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Hist 4150/6150: Introduction to Digital Methods for History
spring 2017

Prof. Pamela Mack,, Hardin 006, office hours MWF 10-11, Wed. 1:15-2:15
Prof. Vernon Burton,, Hardin 20, office hours Tuesday 2:30-5, Wednesday 5-6 and by appointment, cell phone number 217-649-0608
class meetings: Wed. 2:30-5:00 in Hardin 024
this syllabus on the web:

Course Description: This course explores the practice of using digital technologies in the context of Historical and humanities scholarship. Through readings and practical, hands-on explorations of digital projects and resources, students will critically examine the history, theory, and practice of digital humanities/history.

Technologies that students will be introduced to will include: geographic and mapping tools, text and image analysis, website design and digital archives, social networking and network analysis, and historically-based gaming. Students will work, either individually or collaboratively, in the completion of a semester-long digital humanities project.

Student Learning Outcomes: By the end of the course students should be able to:

Course Requirements:

Class Participation: Come to class prepared to discuss the assignments and share ideas about the readings and digital tools or methods you worked with over the course of the week. Participation points are determined by your contribution to the discussion, in addition to the discussion questions you submit. Doing careful readings of the texts, raising questions about what you’ve read, and contributing thoughtfully to class discussion will ensure success

Blog: You may set up your blog using the system of your choice.  We recommend Blogger ( or Wordpress (  By the second class meeting, you should send the address of your blog to Prof. Mack at:  You should use your blog to:

Your posts should be more than just a summary of the readings. Think about the kinds of questions they raised for you, the themes and issues that emerged across the readings, and how those readings might relate to the previous week’s readings.

Student Blogs:

HTML/CSS: Complete the “Introduction to HTML,” HTML Structure: Using Lists.” “HTML Structure: Tables, DIVs, and SPANs,” and “Introduction to CSS” courses at (you will need to sign up for a free account). .

Final Project: The core of the course will be an original digital humanities project. The focus of your project can be on any theme that interests you, but must be approved  in advance. Your project will be substantial and engage with both the history and the methods learned in the course. Not all projects will be the same, but a good model for a your final project might include:

This is simply an example and we will work together to develop different types of projects.  Find a topic you are interested in, it can even be a database project (Prof. Burton has one on what happened to Civil War soldiers students can work on, for example).

Academic Integrity: As members of the Clemson University community, we have inherited Thomas Green Clemson's vision of this institution as a "high seminary of learning."  Fundamental to this vision is a mutual commitment to truthfulness, honor, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust and respect of others.  Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the value of a Clemson degree.  Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form.

This includes representing someone else's work as your own or handing in the same paper to two different courses without permission of the instructors.  Be careful to avoid plagiarism--text you take from a web site, from a book, or from the online class notes must be either quoted with the source given or restated almost entirely in your own words, with the source given.  Note that the catalog defines as one form of academic dishonesty: "Plagiarism, which includes the intentional or unintentional copying of language, structure, or ideas of another and attributing the work to one’s own efforts."  Note the word unintentional--if you forget to put quote marks or a reference you can be found guilty of academic dishonesty even if it was not your intention to cheat.

It is cheating to cut and paste or otherwise copy portions of a argument paper, exam, or discussion board posting from a book, web site, or from the online class notes, even if you change a few words, unless you quote and give the source.  It is poor writing for more than about 20% of your paper to consist of quotes.   In most cases when you use specific material from any source you should paraphrase: cite the source and put the ideas into you own words (generally no more than 5 consecutive words should match the source but if the words are mostly the same it could still be plagiarism even if there aren't 5 consecutive words).

Sexual Harassment: Clemson University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, veteran’s status, genetic information or protected activity (e.g., opposition to prohibited discrimination or participation in any complaint process, etc.) in employment, educational programs and activities, admissions and financial aid. This includes a prohibition against sexual harassment and sexual violence as mandated by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. This policy is located at life/campus-services/access/title-ix/.  Mr. Jerry Knighton is the Clemson University Title IX Coordinator. He also is the Director of Access and Equity. His office is located at 111 Holtzendorff Hall, 864.656.3181 (voice) or 864.565.0899 (TDD)

Laptops and Cell Phones:  Use of laptops, tablets and cell phones during class for purposes not related to this course is disrespectful to the instructor and distracting to other students.  You may use your devices to take notes during class or to look up further information on a topic being discussed.  Students using their devices during class may be called on to share what they are learning with the rest of the class.

Required reading is mostly online, as linked in the schedule.  Note that some readings require you to be logged into the Clemson network to access journal articles.  If you are away from campus, you can start from the library page and find the article or log into Novell using a Virtual Personal Network (VPN), which creates the appearance your computer is on the campus network.  Starting page for setting up a VPN: More info from CCIT: and

notes for fall 2017: Weller, History in the Digital Age,
Writing History in the Digital Age by Kristen Nawrotzki; Jack Dougherty


Jan. 11: Introduction and What is Digital History?

Jan. 18: What can you do with digital tools?  Guest: Gabe Hankins at 3 pm. Read:

Jan 25: Text analysis

Feb. 1: Building and Reviewing websites.  Read:

Feb. 8: Spatial history.  HTML/CSS assignment due Feb. 15:  GIS (for more advanced work sign up for additional workshops at
Feb. 22: GIS, continued, ArcGIS templates.  Project proposal due (post on your blog and bring a printout to class)

Mar. 1:  Oral history.  Read:

Mar. 8:  Organizing archival research and project peer discussion. Come prepared to discuss your progress on your project and give your classmates suggestions on theirs.  Write a blog post about what are the current frustrations and successes of your project.

Mar. 15: Digital presentation and communication

Mar. 29: Social Media and the Listening Lab.  Meet in 304 Daniel. Meet in regular classroom.   Read:

Apr. 5: Project presentations

Apr. 12:  Meet in 304 Daniel.  After that makeup presentations are first priority, then if we have time we will get to Commemoration. Web site review due. Read:

Apr. 19: Democratizing History and Shared Historical Authority.  Project due. Read:

Apr. 26: The future of digital history

May 3:   takehome final due by midnight. 

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Introduction to Digital History Syllabus by Pamela E. Mack is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.