phone call with your supervisors to discuss details.
  • Ask questions if you run into difficulties. 
See the list above for appropriate contact information.
  • Treat your co-workers, peers, and all visitors to CHNM respectfully.
 CHNM is a professional workplace, even if we dress casually. Please extend common courtesies to all you come in contact with in our work areas and on the floor (CHNM shares kitchen and restrooms with other Mason units on the 4th Floor). Donors, funders, and members of the history department, and Dean’s office come through our doors at all times, often unexpectedly.

Help keep CHNM clean.
 Again, donors, funders, members of the faculty and Dean’s office come through our spaces regularly and often unannounced. CHNM is not your second home, even though it is a comfortable place to work. This means clean up after yourself in personal and shared workspaces. For example, everyone on the 4th floor must take care of the kitchen, this is not cleaned for us. Please don’t leave food in the shared refrigerators for weeks. And, if you receive a phone call and you share a workspace, please go into the hallway, et al.

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