2016-2017 Syllabus

Digital History Fellowship Practicums 2016-2017

Students awarded a Digital History Fellowship take four semesters of practicum courses at the RRCHNM over a two-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 (2016-2017)

The two-semester practicum is divided into four blocks, preceded by a series of orientation sessions introducing RRCHNM.  

The first block will be a weekly seminar led by the director devoted to exploring the possibilities and challenges of digital humanities from the perspective of digital humanities centers and their work, including the creation of an exhibit on the RRCHNM20 site about one of the Center’s projects.

The next three blocks will be spent in the Center’s three divisions: Education in the Fall Semester, Research and Public Projects in the Spring Semester.  Each block includes overviews of the divisions by the directors and associate 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 – 17.5 hours a week on tasks assigned by your supervisor in each block, and 2.5 hours on the assignments described in this syllabus. (Note, how your hours are organized in each block may differ due to the tasks on which you are working).

  • Introduction & Orientation: August 29 — September 9 (2 weeks)
  • Seminar: September 12 – October 7 (4 weeks)
  • Education Division: October 10 – December 9 (8 weeks)
  • Research Division: January 23 – March 10 (7 weeks)
  • Public Projects Division: March 20 – May 5 (7 weeks)

Assignments

  • Attendance at the Monday morning all staff meeting (10am)
  • Weekly check in meeting with Stephen, directly after the Monday meeting (20 minutes) 
  • At the end of each block, you should post an overall reflection and discussion of that section of the practicum on the Fellows blog
  • Collaborate to organize one Brown Bag speaker, and to report on the presentation in a post on the Fellows blog. Choose a speaker, invite them, publicize their talk host them while they are at the Center, introduce their presentation, take them to lunch (Budget of up to $350 for speaker’s travel)
  • Each week, read and nominate for DHNow, and discuss your nominations with Stephen as part of your weekly check-in meeting. Over the course of the year, identify and track themes in the posts you read. At the end of the year, choose one of the themes you have identified, compile a list of related posts, and write a two-paragraph introduction to the theme & posts.
  • Collaborate on the design of the syllabi for the seminar
  • At the end of the second semester, list in order the divisions in which you would like to work in the second year of the fellowship

 

SECOND YEAR (2017-2018)

The two-semester 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

  • Mentoring: Each fellow will 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 each of that fellow’s blog posts
    • Completing a summary blog post on the experience of mentoring
  • Attendance at the Monday morning all staff meeting (10am)
  • Weekly check in meeting with Stephen, directly after the Monday meeting (20 minutes)
  • Each week, read and nominate for DHNow, and discuss your nominations with Stephen as part of your weekly check-in meeting. Over the course of the semester, identify and track themes in the posts you read. At the end of the year, choose one of the themes you have identified, compile a list of related posts, and write a two-paragraph introduction to the theme & posts.
  • Post on the Fellows blog once during the semester. Posts should be reflections on your work, and what you are learning.
  • Collaborate with the first year fellows to organize one Brown Bag speaker, and to report on the presentation in a post on the Fellows blog

 

GRA Expectations and Responsibilities

While working in the divisions, Digital History Fellows operate under the same expectations as 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.
 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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