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Assignment due next class

Group Project discussion

Reading on Social Media and History

  • Lauren Martin, “Archiving Tweets,” Cac.ophony.org. (Read post and comments).
    • “Every public tweet, ever, since Twitter’s inception in March 2006, will be archived digitally at the Library of Congress”
    • “… Do you think tweets are something worth archiving? Are there privacy concerns? Will knowledge that your tweets will be archived change the nature of what you write? Any other thoughts or concerns?”
    • “Uncle Fred’s tweet about his failed sandwich won’t be noteworthy in isolation; but, as part part of say, a complex database compiled from millions of tweets about food habits cross-checked against location and date, I could see it being part of a scholarly argument.”
  • Jeff Howe, “The Rise of Crowdsourcing,” Wired, June 2006.
    • Examples: iStockphoto, VH1, InnoCentive (“solvers”) 
    • Factors: Power of the crowd, low barrier of entry
    • Questions: Which problems/questions require full time professionals to solve?  Which are better solved by hobbyists?
  • Bill LeFurgy, “Crowdsourcing the Civil War: Insights Interview with Nicole Saylor,” The Signal: Digital Preservation, December 6, 2011.
    • Crowd sourcing transcription
    • Scripto (CHNM)
    • Modeled on Zooniverse
    • Importance of acknowledgement and rewards for transcribers
    • “I really like how Sharon Leon, a historian at George Mason University, addressed that question in a New York Times article. ‘We’re not looking for perfect,’ she said. ‘We’re looking for progressive improvement, which is a completely different goal from someone who is creating a letter-press edition.’
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Announcements

  • Progress Report emailed earlier today
  • Parameters for final group project, individual paper, and group presentation

Audio Project Review

Social Media – Reading

  • Oscar Rosales Castañeda, “Writing Chicana/o History with the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project,” in Writing History in the Digital Age, 2012.
    • Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project
    • Project components
      • oral histories
      • films and slide shows
      • research reports
    • What is the place of historical argument (E.g., regarding segregation, diaspora, etc.) in this project?
    • What is the role of collaboration in this project?
    • How is this project social? How does it combine elements of social media with academic history?
  • Amanda Grace Sikarskie, “Citizen Scholars: Facebook and the Co-Creation of Knowledge,” in Writing History in the Digital Age, 2012.
    • The Quilt Index
    • Use of the term “Citizen Scholars”
    • What is gained in crowd sourcing a project such as this?  What is lost?  
    • What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Facebook for handling the social media aspect of this project?
    • What role should “lay historians” have in producing history? What is the most effective relationship between lay and professional historians? 

Final Project Progress Reports

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Audio project proposals

  • Workshop selected posts
  • Clarify instructions for production

Public History – Reading

Anne Trubek, “A City’s History, Made Mobile,” Yahoo News, June 6, 2012.

  • What is public history?
    • what are some of the tensions between public history and “academic history”?
  • Cleveland Historical – mobile app
    • Developed by the Center for Public History and the Digital Humanities at Cleveland State University
    • Geo-located entries, GPS automatically locates text, photos, and videos
    • Uses Omeka (4 minute “What is Omeka” video), Curatescape
    • Community storytelling
    • Wide collaboration across individuals, community organizations, educational institutions, etc.
    • Review current state of project on Cleveland Historical website
  • Related examples

Blogs@Baruch Q&A

Assignments

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Reading, due by class time on Monday:

Nov 19: The goals of public history

Audio Assignment

You will choose and do an assignment from the DS106 Audio Assignment Bank. This project can be related or unrelated to your group project.

Here is a guide to producing audio.

By 8:00 am on Monday, November 19, write a post that includes the following:

  1. Which audio assignment will you be doing.
  2. What hardware and software will you be using.
  3. A statement about how this approach to storytelling might be used to make an historical argument.

By 5:50 pm on Wednesday, November 21, post your audio production (hosted on Soundcloud) to the course blog along with an updated statement about how this approach to storytelling might be used to make an historical argument.  

