2015-16 Digital Projects Roundup

This past year, I’ve taught three digital history/humanities classes at Carleton. HIST3907o, Crafting Digital History, HIST5702w Digital History Methods as Public History Performance, and DIGH5000 Introduction to Digital Humanities. A fourth course was the open-access version of HIST3907o, but that is not counted in my tally, unfortunately. Finally, my MA student, Rob Blades, completed his combined Public History and Digital Humanities MA project.

This post collects together all the public-facing work that my students have done. I’m delighted and impressed with what folks have accomplished. Part of the pedagogical challenge for me is teaching the issues, the appropriate digital literacies, and informed criticism that my students need, when they are all coming from such vastly different starting points. Many have in point of fact never done much more with their computers than Word for essays; for many students, their critical consumption of the digital was let us say, embryonic.

In which case, my grading in these classes is not so much on the product itself as it were, as it is on the evidence for the students’ journey from whatever starting point they were at. I look to see if they have pushed themselves, if they have grown, transformed: is Anya a different student now than when she started, and in what ways? Is she herself aware of the transformation?

Without further ado, let’s take a look:

Rob Blades’ Pembroke Soundscapes exploring memory, sound, and place via webmapping.

Ryan Pickering’s Historical Consciousness of Dwarf Fortress (online process blog; final version pending)


This course is the core course in our collaborative MA in digital humanities; it’s ‘collaborative’ in the academic sense that there are 12 different participating departments. If students themselves should collaborate across those disciplinary boundaries, then good! Not every student wanted to make their projects public, and that’s perfectly OK.


This course involved a heavy exploration of The Programming Historian as a way of learning the skills of digital history and the ways of critically engaging with digital history. A few more are not yet online, but will be soon.


This course was mediated fully online, using Slack as our core space. I also purchased domains for every registered student so that they could build their own digital history lab space, installing and exploring and playing at will. I also asked the students to make some sort of exhibit exposing and exploring the process of their learning (some excellent examples of these: Craig’sBen’s and Melissa’s. Expect a blog post in due course doing a post-mortem on how that all worked out. In the meantime, enjoy:

Although term is now over, I’m still expecting one or two more projects to come in. I really hope they come in.

(ps, the featured image comes from Mel’s project on Twitter & Open Access)