Schedule & Readings

Week 1: January 25-31

WELCOME!

Syllabus & Course Sneak Preview

* Review: Please watch the short welcome presentation and course sneak preview, link provided via email and on Blackboard.

Introductions (on Slack, by Feb 1)

* Please accept my invitation to our Slack space.
* Please introduce yourself on Slack and share a photo that tells us a little bit about yourself!

DUE (by Feb 1)

* Please respond to the short survey about technology and your specific interests that I will email you.

Week 2: February 1-7

Oral History & Public History

How did oral history evolve as a historical practice and genre? How does it fit in the context of academic history on the one hand, and public history on the other? What does it mean to “share historical authority”? How is it relevant for our course focusing on the digital past?

Please review (by February 8)

* My short presentation on oral history and public history (link distributed via email, Slack, and Blackboard) ~ 10 minutes

1. Linda Shopes, “What is Oral History?” From: History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web (2002), http://historymatters.gmu.edu/mse/oral/oral.pdf, pages 1-5.

2. Steve Zeitlin, “Where Are the Best Stories? Where Is My Story? Participation and Curation in a New Media Age,“ in: Letting Go? Sharing Historical Authority in a User-Generated World, ed. by: Bill Adair, Benjamin Filene, Laura Koloski (Philadelphia, PA: Pew Center for Arts & Heritage; Walnut Creek, PA: Distributed by Left Coast Press, 2011): 34-43. (I will distribute this article via email and on Blackboard)

3.“’Working’ Then and Now: Studs Terkel’s Book Interviews Resurface as Audio,” NPR Weekend edition, September 25, 2016 (5 minute listen, includes transcript), https://www.npr.org/2016/09/25/494740720/working-then-and-now-studs-terkels-book-interviews-resurface-as-audio

4. “Teenage Telephone Operator Reveals Loneliness In Terkel’s ‘Working’,” NPR, All Things Considered, September 27, 2016 (5 minute listen, includes transcript), https://www.npr.org/2016/09/27/495671371/teenage-telephone-operator-reveals-loneliness-in-terkels-working

5. Interview about dust storms in Oklahoma, Shafter FSA Camp, August 5, 1940, Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Workers Collection (AFC 1985/001), Library of Congress (4:31 minutes) http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.afc/afcts.4120a1

Discussions on Slack (by February 8)

* Virtual field trip: This week, we’ll take a trip to an online historical resource and discuss our experiences on Slack. I will distribute a list of optional websites for your review and will also provide you with discussion questions. You may also choose your own site or resource for your field trip.

* Discussion of readings/audio recordings on Slack.

Week 3: February 8-14

Oral History and Technology, part 1: The development of field recording and oral history from phonograph cylinders to digital audio and video recorders

How has technology shaped the development of field recording and oral history? What has been the impact of digital media technology on the practice and genre of oral history? How has digital technology affected the preservation and accessibility of analog recordings?

Please review (by February 15)

* My short presentation on oral history and technology, part 1 (link distributed via email, Slack, and Blackboard) ~ 10 minutes

1. Listen to: “Story Corps and Stetson Kennedy,” NPR Talk of the Nation, May 23, 2005 (9 minutes, includes transcript), https://www.npr.org/transcripts/4663544

2. “Shove It Over”(vocals) performed by Zora Neale Hurston at Federal Music Project Office, Jacksonville, Florida, on June 18, 1939. Herbert Halpert 1939 Southern States Recording Expedition (AFC 1939/005) (2:47 minutes), https://www.loc.gov/item/flwpa000006/

3. “Throwback on a Comeback: The Last Cassette Tape Factory,” Great Big Story Podcast (2016), You Tube (3:13 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJ81-TMP4pI

4. Gerald Zahavi, “Notes from the Field: Digital History and Oral History,” Oral History and Digital Humanities, ed. by Douglas Boyd and Mary Larson (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), pp. 119-132. (I will distribute this article via email and on Blackboard)

Please also take a look at:

5. Timeline of the recorded sound industry, National Recording Preservation Plan, Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/programs/national-recording-preservation-plan/tools-and-resources/history/timeline/

6. History of sound recording, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_sound_recording

Discussions on Slack (small groups, by February 15)

* Stories and reflections about analog media

* Discussion of readings/audio and video recordings on Slack.

DUE (by February 15)

📝 QUIZ 1

DUE (by February 15)

* Please install your blog, write an “about” paragraph, and share a photo. I will provide you with detailed step-by-step guidelines for the installation of your blogs.