 

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Discussion of Site Maps

  • Group by group review
  • Restatement of guiding historical questions

Reading Review:

Bill Nichols, “The Voice of Documentary,” in Alan Rosenthal, ed., New Challenges for Documentary

  • Documentary strategies and styles have a history
  • Four major strategies presented, evaluating strengths and limitations
    • Direct-address, Griersonian, off-screen narration
    • Cinema verite, everyday lives, portable cameras, “transparent”
    • Interview-oriented 
    • Self-reflexive, acknowledge documentaries have always been “forms of re-presentation”
  • Question of “voice”
  • Importance of balancing raw data with interpretation, linking evidence with argument (while providing proper context)
  • Reading/Writing the silences

Next Steps

  • GET CAUGHT UP.
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Reading, due by class time on Monday:

Bill Nichols, “The Voice of Documentary,” in Alan Rosenthal, ed., New Challenges for Documentary

Group Work, post due by 8:00am on Monday: 

Together as a group you should create a detailed site map that outlines the organization of the assets you presented in class for the last assignment.  Remember that your project needs to cover the following areas: spatial history, data mining and analysis, textual analysis, and visual and aural culture.  All four of these areas should be represented in your site map.

You may design and publish your site map outside of our class blog, but write a post with the map embedded (preferable) or linked to.

Your post should include the following:

  • A statement of your historical question in a single sentence
  • A visual representation of how your final product will be organized for readers/viewers (this is the site map) — be as specific as you can about how users will navigate through the various forms of material you will present
  • Reference to tools that will be employed to analyze data before it gets presented on your site
  • Reference to tools that will be employed to display information on your site
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Model Graphical Representations of Data Around Hurricane Sandy

Reading

Joshua Brown, “History and the Web, From the Illustrated Newspaper to Cyberspace: Visual Technologies and Interaction in the Nineteenth and Twenty-First Centuries

  • “Our consciousness of the past is inextricably bound by pictures”
  • Increase in pictorial archives because of digital media
  • Images as evidence, not just extraneous/illuminate
  • Cyberspace can be immersive, encyclopedic (based on database architecture)
  • Navigating virtual space
  • Integration of info vs linkage
  • 19th century increase in pictures with text, Frank Leslie’s and Harpers
  • Narrative and story telling

Errol Morris, “Photography as a Weapon.”

  • Authenticity and manipulation of images 
  • http://fluxmachine.tumblr.com/
  • Photographs can deceive in many ways (can be as simple as changed captions)

Group Work Updates

  • Plagiarism review

 

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Model Graphical Representations of Data

Reading

  • Frederick W. Gibbs and Trevor J. Owens, “The Hermeneutics of Data and Historical Writing,” in Writing History in the Digital Age, 2012.
  • What does “hermeneutics” mean?
  • New methods of interacting with data demand new transparency from historical presentation
    • Process important (methodology)
    • Why?
    • What is potential cost to narrative history?
  • What are data?
    • Evidence for historical argument
    • More than evidence: creation of data, interaction with data, interpretation of data
    • Combining different kinds of datasets enables “new way to triangulate historical knowledge.”  Is this new?
    • “Historians must treat data as text….”
  • Visualizing data
    • “Aesthetic provocation”; dynamic process
    • The “value of screwing around”: quantitative data more than just math and statistics: discovering, framing, identifying trends
  • Failure

Group Work

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By Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 5:50pm:

  • Also:
    • Review the comments we left on your group’s post sharing the secondary sources you’ve identified  (we will comment by noon on Tuesday). Someone from each group must respond to our feedback by class time on Wednesday.
    • Establish a strategy within your group for digesting the secondary sources you’ve located. This should be the beginning of your background reading, which should NOT be limited to what you’ve selected here. Be prepared to present this strategy to the class on Wednesday.
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Group Projects:

  • Secondary source: a book or article
  • Sharing workload
  • Will focus on group projects on Wednesday
“GIS often ends up emphasizing not the constructed-ness of space but rather its given-ness, which is fine if you are setting out to bomb something or go out to eat, but not so good if you are trying to understand a wider spectrum of human constructions of space over time.” – Richard White

Guest Speaker:

Prof. John Maciuika, Associate Professor of Art and Architectural History, Baruch College. 

Reading Review:

Richard White, “What is Spatial History?” Spatial History Lab: Working paper; Submitted February 1, 2010.

