Stranger in These Parts After Action Report: Did We Learn Anything?

(crossposted at Play the Past) There are things you can do, and can’t do, to undergraduate students, I’ve discovered. Recently heard in class: Math? You want us to do math? But… but… we’re history students! This of course is my continuing digital antiquity class, ‘Cities and Countryside in the Ancient World’. I have them playing right now with maps and spatial data, trying to do some basic spatial analysis. Earlier in the year, to accustom folks to trying to think about ancient spaces with a suitably ancient mindset, I had the students do some readings, play ‘Stranger in These Parts‘ … Continue reading Stranger in These Parts After Action Report: Did We Learn Anything?

The Classroom Unconference

I teach HIST2809A, The Historian’s Craft. Each week we have 2 hours of lecture and 1 hour of tutorial with a TA. This term, I have 102 students in the class. Over 12 weeks, I try to instill a measure of reflexivity in my students, in their approach to primary documents. In my assignments, I have them transcribe primary documents, analyze visual evidence (photos, paintings, etc) and even some material culture. As a final assignment, I do a variation of the Forgery Game and we try to approach the same problems from 180 degrees the other direction. At the midway … Continue reading The Classroom Unconference

Teaching Network Analysis

I had a conversation with Scott Weingart the other day, prompted by this plaintive cry: Brain is broken this AM. Need suggestions for inclass exercises to teach SNA. Can't depend on there being computers: must be analog. Help? — Shawn Graham (@electricarchaeo) October 15, 2012 Backstory: I’m teaching a class where we are looking at maps and networks and archaeological data, as ways of understanding how cities and countryside blur into one another in the ancient world. Last week, we played iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma’s with playing cards (thanks to this site by Alannah Morrison) as part of a discussion about … Continue reading Teaching Network Analysis

Coins from Sirmium in the PAS database

Interested in networks, and looking for an exemplar that I could do in my class, I turned to the Portable Antiquities Scheme database, and extracted coins known to have originated from the mint at Sirmium (modern Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia). You can find the list here. I downloaded the data as a CSV. Looking at it, it seemed to me that a multimodal graph of coin to findspot, to material, to date, and to ruling house might be useful (and of course could be transformed into single mode graphs as necessary).  So I made a list, where the 21 coins were … Continue reading Coins from Sirmium in the PAS database