Digital Public History Course for an iSchool

I’m excited to announce that I will be teaching my digital public history graduate seminar again! I am tweaking the course I taught for American University’s Public History Program (in 2011 and 2012) and will be teaching it as a special topics course this spring in the University of Maryland’s iSchool program.

So, if you are a grad student at UMD (or if you have friends that are) it will be Thursday nights, 6:00-845 in College Park Maryland.

Here is the blurb on the course:

Digital Public History, LBSC 708 (Section D), College Park Maryland, Thursday nights, 6:00-845 

This course will explore the current and potential impact of digital media on the theory and practice of history. We will focus on how digital tools and resources are enabling new methods for analysis in traditional print scholarship and the possibilities for new forms of scholarship. For the former, we will explore tools for text analysis and visualization as well as work on interpreting new media forms as primary sources for historical research. For the latter, we will explore a range of production of new media history resources, including practical work on project management and design. As part of this process we will read a range of works on designing, interpreting and understanding digital media. Beyond course readings we will also critically engage a range of digital tools and resources.

Below is a bit of a scratch pad for how I am thinking about tweaking things for the course. I am curious for other comments/suggestions for things to consider with these.

Topics/Weeks I am Considering Swapping in

At the moment there are four areas I am considering as potential revisions/additions to the week by week topics of the course.

Books I am Considering Adding or Swapping in

One of the things I need to get done sooner rather than later is decide on what books I’m going to keep and or swap out. Here are a few I am considering. I am curious to hear if there are any other books folks think I should be considering.

Reviewing Some Syllabi for Related Courses 

I’ve been trying to keep track of some great looking relevent/related courses to review. This is the list I have so far. I’d love to know of other courses folks think I should take a look at.

So, what do you think?



3 Replies to “Digital Public History Course for an iSchool”

  1. Hey Trevor,

    You should add Sharon Leon’s Digital Public History course in that list as well:

    I would suggest that you add some public history lit in there, too, especially since this is an iSchool. You’ll need to discuss it, and also how it contrasts with and can complement digital history. Perhaps something like this,

    I also think Denise Meringolo’s book, Museums, Monuments, and National Parks has a great intro that lays out the evolution of public history as a professional field that is useful.

    Another thing I’d recommend is the Letting Go compilation of essays on sharing historical authority in museums. This may not be something that the students come to class with an understanding about, and I think that they essays do a pretty good job of explaining why public historians, curators, et al, have difficulty with user-generated content and sharing, and then some examples of why and how this actually very much in line with the philosophy of doing public history as a collaborative venture.

  2. These are fantastic suggestions Sheila! I do need a good bit more core public history material in here and Sharon’s course is perfect for that. Shifting from teaching a digital history course for a public history program to a digital public history course for a information school means I can’t assume the same kind of background and context on the public history side and your suggestions are great for giving me what I need to do that 🙂

  3. Trevor-
    Thanks for this; I am in the process of planning for the teaching of an online Public History class focusing in digital history tools this Spring and your work is very helpful. I would add to the list you have this:
    as much for the structure and layout of the course as the actual content.


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