  • The Spatial Turn
  • Collaborative process of creating “visualizations”
  • “Space itself is historical” [it is something that humans produce over time, especially through movement]
  • Relation of representational space to actual space — can be revealed through layering of data
    • Representations of space and representational space
  • Mapping as a tool for *doing research,* not just communicating information
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By Monday, Oct. 15, at 8:00am:

  • Complete Reading:
    • Richard White, “What is Spatial History?” Spatial History Lab: Working paper; Submitted February 1, 2010.
    • Explore Hypercities.com. Come with a question about historical maps for our guest speaker.
  • Blog Post(s):
    • Each member of your group
      • In 200-300 words answer the following questions: How could your group use text mining to answer the historical question(s) you’ve proposed thus far?
    • One member of the group:
      • post 3-5 secondary sources your group will be reading to provide background information.
      • For secondary sources, you might look at JSTOR, search the library catalog, or consult a librarian. Comment on this post if you have any questions that you think we can help you with.
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Announcements

Reading

James Grossman, “‘Big Data’: An Opportunity for Historians?” March 2012.
  • Big Data
  • “And because we [historians] look for stories—for ways of synthesizing diverse strands into narrative themes—we usually look for interactions among variables that to other eyes might not seem related.”
  • Importance of collaboration: e.g., joining “the historian’s facility with sifting and contextualizing information to the computer scientist’s (or marketing professional’s) ability to generate and process data.”

Ted Underwood, “Where to start with text mining,” The Stone and the Shell, August 14, 2012

  • “Quantitative analysis starts to make things easier only when we start working on a scale where it’s impossible for a human reader to hold everything in memory.”
    • quantitative v. qualitative?
  • Close reading v. distant reading
  • OCR challenges with primary sources
  • Wordle
  • Tools?  Some programming needed.
  • “you can build complex arguments on a very simple foundation”
  • What can we do?
    • Categorize documents
    • Contrast the vocabulary of different corpora
    • Trace the history of particular features (words or phrases) over time (e.g. ngram viewer, Bookworm)
    • Cluster features that tend to be associated in a given corpus of documents (aka topic modeling)
    • Entity extraction
    • Visualization (e.g. geographically, network graph)

Group Projects

Group 1
Caroline, Anton, Eli, Cameron, Leanardo

Group 2
Estevan, Tatsiana, Phillip, Jordan Burgos

Group 3 – Instigator
Felipe, Jordan Smith, Robert, Pablo

Group 4 – Contra
Guang, Cary, William, Stephen, Shaif


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By Monday, Oct. 8, at 8:00am:

  • One person from each group should make a post on behalf of the entire group.  For the list of members in the groups, see this post.
  • The post should include:
    • A name for your group
    • 2-3 historical questions you are considering answering in your project
    • A brief description of the expected scope of your project
    • A list of challenges and potential problems that you are having now, or anticipate will arise as you work on the project
    • Optional: discuss technologies, formats, and work-flow that you may employ
  • You are free to establish your own collaborative process. We highly recommend Google Docs

By Wednesday, October 10, at 8:00am:

Leave one comment on each of three different posts (other than your own group).  In each comment, raise at least one question about the proposed plan.  You are encouraged to say something positive, but remember to also challenge their thinking (remember, history is contested).

By Wednesday, October 10, at 5:50pm:

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Announcements

  • No class Monday.

Reading

  • Thiemer, Brier and Brown, “A Practical Guide to Collaborative Documentation in the Digital Age”
  • Compare the processes: http://911digitalarchive.org/ and http://braceroarchive.org/
  • Key concepts
    • An archive or a collection?
    • “archivist-historians”
    • born-digital vs. digitized acquisitions
    • inequality of access to digital media
    • review different methods of inputting information: text and image scans, emails, websites, listservs, text via form on site, images and video via upload, call-in system, collaborations with other collectors (e.g. Sonic Memorial Project and Here is New York: A Democracy of Photographs), digital and analog interviews and sound recordings (including collaborations with Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center, and the Chinatown Documentation Project
    • Insuring a range of perspectives
    • Challenges: more standardized open-source database and web publishing platform, more complete metadata, redesigned web site, permanent archival home (expected to turn over to LOC in 2013), 508(c).
  • Quotes from the Bracero Historical Archive that are useful for planning your group project
    • “First, decide what kind of collaboration you wish to have, since that decision informs the rest of the process, from technical to communication considerations. If your partners will merely be commenting on each others’ work, you can afford to think more about ways to share files and accommodate the comment process.”
    • “If your partners will each be contributing work to the project, or if there are task- sharing aspects to your project, you must also ensure that partners have the ability to contribute efficiently and that you can hold each other accountable for your contributions.”
    • “Make sure each partner understands exactly what their contributions are, and when those contributions are due. You will use meetings or other communications to manage those deliverables, but it is crucial that all partners are agreeing to the same thing.”
    • “Flexibility is key. No project is able to anticipate all problems or challenges before they occur, but simply acknowledging that challenges may arise, and allowing time and budget for those challenges is helpful. For example, deciding as a partnership that in the event of an unanticipated technical problem, Partner A will take the lead in resolving it, means that you will not lose valuable time assigning that responsibility at a critical moment.”

