Ideas about Spring 2018 course

Finally have some ideas, and looking forward to exploring with the students for the upcoming Spring 2018 course. Feel much better about what I am trying to accomplish with the class.

Digital Humanities Course Project

I am going to introduce students to the Tools Timeline JS and Story Maps. The goal is to have students complete singular projects involving mapping Black British subjects who traveled extensively throughout the Atlantic World and some in South America including Mary Prince, Albert Gronniosaw, Ignatius Sancho, Ottobah Cuango, Olaudah Equiano. In the story we can discuss their lives at each point, their status, their family life, historical markers. In addition, as a group project have me and the students digitally map Frederick Douglass, William Wells, Brown, Ida B. Wells.

I will also initiate use of the NCCU digital lab and research field trips to Perkins Library.


Summer Training

There are a number of summer workshops that train scholars in various digital methods.

DHSI (Digital Humanities Summer Institute) –

There is a DHSI information session happening on Thursday, November 16th, at Duke.

HILT (Humanities Intensive Learning & Teaching) –

DHOXSS (Oxford University) – (Ask Candace Bailey about her attendance at this workshop.)


Notes & take aways from HASTAC 2017. (

An overview: My HASTAC experience focused on questions of centering community & communication in our digital work. Questions such as “who is a scholar” were answered “whoever identifies as a scholar”. Emphasis in both research & teaching on inclusivity, shared credit, collaborative ownership & authorship, recognition of different kinds of academic labor, and community exchange/partnerships as public scholarship.

Reflections and New Ideas

Having a couple days to reflect, I now have a lot of ideas about where I might go with my students. In fact, I’m now thinking of creating a project for another course that I teach, History of Rhetoric. One of my personal research interests is archival work and the various mapping platforms we looked at has encouraged me to think about how I could integrate a local historical (and rhetorical) archival project into the course. I want my students to have the experience of working with primary historical artifacts, and it occurred to me that a nonlinear archive project might be the perfect addition to that course! Stay tuned 🙂

As I’ve been thinking about my original project idea, a photo/digital essay, I’ve wondered if there are any additional platforms that might help organize narratives or arguments that aren’t necessarily well represented in broad geographical maps or timelines. For example, if a student decided to create a photo essay about an event on campus, there may not be enough varying geographical locations or enough passage in time to make significant use of the mapping/timeline platforms we viewed.

I love this example of digital reporting and storytelling, especially in its integration of writing, image, video, and hyperlinking. This piece is much more extensive than I could ask students to create (can’t imagine how much work this was!), but I think the more focused time and space of this story more closely aligns with what my students might produce. Maybe this is similar to what Russell was asking about in terms of conceptual mapping? Any suggestions for other platforms would be fantastic!

One final burning, unrelated question: does anyone have suggestions for free image editing platforms or software?