2018 Syllabus

Students awarded a Digital history Fellowship in 2018 take a one semester practicum course at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media in the Fall semester. The practicum is a supplement to the introduction to digital history provided by the set of graduate courses required of all PhD students in the Department of History. Students will gain on-the-ground experience in the daily work of a digital history center, and an understanding of how collaborative projects are conceived, proposed, and delivered, with special attention to project management. Following the practicum, DH Fellows work as graduate research assistants at RRCHNM for an additional three semesters.

The practicum is divided into three blocks:

  1. The first block is a seminar led by Stephen Robertson devoted to exploring the possibilities and challenges of digital humanities as pursued in digital humanities centers. The seminar begins by considering centers broadly, and then focuses on the activities of RRCHNM in its 24 years of existence, and the nature of the grant proposals that support that work. The seminar concludes with an assignment to build an exhibit for the RRCHNM 20th anniversary Omeka site about a project from the Center’s first 20 years. 
  2. The second block focuses on project management as a key set of skills required for collaborative projects. The block begins with a seminar introducing project management, followed by reviews of four active RRCHNM projects. For each review you will read the project proposal and, where possible, explore the Basecamp site for the project, sit in on a project meeting, and meet with the project manager to discuss how they are managing the project. You will then write a brief reflection on the project as an example of project management. 
  3. The third block is an assignment to develop a project related to PressForward, working with Stephanie Westcott.


  • Attendance at the Monday morning all staff meeting (10am)
  • Weekly check in meeting with the director, Stephen Robertson, after the Monday meeting (20 minutes)
  • Each week, read and nominate for DHNow, and discuss your nominations 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 semester, 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 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, and take them to lunch. A budget of $500 is available for travel costs and/or honorarium.


Week 1: (August 27) — Orientation (Stephen Robertson)

Week 2: (September 3) — DH & Centers: Putting RRCHNM in context (Stephen Robertson)


Week 3: (September 10) — RRCHNM & its projects (Stephen Robertson)

Week 4: (September 17) — Proposals & Projects (Stephen Robertson)

Week 5: (September 24) — RRCHNM20 Exhibit building (Omeka) (Stephen Robertson)

Week 6: (October 1) — RRCHNM20 Exhibit building (Omeka) (Stephen Robertson)

Week 7: (October 8) — Project management (Stephanie Westcott)


Week 8: (October 15) — Active Project Review: Local Linkages (LaQuanda Walters Cooper)

Week 9: (October 22) — Active Project Review: Omeka (John Flatness)

Week 10 (October 29) — Active Project Review: Papers of the War Department (Megan Brett & Alyssa Fahringer)

Week 11 (November 5) — Active Project Review: Tropy (Abby)

Week 12: (November 12) — PressForward project (Stephanie Westcott)

Week 13: THANKSGIVING — PressForward project (Stephanie Westcott)

Week 14: (November 26) — PressForward project (Stephanie Westcott)

Week 15 (December 3) — PressForward project (Stephanie Westcott)