With this generous support, Sharon Leon and Sheila Brennan will organize and host, “Doing Digital History 2016,” an Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities. Designed for novices, the team will invite applications from mid-career American historians who have limited or no training in using digital methods and tools, and who lack a supportive digital community at their home institutions. After an intensive two-week institute in summer 2016, the 25 participating scholars will leave with the confidence, skills, and abilities to develop digital history scholarship, to evaluate digital projects, and to instruct students in digital methods. This institute is part of a larger effort at RRCHNM to grow the field of practicing digital history and digital art history scholars.
The second award is a Landmarks in American History grant for “Graffiti Houses: The Civil War from the Perspective of Individual Soldiers.” This project, led by Stephen Robertson and Jennifer Rosenfeld, will develop two week-long summer teacher institutes that focus on the Civil War through the lives of soldiers who left their mark in Northern Virginia landmarks now known as “Civil War Graffiti Houses.” Workshop participants will select a piece of graffiti from these locations and begin to piece together the story of the individual who created it. Through research trips to the National Archives and to Gettysburg (where many of the soldiers eventually fought and are memorialized), as well as lectures, discussions, and hands-on workshops in photography, digital mapping, and online exhibit building, participating teachers will experience “doing history” and develop strategies based on those experiences to use in their own classrooms.
Planning for both projects will begin in the fall.