Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Applications Open for Understanding Sacrifice WWII Teacher Institute

Monday, July 13th, 2015


The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media is pleased to announce that applications are open for the 2015-2016 Understanding Sacrifice WWII Teacher Institute held in partnership with National History Day (NHD) and the American Battle Monument Commission (ABMC). Teachers from all disciplines who teach middle and high school are welcome to apply. The application period closes on September 4, 2015.

The focus of the 2015-2016 institute is WWII in the Mediterranean. Participating teachers will engage in a year-long study through webinars, readings, and discussion groups. They will research an individual service member buried in one of the ABMC cemeteries and create an interdisciplinary lesson inspired by topics drawn from ABMC resources and materials. In July 2016, teachers will follow the path of the U.S. armed forces in Italy and Southern France through a two-week field study. The resulting research and lesson plans will be made available at

Learn more about the project or apply here.

Getty Foundation Funds Omeka for Art Historians

Monday, July 6th, 2015

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University (RRCHNM) is pleased to announce the development of Omeka for Art Historians, supported by a grant from the Getty Foundation as part of its Digital Art History initiative.

Drawing heavily upon the needs articulated by art historians at last summer’s Rebuilding the Portfolio summer institute held at RRCHNM, also funded by the Getty, we identified some key shortcomings of existing Omeka themes and plugins to serve the needs of this audience.

To address these needs, we want to offer art historians a new way to challenge their students and to engage online audiences with art collections by designing Omeka themes and plugins, and writing workflow case studies. To prioritize these needs, RRCHNM will convene a working group of art historians to shape theme development, paying particular attention to building templates that enable analysis and comparison of objects, contextualization of objects alongside historical materials.

Project Director Sheila Brennan will work closely with Kimon Keramidas of New York University, Michele Greet of Mason, and the Getty Foundation staff to select a working group that will convene at the College Art Association Conference in 2016.

This project builds on (more…)

Earn a Graduate Certificate in Digital Public Humanities Online

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Digital tools and resources are transforming the ways in which we research, interpret, and communicate. Be part of this change by enrolling in the new graduate online Digital Public Humanities Certificate created by the Department of History and Art History and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University in partnership with Smithsonian Associates.

This one-year, 15-credit certificate program includes 3 online courses:

  • Introduction to Digital Humanities (Fall 2015; 3 credits)
  • Digital Public History (Spring 2016; 3 credits)
  • Teaching Humanities in the Digital Age (Spring 2016; 3 credits)

Courses will introduce students interested in public history, museums, libraries, archives, education, and communications to ways in which they can incorporate digital public humanities skills and tools into their current or future practice. Students will learn research and presentation skills, including text mining, topic modeling, data visualization, and mapping. They will explore innovative ways to advance teaching and learning through digital tools while developing skills in digital curation, writing, and content strategy.

The program includes a 6-credit “virtual” summer internship with the Smithsonian Institution. The internship can be completed remotely.

Learn more here or apply today!

WWII Teacher Professional Development Website Goes Live

Monday, May 4th, 2015




The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) is proud to announce the launch of Understanding Sacrifice (

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.

Visit the site to:

  • meet the 18 teachers selected to participate;
  • see the cemeteries and memorials the teachers will visit during the field study; and
  • sign-up to receive email updates as lessons and other resources are posted.

The full site will launch in November 2015.

Visit Understanding Sacrifice today to follow the progress of this important project!

Will this be on the Test?

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Web_WritingIn 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 to Create Educational Materials for Eisenhower E-Memorial

Monday, April 20th, 2015

istilllikeikeThe Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) is proud to announce its selection by the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission to create educational materials for the Eisenhower E-Memorial.

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.

RRCHNM has 20 years of experience developing free educational resources and working with teachers through professional development workshops both in-person and online. Last year, RRCHNM projects received over 24 million visits. Recent education projects include, Sea of Liberty, and 100 Leaders in World (more…)

Growing the Fields

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

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.

The Need

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

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…)

Teaching Hidden History

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media is developing a new course, Teaching Hidden History, 4VAwith 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.

Histories of the National Mall Wins Outstanding Public History Award

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

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.”

map_sliceHistories  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, 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…)

Getty Foundation Funds Institute for Art History Graduate Students at RRCHNM

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

The_Getty_Foundation_logo_blue_highresWe 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.

During the summer of 2014, RRCHNM ran a Getty-sponsored institute for established faculty, librarians, and museum professionals. Learn more about their experiences on the ReBuilding the Portfolio: DH for Art Historians website.

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…)

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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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