Group Project Breakout Discussions

Group 1
Caroline, Anton, Eli, Cameron, Leanardo

Group 2
Estevan, Tatsiana, Phillip, Jordan Burgos

Group 3
Felipe, Jordan Smith, Robert, Pablo

Group 4
Guang, Cary, William, Stephen, Shaif


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By October 3, class time: 

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Announcements

Blog Posts Review

  • Various shades of primary sources
  • Read every type of source in a range of ways
  • How do we assess the credibility of sources?
  • Agency and causation
  • Precision
  • From sources to an argument

Reading

James Grossman, “‘Big Data’: An Opportunity for Historians?” March 2012.
  • Free write: what is the difference between an “archive” and a “collection”?
  • Key Concepts:
    • Archive vs. collection
    • Provenance
    • Original order
    • Collective control
    • Authenticity
      “Materials created or received by a person, family, or organization, public or private, in the conduct of their affairs and preserved because of the enduring value contained in the information they contain or as evidence of the functions and responsibilities of their creator, especially those materials maintained using the principles of provenance, original order, and collective control.

Stephen Brier and Joshua Brown, The September 11 Digital Archive: Saving the Histories of September 11, 2001, Radical History Review, Fall 2011.

  • http://911digitalarchive.org/
  • key concepts
    • Is this an archive or a collection?
    • “archivist-historians”
    • born-digital vs. scanned acquisitions
    • inequality of access to digital media
    • review different methods of inputting information: text and image scans, emails, websites, listservs, text via form on site, images and video via upload, call-in system, collaborations with other collectors (e.g. Sonic Memorial Project and Here is New York: A Democracy of Photographs), digital and analog interviews and sound recordings (including collaborations with Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center, and the Chinatown Documentation Project;
    • perspectives of “ordinary” people
    • challenges ahead: more standardized open-source database and web publishing platform, more complete metadata, redesigned web site, permanent archival home (expected to turn over to LOC in 2013)

Group Project

Group 1
Caroline, Anton, Eli, Cameron, Leanardo

Group 2
Estevan, Tatsiana, Phillip, Jordan Burgos

Group 3
Felipe, Jordan Smith, Robert, Pablo

Group 4
Guang, Cary, William, Stephen, Shaif


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Due Friday 9/28 by Midnight
  • Select a single primary source document from your previous post (it cannot be a newspaper article). Remember: you’re looking for a document that can tell us something about the role of cultural conflict in the 1968 presidential election.
  • Embed the document in a new post, either as an image file or as partial quote, with a link to the original source in the database. Read the following closely.
  • Answer the following questions as briefly as possible:
    • Who created the artifact?
    • When was the artifact created?
    • Where was it created?
    • Why was the document created?
    • Why is the document a primary source?
    • How trustworthy is the source?
    • What other questions might you ask of the source in order to better understand what it reveals about the events of 1968?
  • Then, write (at the end of that post) between 250-500 words that answer the following questions:
    • If you were going to be constructing an argument about the relationship between the cultural conflict embodied by the artifact you’re presenting and the 1968 election, what other artifacts would you look for? How might you go about finding them? What other background reading would you need to do? What other questions would you ask?

Due Monday 10/1 by 8am

  • Comment on at least two classmates’ posts. Have they successfully completed the assignment? Are you persuaded that they are on a viable path to making a historical argument?

