Course Schedule

Updated 1/19/21. Note that additional graduate readings are marked with an asterisk*.

Jan. 19th: Introduction to the Course

Practicum: setting up Reclaim Account and WordPress site

The History of Digital History (grads: 3:15-5:30)

Practicum: Evaluating digital history sites


Watch (40 mins): Miriam Posner, “How Did They Make That? Reverse-Engineering Digital Projects,” UCLA Digital Humanities,

Collecting and Preserving History on the Web (grads 2-4:30)

Practicum: Understanding metadata, building collections in Omeka S

Guest: Laura Gentry, Special Collections and Digital Initiatives Librarian, UA



Digital Storytelling pt I (grads: 3:15-5:30)

Practicum: Building Omeka exhibits, introduction to Scalar


Explore the following sites. In your blog post this week, choose one site and create an “anatomy” of how the site’s authors construct a narrative–how do they organize the story? What sources and media do they use? How much control does the user have in exploring and uncovering the story’s parts? 

Digital Storytelling, pt. II: Podcasting (grads: 2-4:30)

Practicum: Sound recording and editing 

Undergraduate digital history site review due 2/19

Guest: Chip Brantley, UA College of Communications faculty member and co-creator of the White Lies podcast

Listen to the entire White Lies podcast before class–I encourage you to begin listening and taking notes on the podcast’s narrative approach several weeks in advance:

Universal Design and Accessibility (grads 3:15-5:30)

Practicum: Prioritizing accessibility in digital history projects 


Playing History: Games and Gaming (grads: 2-4:30)

Practicum: Playing historically themed video/computer games with lessons from Mary Flanagan’s Critical Play

Guest: Dr. Anne Ladyem McDivitt, director, Alabama Digital Humanities Center, UA


  • Anne Ladyem McDivitt, Hot Tubs and Pac-Man: Gender and the Early Video Game Industry in the United States (DeGruyter Oldenbourg, 2020), undergraduates: chaps. 1, 3, 5; graduates: entire book (e-version available via UA Libraries)
  • Jeremiah McCall, “Video Games as Participatory Public History,” in A Companion to Public History, ed. David Dean (Wiley, 2018)

Introduction to Civil War and Reconstruction Governors of Alabama project (grads: 2-4:30)

Practicum: transcribing and tagging Alabama governors papers

Guests: Dr. Lesley Gordon, University of Alabama, and Dr. Susannah Ural, University of Southern Mississippi


  • Edward Ayers, Vengeance and Justice: Crime and Punishment in the Nineteenth-Century South (Oxford, 1985), chaps. 1 and 4
  • Leah Rawls Atkins, “Andrew B. Moore,” Encyclopedia of Alabama.
  • Skim: Michael Fitzgerald, “A Mere Lapsus: Unionists and Conservative Dissidents During the Civil War,” in Reconstruction in Alabama: From Civil War to Redemption in the Cotton South (Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 2017) 
  • Civil War and Reconstruction Governors of Mississippi, Tagging and Transcription Protocols,


  • Civil War and Reconstruction Governors of Kentucky, Kentucky Historical Society:
  • Civil War and Reconstruction Governors of Mississippi, University of Southern Mississippi, Mississippi Digital Library:
  • Documents assigned to you in UA Box

Transcribing week (grads: 2-4:30)

We will dedicate this week to transcribing documents

Creating metadata for transcribed CWRGA documents (grads: 2-4:30)

Practicum: A deeper dive into Library of Congress Classification and Subject Headings, Dublin Core, and Omeka S

Guests: Dr. Anne Ladyem McDivitt, UA, and Meredith McDonough of the Alabama Department of Archives and History


Project work week (grads: 2-4:30)

This week we will meet but spend class time finishing our transcriptions (if need be), metadata, and visualizations. 

Apr. 6th: CWRGA Data Visualization II: Spatial Analysis and Mapping (grads: 3:15-5:30)

Practicum: introduction to narrative and data maps


CWRGA Data Visualization I: Topic Modeling and Networks (grads: 3:15-5:30)

Practicum: Mallet and the Topic Modeling Tool, creating node graphs



Building the prototype (grads: 2-4:30)

In the final class we will come together to complete, assess, and reflect upon the CWRGA prototype.