2012–2013 Syllabus


PhD students with the digital history fellowship supported by the Provost’s PhD Award will take four semesters of this course. The practicum is intended to give students on-the-ground experience in the daily work and conceptual knowledge of a digital history center in ways that supplement the introductory pedagogy of the Clio Wired series, and extend it into actual research and practice in the field.

The practicum is divided into three phases. In the first phase, the fall semester of the first year, the director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media will give an overview of the center and what it does. Each week a new project from the center will be examined, with the director of the project available for discussion and the students taking a more in-depth look at the topic outside of a formal treatment during discussion times.

In the second semester of the first year, students will spend five weeks in each of CHNM’s three divisions (Research, Education, Public Projects). The practicum 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.

At the end of the first year, students will list, in order, the divisions with which they would prefer to work in the second year. Subject to availability and the input of senior staff, students will be assigned to particular project(s). The entire second year of the practicum will be spent embedded in that division.

Throughout the practicum, and because CHNM projects are all highly collaborative, there will be substantial opportunity for peer-to-peer learning. At the same time, training will be tailored to the individual needs, incoming skill sets, and interests of students.


Attendance at Monday morning all-hands staff meetings, followed, where necessary, by attendance at breakout groups for particular projects/divisions or subsequent meetings with the director(s). Students will be responsible for contributing regularly to a group blog showing what they’ve learned, and showcasing their own contributions so that they end the series with a digital portfolio.

Questions students will address in these assignments include:

  • Goals, purpose, and audience of each division or of individual projects
  • Describing the possibilities and challenges of digital humanities theory and practice
  • Explaining how digital humanities centers are run, including how projects are managed and the nature of highly collaborative work

Some of these will be featured in the CHNM news feed or on other documentary pages on the CHNM site. Students will also have the chance to organize brown bags. In the second year, students will participate in the global HASTAC community of graduate students learning the digital humanities.

First semester project examinations

History Matters
National History Education Clearinghouse
Omeka plugins/extensibility
September 11 Digital Archive
Papers of the War Department
Reframing the Victorians
Mobile Mall
Hurricane Digital Memory Bank
Historical Thinking Matters
French Revolution

Second semester placements

  1. Education Division: Jan 22-Feb 25
  2. Research Division: Feb 25-Apr 8
  3. Public Projects: Apr 8-May 10

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