Due Monday 10/1 by 5:50pm

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Blog Posts Review

  • Primary vs. secondary sources
  • Categories
  • Logistical challenges?
  • Conceptual challenges?
  • Models
from Sam Wineburg, “Thinking Like a Historian,”  TPS Quarterly.  
  • Sourcing: Think about a document’s author and its creation.
  • Contextualizing: Situate the document and its events in time and place.
  • Close reading: Carefully consider what the document says and the language used to say it.
  • Using Background Knowledge: Use historical information and knowledge to read and understand the document.
  • Reading the Silences: Identify what has been left out or is missing from the document by asking questions of its account.
  • Corroborating: Ask questions about important details across multiple sources to determine points of agreement and disagreement.
    • Ask students how they could proceed with this historical investigation: What questions arise, after careful reading and interpretation of the document? What other primary sources might corroborate or refute this interpretation? Have students discuss their responses in pairs and then share with the class.
Reading
Kate Theimer, “Archives in Context and as Context,” Journal of Digital Humanities, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Spring 2012)
  • Free write: what is the difference between an “archive” and a “collection”?
  • Key Concepts:
    • Archive vs. collection
    • Provenance
    • Original order
    • Collective control
    • Authenticity
      • “Materials created or received by a person, family, or organization, public or private, in the conduct of their affairs and preserved because of the enduring value contained in the information they contain or as evidence of the functions and responsibilities of their creator, especially those materials maintained using the principles of provenance, original order, and collective control.”
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Over the next two classes, you will be researching and constructing arguments about the role of “cultural conflict” in the 1968 presidential election.

By September 24th, 8:00am:

Find three primary sources that are each from a different database.  Post your sources to the blog — make sure no classmate has posted that sources already, if they have, find another! — with a brief description that includes:
a) what database you found the sources in;
b) who created it, when it was created, and where it was created (consult Sam Wineburg’s “Thinking Like a Historian” for the type of “meta” questions you should ask of a document); and
c) a brief statement on how each artifact speaks to the role of “cultural conflict” in the 1968 election. Your response should not merely be about a conflict, but about its relationship to that specific election.

If you are confused about what constitutes a primary source, see this primer from the Yale University libraries. If you’re still confused, ask us.

Do your best to upload a copy of the artifact to the blog, which can accept pdfs, or screenshots of documents. At the very least, link to the artifact. Again… if you’re stuck, ask us.

The Newman Library provides access to a range of databases. Click here to view them.

The databases you should search within are:

  • American Periodicals
  • AP Images
  • Art Museum Image Gallery
  • BlackThought and Culture
  • Cinema Image Gallery
  • Economist Historical Archive
  • Eighteenth Century Collections Online
  • Financial Times Historical Archive
  • In the First Person
  • JSTOR
  • New York Times (1951-2008)
  • Savings and Loan Crisis Digital Archives
  • Wall Street Journal (1889-1994)
  • Women and Social Movements

Next week, you will each craft a historical argument using the primary sources has collected. We will spend time talking about this on Monday.

In addition to the above assignment, complete the reading: Kate Theimer, “Archives in Context and as Context,” Journal of Digital Humanities, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Spring 2012).

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Review Assignment

  • Twitter conversations
  • Blog posts
  • Take aways from this assignment
    • blogging best practices
    • what is historical analysis?
      • what does it mean to construct an argument?
    • missing from responses: notion of network ethics, strong statements on “the commons.” Why?

Readings for Today

  • Sam Wineburg, “Thinking Like a Historian,” TPS Quarterly.
    • Key Concepts:
      • Reading documents: author, context, time period—that form a mental framework for the details to follow. Most important of all, these questions transform the act of reading from passive reception to an engaged and passionate interrogation.
      • Sourcing: Think about a document’s author and its creation.
      • Contextualizing: Situate the document and its events in time and place.
      • Close reading: Carefully consider what the document says and the language used to say it.
      • Using Background Knowledge: Use historical information and knowledge to read and understand the document.
      • Reading the Silences: Identify what has been left out or is missing from the document by asking questions of its account.
      • Corroborating: Ask questions about important details across multiple sources to determine points of agreement and disagreement
  • Cohen and Rosenzweig, Digital History, “Collecting History Online.”
    • Key Concepts:
      • Traditional archives v. Online
      • Interactivity
      • Preservation
      • Born Digital v. Digitized
      • Intellectual Property/Privacy/Authenticity

 

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