Chances are, you have already encountered digital forms of history storytelling, whether you realized it or not. Ken Burns’s epic documentaries, popular podcasts like The Memory Palace or Storycorps, or any of the “freelance” writers from newspaper sites like the New York Times’s DisUnion series. All of these storytelling experiences are created by (or, at least, the hard work is done by) historians. And historians, if they want to “do history” in some form, really need to be good storytellers.
In this course we will explore three different digital formats for historical storytelling: podcasting, blogging, and filmmaking. We will be examining and discussing examples of all of these formats, with a mind to understanding what sorts of narratives can be created in these mediums. Much of the course will be focused on producing individual and collaborative hands-on projects. This is not a typical history course, in that we will not be focused on a single historical subject (“Ireland” or “Modern Europe”) or even a theme (“Civil Wars” or “Masculinities”), but will actually conduct historical research and storytelling at three different levels—family, local, and global. Our goal will be to think critically about how we tell stories at all of these levels. Though I have selected a medium for each level, you will be developing your ability to tell all such stories in all mediums throughout the course.
Find the syllabus here.