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Hist 8000: Digital Methods for History
fall 2019

Prof. Pamela Mack,, Hardin 006, office hours MWF 8-11, Wed. 1:00-2:15, cell phone 864-710-3203 (texts preferred)
with help from Prof. Josh Catalano,, Hardin 002
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:

Attendance and 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. Doing careful readings of the texts, raising questions about what you’ve read, and contributing thoughtfully to class discussion will ensure success.  Please email me if you have to miss class; in advance if possible; missing more than one class may affect your grade.  If I don't arrive within 15 minutes of the start time of the class please check my office before you leave.

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. 

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).

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. There are no required books.  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


Aug. 21: Introduction and What is Digital History?

Aug. 28:  Spatial History and basic story maps

Sept. 4: ArcGIS Cascade

Sept. 11: Organizing research

Sept. 18:  Text analysis

Sept. 25: Topic analysis--Prof. Catalano:

Oct. 2: Webpages and
Video via Adobe Spark

Oct. 9: Websites and web presence

Oct. 16: Oral history

  • partner with a classmate--you will interview each other about why you are in grad school in history
  • Record the interviews and save the audio in a form you can put on a web page using Audacity
  • Transcribe two pages of the interview you conducted
  • recommended for machine transcription:

 Oct. 23: Historiography of Digital History

Oct. 30: Digital Public History
Nov. 6: Commemoration.

Nov. 13: Project presentations (these are early because we expect you to make changes based on the feedback you get)

Nov. 20: More Project Presentations

Nov. 27: Thanksgiving holiday

Dec. 4: Democratizing History and Shared Historical AuthorityProject due. Read:

Dec. 11:   takehome final due by midnight. 

University policies:

Disabilities: It is university policy to provide, on a flexible and individualized basis, reasonable accommodations to students who have disabilities. Students with disabilities requesting accommodations should make an appointment with Accessibility Services (656-6848), to discuss specific needs within the first month of classes. Students should present a Faculty Accommodation Letter from Student Accessibility Services when they meet with instructors. Accommodations are not retroactive and new Faculty Accommodation Letters must be presented each semester.

Student Accessibility Services coordinates the provision of reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities and students experiencing barriers due to inaccessibility. Accommodations are individualized, flexible, and confidential and are based on the nature of the disability and the academic environment, in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.  Students are encouraged to consult with the Accessibility Services staff early in the semester, preferably prior to the first day of class. Current documentation of a specific disability from a licensed professional is needed. Additional information or appointments are available from Student Accessibility Services, Suite 239 in the Academic Success Center, 656-6848. Details on policies and procedures are available at

Title IX (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. The policy is located at Alesia Smith serves as Clemson’s Title IX Coordinator and may be reached at or (864) 656-3181.

Copyright Statement
Materials in some of the courses are copyrighted. They are intended for use only by students registered and enrolled in a particular course and only for instructional activities associated with and for the duration of the course. They may not be retained in another medium or disseminated further. They are provided in compliance with the provisions of the Tech Act. Students should be reminded to refer to the Use of Copyrighted Materials and “Fair Use Guidelines” policy on the Clemson University website. Additional information is detailed at

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