Week 4: February 15-21

Oral History and Technology, part 2: The development of field recording and oral history from phonograph cylinders to digital audio and video recorders

How has technology shaped the development of field recording and oral history? What has been the impact of digital media technology on the practice and genre of oral history? How has digital technology affected the preservation and accessibility of analog recordings?

Please review (by February 22)

* My short presentation on oral history and technology, part 2 (link distributed via email, Slack, and Blackboard) – ~ 10 minutes

1. How are vinyl records made? A look inside Oregon’s first record pressing facility, The Oregonian, April 12, 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dbqzx0tUnPM

2. Doug Boyd, “Achieving the Promise of Oral History in a Digital Age,” Oxford Handbook of Oral History, ed. by Donald Ritchie (Oxford: Oxford University Press: 2010), pp. 285-302. (Distributed in class.)

3. Passamaquoddy song of the Snake Dance, Jesse Walter Fewkes collection of Passamaquoddy cylinder recordings, recorded in Calais, Maine on March 15, 1890 by Jesse Walter Fewkes, Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2015655575/

4. Personal Digital Archiving: An Introduction (New City Library, Aug 8, 2014), https://guides.rcls.org/personaldigitalarchiving

5. We’ll also discuss a few personal digital archiving guidelines and toolkits, including:

* Digital Archiving Research Guide: https://guides.lib.umich.edu/c.php?g=992751
(This is one of the best and most recent guides on digital personal archiving from the University of Michigan Libraries based on the principles: Select; Gather; Organize; Backup; Maintain)

Discussions on Slack (by February 22)

* Personal digital archiving – how can we ensure that we don’t lose our most valued and important files?

* Student-led discussion of readings/audio and video recordings on Slack.

DUE (by February 22)

* Blog post 1: Primary source analysis and discussion (I will provide you with a list of optional sources you can analyze and guidelines)

Week 5: February 22-28

Navigating the Internet & Discovering and Evaluating Online Sources

How do we find reliable primary and secondary sources online, including for our final project? How do you evaluate the reliability of online sources? What is metadata and how can we use it effectively for the discovery of materials? How do search engines work and how do they control our lives?

Please review (by March 1)

* My short presentation on navigating the Internet and discovering and evaluating online sources (link distributed via email, Slack, and Blackboard) – ~ 10 minutes

1. Evaluating Internet Resources, Georgetown University Library, https://www.library.georgetown.edu/tutorials/research-guides/evaluating-internet-content

2. How Google search works: https://www.google.com/search/howsearchworks/

3. Interview with Siva Vaidhyanathan (The Googlization of Everything), University of California Press Podcast, Feb. 17, 2011, available on Soundcloud (16:08 min), https://soundcloud.com/uc-press/podcast-interview-of-siva-vaidhyanathan-author-of-the-googlization-of-everything-available-now

4. Jason Steinhauer, Can an Oral History be Fake News? Hindsights, November 3, 2017, https://medium.com/hindsights/can-an-oral-history-be-fake-news-70864d5a10cf

5. “Technologies To Create Fake Audio And Video Are Quickly Evolving,” NPR, April 2, 2018 (3 minute listen), https://www.npr.org/2018/04/02/598916380/technologies-to-create-fake-audio-and-video-are-quickly-evolving

DUE (by March 1)

📝 QUIZ 2

Discussions on Slack (by March 1)

* Student-led discussion of readings/audio and video recordings on Slack.

Week 6: March 1-7

Copyrights & Fair Use

Evaluating copyrights and fair use, locating online sources and artwork, including music and photographs, licensed under Creative Commons.

Please review (by March 8)

Presentation by guest speaker:

1. Aaron McCullough, Copyright Basics, George Mason University Publishing Group, March 7, 2018, https://publishing.gmu.edu/communication/copyright/copyright-basics/

2. “A brief history of why artists are no longer making a living making music,” Ian Tamblyn, Roots Music Canada, March 14, 2019, https://www.rootsmusic.ca/2019/03/14/a-brief-history-of-why-artists-are-no-longer-making-a-living-making-music/

3. “Pioneering punk label Dischord Records put entire catalogue online free,” Far Out, May 3, 2020, https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/dischord-records-punk-bandcamp-free/

DUE (by March 8)

📝 QUIZ 3

Discussions on Slack (by March 8)

* Exploring Creative Commons, the Internet Archive, Bandcamp and the Free Music Archive

* Student-led discussion of readings/audio and video recordings on Slack.

