Schedule and Readings

Schedule & Readings

Week 1: August 22-28

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 Monday, August 29)

* 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 Monday, August 29)

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

Week 2: August 29-September 4

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 September 6)

* 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.“’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

Option 1: “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

Option 2: 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

Option 3: ‘I Didn’t Plan To Be A Union Guy’, ‘Working’ Then And Now, All Things Considered, NPR, Sept. 29, 2016,  https://www.npr.org/2016/09/29/495916035/working-then-and-now-i-didnt-plan-to-be-a-union-guy

Discussions on Slack (by September 6)

* 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. I’ll share detailed instructions via email.

Week 3: September 6-11

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 September 12)

* 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 (by September 12)

* Stories and reflections about analog media

DUE (by September 12)

📝 QUIZ 1

DUE (by September 12)
* Blog: 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: September 12-18

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 September 19)

* 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 September 19)

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

DUE (by September 19)

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

Week 5: September 19-25

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 September 26)

* 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 September 26)

📝 QUIZ 2

Discussions on Slack (by September 26)

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

Week 6: September 26-October 2

Copyrights & Fair Use

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

Presentation by guest speaker:

Please review (by Oct 3, 2022)


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 Oct 3)

📝 QUIZ 3

Discussions on Slack (by Oct 3)

* Copyrights & fair use

* Making art & making a living

Week 7: October 3-9

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 Oct 11)

* 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/

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

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

DUE (by Oct 11)

* Project proposal initial idea (via email)

Discussions on Slack (by Oct 11)

* Online privacy exercise, AI exercise, and discussion

Week 8: Oct 10-16

Fall break – reading period

Week 9: Oct 17-23

Interviewing remotely and podcast production

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 October 24)

* Oral History at Home, Five East Steps, Smithsonian Institution (very short film, 02:15 minutes), Smithsonian Institution, 2020: https://siarchives.si.edu/history/how-do-oral-history 

* Writing for Podcasts: My interview with Roger Mellen, April 17, 2020, https://hist390-kh.org/podcast/writing-for-podcasts-interview-with-roger-mellen-part-1/ 

Length: 9:21 

Please also review/skim (especially if you’re planning to produce a podcast):  

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

* 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/ 

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

Guest speaker:

📝 DUE (by October 24)

* 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)

Discussions on Slack (by October 24)

* Student-led discussionof readings and exercise experiences on Slack.

Week 10: October 24-30

Final project preparation and recap week: Primary source research and analysis; final project discussion, copyrights & ethics; radio and podcast production.

Discussions on Slack (by Oct 31)

* Student-led discussionwith guest speakers on Slack.

DUE (by Oct 31)

Final project about paragraph (please share on Slack)

Week 11: October 31-November 6

Final project preparation and recap week: Primary source research and analysis; final project discussion, copyrights & ethics.

DUE (by November 7)

* Final project annotated bibliographies

🧰 Skills & tools exercise, option 1

* Install Zotero and export your draft bibliography

(Step-by-step instructions provided)

Week 12: November 7-13

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 November 14)

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

1. ‘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

2. “Native Americans On Tribal Land Are ‘The Least Connected’ To High-Speed Internet,” NPR, December 6, 2018, https://www.npr.org/2018/12/06/673364305/native-americans-on-tribal-land-are-the-least-connected-to-high-speed-internet 

3. (Skim): Elizabeth Liverman, A Closer Look at Virginia’s Digital Divide in Education, SCHEV Insights, Sept. 10, 2020, https://schev.edu/index/reports/insights/insights/2020/09/10/a-closer-look-at-virginia-s-digital-divide-in-education 

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

DUE (by November 14)

* Final project detailed outline

Discussions on Slack (by November 14)

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

Week 14: November 14-20

Doing digital history in public, connecting with communities

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? What are the benefits, what are the challenges of rapid response collecting?

Reading: Mark Tebeau, A Journal of the Plague Year: Rapid-Response Archiving Meets the Pandemic, Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals 17:3 (2021): 199–206.

Discussions on Slack (by November 21)

* Student-led discussionwith guest speakers on Slack.

DUE (by November 21)

* FINAL PROJECT DRAFT

Week 15: November 21-27                                                         

🌽 Thanksgiving break! 🦃

* Final project draft presentations & discussion

Week 16: November 28-December 3

Last week of classes!

🥳 🎈 Virtual social gathering 🎈 🦃

* Final project draft presentations & discussion, wrap-up

Final projects due: December 5, 2022

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, my Teaching Square colleagues Jennifer Ashley, Robin Ericson, Sanja Avramovic, and the Stearns Center staff for inspiration and support for online teaching, and my TAs and colleagues Laura Crossley and Corinne Wilkinson. 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: August 8, 2022