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In this course the plus/minus system will be used:

98 – 100% = A+

93 - 97% = A (outstanding performance)

90 – 92% = A-

87 – 89% = B+

83 – 86% = B (good performance)

80 – 82% = B-

77 – 79% = C+

73 – 76% = C (acceptable performance)

70 – 72% = C-

67- 69% = D+

63 – 66% = D (poor performance)

60 – 62% = D-

0 – 59% = F

Grades will be calculated as follows:

Participation 15% 15%
Reading Responses 15% 15%
DH project nominations 15% 15%
DH project evaluations 15% 15%
Labs 15% 15%
Final Project 20% 10%
Presentations 5% 5%
DH project proposal - 10%


  • You cannot pass the class unless you have an average of 50% or higher in ALL of these categories
  • History majors must earn 73% or higher in this course to receive credit. History majors earning grades of 72% or lower must repeat the course.


An essential component of the craft of history is expressing yourself clearly in a variety of ways, including orally. In this course, your learning depends upon your regular, informed and thoughtful participation in discussion.

Participation will be assessed both by how much you contribute in whole-class discussions, and how much you contribute to discussions in group work. When working in groups, your participation grade will include your collaboration and civility – talking over or interrupting your colleagues will not accrue you more points!

Participation will be assessed as:

  • Excellent (multiple comments / questions in class or in group work): 100
  • Satisfactory (one comment / question in class or in group work): 80
  • Unsatisfactory (present in class, but no engagement): 50 points
  • Absent (see absence policy for a discussion of permitted absences)

I understand that speaking in class can be a stressful or daunting experience for some students, so I expect that everyone contribute to making the classroom a comfortable and respectful intellectual environment in which everyone can participate. If you have anxiety about public speaking, please arrange a meeting with me as soon as possible, so that we can discuss alternative means of engagement.

Your overall participation grade will be an average of your daily participation grades.

Reading responses:

You are expected to read, digest and consider all of each week’s readings. For each reading, highlight terms that you are unfamiliar with, think require elucidation. Enter them into the course glossary and we will discuss them in class.

EIGHT times during the semester, you will post substantive commentary on the class’s reading to the course blog.

This blog is meant to be a conversation amongst scholars (you and your peers). Your posts should be more than simple summaries – they should demonstrate a critical consideration of the week’s reading. Each post should result from a close reading of all of the texts. To receive full credit, all texts must be discussed. In every week after the first, these posts must also substantively reference at least two of your colleagues' posts (from the current week or any time earlier in the semester). Through these response papers, you will develop the skills necessary to critically read historical monographs and articles.

These responses should be between 250 and 350 words, and can be written with informal, personal prose. However, direct references to others' work must be accompanied by a citation or hyperlink.

These responses will be assessed as:

  • Excellent (nuanced commentary on both readings and peer responses, references ALL of the week's reading AND two posts by your colleagues): 100
  • Satisfactory (commentary on both readings and peer responses free of factual errors, references ALL of the week's reading AND two posts by your colleagues): 80
  • Unsatisfactory (did not comment on all of the readings or did not comment on peer responses or substantive factual errors): 50
  • No submission: 0

Your overall response grade will be an average of the grades of your eight responses.

You will select the classes for which you will post during the first week of class.

Posts must be up by the MIDNIGHT before class.

DH project identification:

Throughout the semester, you will be required to nominate digital history projects to analyze. The entire class will nominate projects, and then each student will pick from among the nominated projects for their two DH project evaluations.

When nominating a project, you must identify (1) title, (2) maker, (3) institutional support (if any), (4) brief statement of why this project interested you.

You MAY NOT nominate projects that have already been nominated. You MAY NOT nominate projects that we are already looking at for class.

DH project evaluation:

Twice during the semester, you will write a review of a nominated project. These reviews should follow the form of the digital history reviews in the Journal of American History. They should make clear:

  • Who made the project, and what their scholarly bona fides are.
  • What is the goal of the project, and how that goal relates to the intended audence.
  • What arguments the project makes.
  • How successful is the project in making those arguments.
  • What plat form the project is built on, and/or what tooks the maker(s) used.
  • What the strengths and weaknesses of the project are.

These evaluations should be between 500 and 700 words long, excluding citation information. It should follow the JAH's guidelines for website reviews as well as the JAH's general style guidelines. They should be submitted via Titanium.


We will devote time on alternating weeks to an in-class lab. If you do not finish the lab in class, you will be expected to spend additional time to complete it it outside of class. These assignments are meant to teach concrete skills, and introduce you to the tools you will use in your final assignment.

You may work collaboratively on your labs, but each student must submit something on their subdomain.

Labs are due by 5 PM on Friday of the week they were assigned, to me, via e-mail.

Final project:

The final project for this class will use the tools you have learned to use in this class to make an historically rigorous, public facing argument about some of the archival material we have developed for the course.

Final presentation:

During class time for the last week of class, each student will present their final project. This presentation will be assessed on its overview of the project, how the project fits into the extant digital or historical ecosystem, and how it relates AT LEAST three of the theories or interventions we have read about this semester.

DH capstone proposal:

This class is open to both graduate and undergraduate students. If you are a graduate student, you MUST submit a proposal for a digital capstone project. This could be a project you are planning to undertake, or a mock project.