Week 7: March 8-14

Online Ethics: Privacy, informational self-determination, and the protection of culturally sensitive materials

What are the major ethical implications of doing oral history online, and how do the principles of informational self-determination and informed consent play out in an online environment? What are the major privacy issues in an online environment and how can we protect our own privacy? How can ethical stewardship of culturally sensitive materials be implemented in a digital environment? What are some guidelines for “documenting the now” and how are different projects implementing these guidelines?

Please review (by March 15)

* My short presentation on online ethics, privacy and the protection of culturally sensitive materials (link distributed via email, Slack, and Blackboard) – ~ 10 minutes

1. Troy Reeves, “What Do You Think You Own, or Legal/Ethical Concerns,” in Oral History in the Digital Age, edited by Doug Boyd, Steve Cohen, Brad Rakerd, and Dean Rehberger. Washington, D.C.: Institute of Museum and Library Services, 2012, http://ohda.matrix.msu.edu/2012/06/what-do-you-think-you-own/

2. “How to Protect Your Digital Privacy,” The New York Times, The Privacy Project, https://www.nytimes.com/guides/privacy-project/how-to-protect-your-digital-privacy

3. “Leaked Documents Reveal What TikTok Shares with Authorities — in the U.S.,” The Intercept, August 10, 2020, https://theintercept.com/2020/08/10/blueleaks-tiktok-law-enforcement-privacy/

4. Ry Moran, “Indigenous people should decide on matters of access to archival information,” International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 2016, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4926096/

4. Mukurtu Archive, “About” page: http://www.mukurtuarchive.org/about

5. Documenting the Now, https://www.docnow.io/

6. Preserve the Baltimore Uprising Project, https://www.baltimoreuprising2015.org/

DUE (by March 15)

📝 QUIZ 4

Discussions on Slack (by March 15)

* Online privacy exercise and discussion

* Student-led discussion of readings/audio and video recordings on Slack.

Week 8: March 15-21

Online Access and Ethics: Accessibility and Digital Inequalities  

During the ongoing COVID 19 crisis, as millions of people in the United States and around the world have stayed home to help with containing the virus, access to the internet has become an even more important lifeline to access work, education, groceries, health care, and social activities. At the same time, digital divides left millions of other people, often from marginalized and low-income communities, behind. This week, we will discuss inequalities of access to the internet on several levels, including digital divides exposed by the COVID 19 health and economic crisis. How do these divides impact access to education and knowledge, including in our own communities in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC? What strategies exist to address these divides and what can we do to increase accessibility to digital resources? We’ll also discuss the long-standing struggle to increase accessibility for people with disabilities and special needs, many of whom were particularly impacted by the COVID 19 crisis.

Please review (by March 22)

* My short presentation on online access and ethics (link distributed via email, Slack, and Blackboard) – ~ 10 minutes

1. “A ‘Covid Slide’ Could Widen the Digital Divide for Students,” Wired, August 7, 2020, https://www.wired.com/story/schools-digital-divide-remote-learning/

2. ‘We’re in another world’: Coronavirus lays bare digital divide in rural Virginia,” June 13, 2020, https://roanoke.com/news/local/were-in-another-world-coronavirus-lays-bare-digital-divide-in-rural-virginia/article_953a3621-5411-56b7-94c0-9c79b480252f.html

3. “Schools are some families’ best hope for Internet access, but Virginia laws are getting in the way,” Washington Post, May 26, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/schools-are-some-families-best-hope-for-internet-access-but-virginia-laws-are-getting-in-the-way/2020/05/22/520cc46c-95f3-11ea-82b4-c8db161ff6e5_story.html

4. Stories of Web Users, W3C, Web Accessibility Initiative, https://www.w3.org/WAI/people-use-web/user-stories/

DUE (by March 22)

* Project proposal initial draft, including bibliography

Discussions on Slack (by March 22)

* Student-led discussionof readings/audio and video recordings on Slack.

🧰 Skills & tools exercise, option 1 (March 22)

* Install Zotero and export your draft bibliography

(Step-by-step instructions provided)

Week 9: March 22-28

Reading and recap week.

Week 10: March 29-April 4

Interviewing remotely and podcast production, part 1.

While you may not do your own remote oral history interview as part of the coursework, there will be – most likely – situations where you will have to facilitate or participate in other types of remote interviews in in the near future, including in job interviews. So, this week, we’ll go over a few general guidelines on remote interviewing, and you will have the opportunity to practice remote interviewing  with your peers. We’ll also discuss writing for podcasts and podcast production.

