Final Project Instuctions

Your final project for this course focuses on a consideration of the digital methods we have learned over the course of the semester, as demonstrated through expanded analysis of the archival collection of Linn’s diary that we have relied upon:

  • a sound research question that offers a significant and original perspective on the subject matter with which we have engaged throughout the semester
    • for single student a demonstrated competence in one; or
    • for a collaborative project (between two students) demonstrated competence in least two of the digital methodologies
  • screenshots that demonstrate process, experimentation, mastery, complications, difficulties and challenges, how these were met – and hopefully overcome)
  • explanation about why particular method or tool was chosen
  • determination of method/tool’s effectiveness in addressing research question

The project will consist of:

  1. a 150-200 word abstract (due Monday, 12/1 by 11pm in Word document via email) that identifies your research question and identifies the digital method you have chosen to address the question
  2. Short (3-5 minute)  Powerpoint or Prezi presentation of final project in progress (in-class on December 8)  that is an articulation of your research question, the reason why you have chosen your particular digital method, whether or not you believe it is helping you to answer to research question, and a demonstration of how you are building your argument through the tool/approach. ** This presentation is meant to show your work in progress rather than the finished, polished artifact, which comes next.
  3. Artifact (due December 17 linked from reflection essay in WordPress) that is one of the following: a published map, network visualization file structure, or uploaded TEI file(s). A submitted artifact includes all necessary files and folders made available to instructor via browser interface.
    1. GIS: ArcGIS Online story map
    2. Gephi: exported sigma .js folder uploaded to netspace
    3. TEI: content file(s) uploaded to TEI Boilerplate folder in netspace
    4. Voyant or TimeMapper visualization (Voyant or TimeMapper can only be used as secondary / complementary methodology when submitted by a collaborating team, and must demonstrate a distinctly enhanced point of view about the research question)
  4. An 850-1000 word  reflection essay (due December 17 in WordPress) that includes a clear statement of your research question and methodology; and documentation of the process that leads to the completion of your project. Take screenshots of each significant phase of your project’s development (at least 5 screenshots from design to completion). Plus bibliography/webography, works cited, posted under the category “Final Project” and including five tags.

This project is worth 35% of your course grade. You will be graded according to the following guidelines:

  • Rhetorical Awareness (25%): Argument considers audience, message, and medium (artifact and essay): since this is meant to be public-facing scholarship, think about who might be looking at your artifact (not only your instructor and classmates, but also the wider campus population and/or conference attendees if you should choose to submit your project to a research conference)
  • Stance and Support (20%): Central claim is duly supported by evidence drawn from the core text, from readings, and from sample projects; i.e. evidence of original or expanded research into your subject matter
  • Organization (15%): Clear structure demonstrates presentation of research question, critical analysis through method, and moves logically from introduction to conclusion
  • Conventions (20%): Competent adherence to usage standards; skillful integration of core text and secondary sources – including citation
  • Design for Medium (20%): Well-chosen design features enhance audience motivation and participation

Final project submission is on Final exam date December 17, as published here:

Thinking about Time and Place

One of the things I love about doing historical research is learning about the time in which an event or series of events took place. In my opinion, you cannot consider people or the experiences (or their works) in a vacuum. To me, you can’t study Shakespeare without considering what was going on in England and the world during the reign of Elizabeth I.

The same holds true for how I think we should examine James Merrill Linn’s experience in the Civil War. While he might not always talk about what is going on in the wider world, we know that he was reading newspapers, and that waiting for news from the world beyond the battlefield was what kept him and his fellow soldiers going in what can only be imagined as horrific conditions.

We’re going to spend the next week thinking about the idea of time, and how the events in Linn’s life and in the Civil War more generally played out in the context of the decade of the 1860’s in terms of society, politics, science, technology, literature, and the arts on a global scale.

To do that we’re going to collaborate on the creation of a timeline using a multimedia timeline web-based platform called TimeMapper.

I’ve started a TimeMapper instance for our class, called “1860s Events”. It looks like this:TimeMapper

Your task will be to add event “slides” to this timeline. You will use Wikipedia’s list of events for the decade of the 1860s, add text and images that describe and evoke your event, and geospatial coordinates that will identify that event with a place.[1. A helpful way to find the longitude and latitude for a city, state, province, or country is to call up that place on Wikipedia; in the right sidebar you should see a link for “Coordinates.” Click on those numbers and you will be taken to a “GeoHack” page that provides the correct longitude and latitude.] The one caveat is that you need to find events that are not about the Civil War (or at least explicitly about the Civil War.) See what else was going on in the world in the 1860s!

In order for you to begin adding information to our TimeMapper, you will input data and metadata into a special Google Form that I have set up for this purpose: HUMN 100 TimeMapper Google Form.

Added by editor: please add your event and name to the table on this Google doc: 

Email me with any questions that arise. We’ll work on the TimeMapper again on Monday.

Week Four Assignments, Readings, Exercises

Monday 9/22

  • Reading: Complete reading transcribed Linn diary
  • Discussion: keywords from distant reading as metadata
  • Lab: More complex analytical/visualization tools (cross-corpus analysis)

Tuesday 9/23

Wednesday 9/24

  • Discussion: Distant reading & blog assignment wrap-up

Blog post #2 due (11pm)

Friday 9/26

  • Reading: Watch “Secrets of the Dead: The Lost Diary of Dr. Livingstone” (available to stream on our course Moodle site)
  • Timemapper exercise introduced
  • Research topics chosen