Major Assignments

Presentation (15%): Each student will lead a fifteen-minute class session on a topic related to our course objectives and readings. Topics and forms of presentations will be pitched to me in advance. You have a lot of flexibility in terms of your approach (lecture, case study, conversation, mini-workshop, performance, etc.) and you are free to collaborate on a presentation (in groups no larger than two). Topics should relate to the larger course topic of “Digital Archives and Digital Publics” but do not have to make use of or be in direct conversation with particular course readings (though students interested in discussing / presenting on readings are certainly free to do so). These presentations are spaces where I’d like to hear more about your particular interests in digital archives and digital publics.

Class Discussion Prompt (5%): In a similar spirit of amplifying student voices and perspectives in the class, at one point in the semester you will be required to provide 1-3 discussion questions in advance (via Slack) to initiate an in-class conversation about that day’s topic. Questions should acknowledge one or more readings explicitly in some fashion. You will be asked to initiate this conversation in class (no additional presentation or pedagogical materials required beyond the writing of questions).

Blog Post / Public Writing (20%): Each student will complete a short piece of writing related to course content (multimodal work or short podcasts also accepted) that will circulate in some public form: via the course site, the JNBC blog, History@Work (the blog of the National Council on Public History), or elsewhere online. 

Transformative Use Project (20%): Each student will select one item from an archive or special collection that allows for “transformative use” of digitized materials as the subject of a public-facing, short-form digital project. I will provide information on resources that allow for curatorial / transformative uses of collections materials (students may consult additional resources, so long as the material is available for transformative / curatorial use or they provide additional context if the terms of transformative / curatorial use provided by a particular institution seem up for contestation or critique). Students are encouraged to model professional and/or creative approaches for this assignment. Use of this project as a prototype or “proof of concept” of larger Final Project is encouraged but not required. Our course site will document these projects (and is available to host them, but students are free to host or stage projects elsewhere digitally and/or physically). Depending on course interest and class size, we may decide as a class to link individual projects thematically or in other ways, but this assignment is meant to encourage the creation of work that aligns with personal and/or professional interests of students.

Final Project (40%): By the end of the semester, each student will publish and disseminate a project that makes use of digitized archival materials. “Use” is broadly defined here and use-cases will draw on the range of examples provided in class: forms of digital curation, remediation (datafication and/or visualization, physical / augmented reality exhibits, etc.), digital storytelling, creative and speculative endeavors, academic writing intended for submission to a particular site of publication, etc. Students will be required to submit a proposal document (20% of Final Project grade) that outlines the aims and audiences relevant to the project, as well as a breakdown of project tasks, copyright / use-case contexts, and forms of publication and dissemination. Final Projects can be collaborative, pending approval and a clear articulation of the terms of collaboration in the proposal document. Projects may also build on previous coursework completed in presentation, transformative use project, or written work, provided the proposal document details the plans to expand upon this initial work. Depending on course interest and class size, we may decide as a class to work on one large project, but this assignment is meant to encourage the creation of work that aligns with personal and/or professional interests of students.