Please review (by April 5)

* My short presentation on remote interviewing (link distributed via email, Slack, and Blackboard) – ~ 10 minutes

*Interview with Roger Mellen, writing for podcasts: http://hist390-kh.org/podcast/writing-for-podcasts-interview-with-roger-mellen-part-1/

* Take a look at: StoryCorps Connect: https://storycorps.org/introducing-storycorps-connect-a-new-way-to-come-together-through-remote-conversations/

* 2-page summary: Oral History at a Distance: Conducting Remote Interviews Webinar, pdf downloadable from: https://www.oralhistory.org/2020/03/26/webinar-oral-history-at-a-distance-conducting-remote-interviews/

*Starting your Podcast: A Guide for Students, NPR, 2018: https://www.npr.org/2018/11/15/662070097/starting-your-podcast-a-guide-for-students

📝 DUE (by April 5)

* Blog post 2: Podcast or online exhibition review and discussion (I will provide you with a list of optional podcasts or exhibitions you can analyze and guidelines)

DUE (by April 5)

* Project proposal peer review

Discussions on Slack (by April 5)

* Student-led discussion of readings and exercise experiences on Slack.

Week 11: April 5-11

Doing digital history in public, connecting with communities, part 1

What are the opportunities and challenges of doing public history in a digital environment? How can oral history be used most effectively in community engagement and collaborative projects?

Please review:

1. Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, http://hurricanearchive.org/

2. Sheila A. Brennan and T. Mills Kelly, Why Collecting History Online is Web 1.5, Center for History and New Media Case Study, March 2009, https://rrchnm.org/essay/why-collecting-history-online-is-web-1-5/

* How to hook your podcast audience, NPR Training, March 27, 2017, https://training.npr.org/2017/03/27/how-to-hook-your-podcast-audience/

* Radio audiences: More vocal than ever before, UNESCO Courier, January 2020, https://en.unesco.org/courier/2020-1/radio-audiences-more-vocal-ever

DUE (by April 12)

* Project proposal revision

Discussions on Slack (by April 12)

* Student-led discussion of readings/audio and video recordings on Slack.

Discussions on Slack (by April 12)

* Student-led discussion of readings/audio and video recordings on Slack.

*Small group discussions of project proposals

🧰 Skills & tools exercise, option 2

* Embedding timed audio and video in your blogs

🧰 Skills & tools exercise, option 3

* Doing and recording a remote interview in Zoom or StoryCorps Connect.

🧰 Skills & tools exercise, option 4

* Creating and adding closed captions and transcripts to audio and video recordings

🧰 Skills & tools exercise, option 5

* Audio editing in Audacity or Hindenburg exercise

🧰 Skills & tools exercise, option 6

* Video editing exercise

🧰 Skills & tools exercise, option 7

* Creating powerpoint slides with audio or video narration exercise

Week 12: April 12-18

Doing digital history in public, connecting with communities, part 2

What are the opportunities and challenges of doing public history in a digital environment? How can oral history be used most effectively in community engagement and collaborative projects?

Please review:

1. Jeff Manuel, Public history and public libraries: A natural affinity, National Council on Public History, April 28, 2015, https://ncph.org/history-at-work/public-history-and-public-libraries/

2. DIG DC: District of Columbia Public Library, https://www.dclibrary.org/digdc

3. Sharon Leon, “Complexity and Collaboration: Doing Public History in a Digital Environment,” in The Oxford Handbook of Public History, edited by Paula Hamilton and James B. Gardner (Oxford University Press, 2017). (Distributed via email and on Blackboard)

Discussions on Slack (by April 19)

* Student-led discussionof readings/audio and video recordings on Slack.

* Progress reports (small group discussions)

Week 13: April 19-25

* Final project draft presentations

🥳 🎈 Virtual social gathering 🎈 🥳

Week 14: April 26-May 2

Last week of classes

Final project draft presentations & wrap-up

Final projects due: May 10, 2021, by midnight

Syllabus credits

This course’s structure and assignments are inspired by and based on syllabi from other HIST 390 instructors, especially from Professors Mills Kelly, Abby Mullen, Mike O’Malley and Stephen Robertson, as well as from oral history courses taught by Linda Shopes, Rachel Gelfand, Dan Whitman, among others. Roy Rosenzweig’s pioneering Clio Wired courses continue to be an inspiration for doing digital history, inside and outside the classroom. I thank my History 390 colleagues Abby Mullen, Mills Kelly & Stephen Robertson and Nate Sleeter as well as my Teaching Square colleagues Jennifer Ashley, Robin Ericson, Sanja Avramovic and the Stearns Center staff for inspiration and support for online teaching, and am grateful to Sharon Leon for generously sharing reading materials with me. Netiquette adapted from Rebecca Barrett-Fox.

License: Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Version: January 18, 2021