Hello. I’m Mills Kelly, and I’ll be your instructor this semester for History 694, the digital public history course of George Mason’s digital public humanities certificate.
This course approaches digital historical work from the perspective of public history. I’ve created a series of modules that take us through a deeper exploration of digital public history and that build on the work you did in the first course in the certificate. I’m looking forward to working with you this semester on ways to use a variety of digital tools in public history.
You may proceed through the modules at your own pace, but there are a number of points where we will collaborate as a group — either in all-class Zoom sessions or on the class Slack site. These are all indicated in the syllabus you received via email.
The major assignment this semester is to design and build a digital public history project. It’s not too early to begin thinking about what that project might look like. What historical topics interest you, and what kinds of expertise or materials do you have or can you access? Could you imagine building a digital public history experience around these topics or resources? The first half of the course will help you to structure and refine these questions, as we explore a wide range of digital public history work that will intersect at various points with your own work and interests.
This course requires consistent attention to timeframes and deadlines. The intense work of the early weeks, with extensive reading and analysis, is structured in order to provide ample time for reflection. There’s simply no way to make up for lost time later, if you do not hit these milestones on time. Following the course schedule carefully will allow you plenty of runway to launch a successful digital public history project. Missed deadlines will inevitably cascade, to the detriment of your final project.
This is an exciting class with plenty of opportunity for you to make it your own, and to create something important. I’m really looking forward to working with you!
A little about me: I am currently the executive director of Mason’s Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) and have been a faculty member in the Department of History and Art History since 2001. My original research specialty as a historian was in modern East European history (specifically Habsburg and Czech history). Starting in the late 1990s, I launched into a second research specialization in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL) in history. Over the years my conventional historical research has migrated away from Eastern Europe into American environmental and digital public history and most of my digital work is public history work, but I have continued to be engaged in SOTL research.