How will the historical narrative change in the digital age? Until recently, historians typically published papers and monographs, mostly authored by themselves. Public engagement, apart from the occasional newspaper articles, has rarely been their preferred way of sharing the results of their work. But new ways of making these results available are emerging. Software opens up new ways of displaying text and enhancing it with other media. How do these digital texts that are no longer “set in print” change the way we read and write history?
Hayden White: The Question of Narrative in Contemporary Historical Theory, https://www2.southeastern.edu/Academics/Faculty/jbell/white.pdf
Jack Dougherty and Kristen Nawrotzki: Writing History in the Digital Age. Introduction and How this book evolved, http://writinghistory.trincoll.edu/introduction-2012-spring/
Sherman Dorn: Is (Digital) History More Than an Argument about the Past?, http://writinghistory.trincoll.edu/revisioning/dorn-2012-spring/
- John Unsworth: Documenting the Reinvention of Text: The Importance of Failure, http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=jep;view=text;rgn=main;idno=3336451.0003.201
Stefan Tanaka: Pasts in a Digital Age, http://writinghistory.trincoll.edu/revisioning/tanaka-2012-spring/
Shawn Graham: Of Carrots and No Sticks; or, on Teaching Digital History with Gamification, http://www.playthepast.org/?p=3622
- Daniel J. Cohen and Roy Rosenzweig: Digital History. Owning the Past, http://chnm.gmu.edu/digitalhistory/copyright/
- Open access book publishing in writing studies: A case study
by Charles Bazerman, David Blakesley, Mike Palmquist, and David Russell, http://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2088/1920
- Tim Hitchcock, Academic History Writing and its Disconnects http://journalofdigitalhumanities.org/files/jdh_1_1.pd
- Anthony Grafton: Future Reading. Digitization and its discontents, http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/11/05/071105fa_fact_grafton?currentPage=al.
- Andreas Johnsen, Ralf Christensen and Henrik Moltke: Good Copy, Bad Copy: http://www.goodcopybadcopy.net/
Michael Wesch: The Machine is Us/ing Us (Final Version), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLlGopyXT_g
Michael Wesch, Information R/evolution: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4CV05HyAbM
Projects (in class)
We’ll split you in two groups. Take your time to explore these projects (or other ones that you like) and read a bit about how, by whom, when, with which intention they were made. Work on the following questions:
- Who are the targeted audiences? Why would it appeal to them?
- Is it a narrative?
- Can it interact with existing historical knowledge and offer new insights? Does it make an argument?
- Does it satisfy your quality standards for good history
- Which purpose of history does the project cater for? How?
- History is about the coupling of sources (as Raul Hilberg nicely put it) and the contextualization of events. (How) Do these projects do this? Should they? Why yes/no?
- Freedom’s Ring, http://freedoms-ring.org/?view=Speech and The Speech, http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/aug/martin-luther-king
- The Roaring Twenties, http://vectorsdev.usc.edu/NYCsound/777b.html?utm_content=buffer1f897&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer
- Liberation Route, http://liberationroute.com/
We choose the moon, http://wechoosethemoon.org
- The Virupaksha Temple at Hampi – Microsoft digitalnarratives, http://www.digitalnarratives.net/Play.aspx?NarrativeId=0b768d07-c53a-456a-9c2c-b368b27c63fb
Miles Klee: 6 students created this stunning virtual tour of 17th-century London, http://www.dailydot.com/gaming/virtual-3d-tour-17th-century-london/
- The World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, http://www.ust.ucla.edu/ustweb/Projects/columbian_expo.htm
- Digital History Narratives, http://docsouth.unc.edu/classroom/narratives/narratives.html (try to track down their examples if you can)
- Robert Allen: Going to the Show, http://docsouth.unc.edu/gtts/
- The Long Women’s Movement, http://dhpress.org/mapping-the-long-womens-movement/
- War, What is it Good For? Learning from Wargaming, http://www.playthepast.org/?p=1819
- Holograms of Holocaust survivors let crucial stories live on, http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57568301-1/holograms-of-holocaust-survivors-let-crucial-stories-live-on/
Pick four of these projects (or other ones you like!). Write a 4-5 sentence review which focuses on the project’s strenghts, weaknesses, opportunities for future development and threats to history as we know it.
- Setup a Second Life account and install the software. Find out how history is represented and constructed there. (How) Is this different from the other projects?
Other interesting projects
- #OnThisDay hashtag on Twitter and day-by-day alignments by date of historical events, e.g @RealTimeWW1
- Adam Crymble’s PhD thesis, http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1628
- Operation War Diary, http://www.operationwardiary.org/#/diaries
- Old weather, https://www.zooniverse.org/project/oldweather
- Google Cultural Institute, http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/exhibit/the-statue-of-liberty/QRWHcXMU?projectId=historic-moments&hl=en
Tools of the week
Framapad, Commentpress and Google Docs