Journals – 15%
Local History Podcast Episode – 25%
Research Blog Post – 25%
Family History Film – 35%
Course Materials Needed:
- Subscription to Ancestry.com (you can share a password if you’d like, feel free to exchange information via Blackboard or in our first class)
- Sign up for a free trial of Hindenberg Journalist Pro http://hindenburg.com/products/hindenburg-journalist-pro
- A clip-on microphone (like this one) and a smartphone tripod (like this one)
- [IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A SMARTPHONE à you will need to purchase this Digital Voice Recorder instead of the clip on microphone and tripod]
All course reading / listening / watching assignments are linked to in the syllabus, which is on Blackboard as well as on our course website:
Academic Honesty: Plagiarism and cheating are serious offenses, and will be treated thus. Please see the official Mercyhurst definition of and policies surrounding Academic Honesty.
Mercyhurst Writing Center: The Writing Center can be found in 200D Hammermill Library in the Center for Student Excellence. It is a great place for assistance on your writing assignments. Call 824-2303 or stop in to schedule a one-on-one appointment with one of the student Writing Consultants. They can offer you feedback on your essay at any stage of its completion.
Jan 18: Introductions
Weeks 2-5 Podcasting Local History
Jan 25: Introduction to Podcasting.
- Due: Notes on your podcast episode. Also, listen to: “Vale of York Hoard,” History of the World in 100 Objects; “The Boy Jones,” Stuff You Missed in History Class; “Is That Lamb made of…Butter?!” History Buffs Podcast
Feb 1: Research & Scripting.
- Due: Script drafts, complete with citations.
Feb 8: Editing.
- Due: Man on the Street Interviews, musical score, audio effects. We will spend this class period editing in Hindenberg.
Feb 15: Present Episodes, Peer Critique, and Scheduling of Episodes
In-Class Journal: What did you learn about Erie/Mercyhurst history that surprised you? In your peer review group, which episode did you like the best, and why? What did they do well, and what could they have done better? How do you think your episode compares with theirs in terms of the research, the production and effects?
Weeks 6-9: Blogging Researched History
Feb 22: Introduction to History Blogging.
[Divide the class into two groups: Historical Fiction Stories // Research Posts. Topic selection.]
- Due: Read most recent blog post from each of the following: English Historical Fiction Authors, Notches Blog, Nursing Clio
In-Class Assignment: Primary Source narration. Follow the instructions posted on our class website.
Mar 1: Research & Writing.
- Due: “Rules for Writing Historical Fiction,” Elizabeth Crook Books; “History Matters Blog,” Blogging for Historians
SPRING BREAK – Mar 5-11
Mar 15: Peer Review.
- Due Monday Mar 13 by 12pm: Blog Post Drafts (mock it up in a Google Doc, including the images you will put in the final draft). Send to your Writing Group by 12pm on Monday March 13. Then bring comments on your group member’s drafts to class on Wednesday.
In-Class Journal: After reading your group members’ blog posts, what was most effective in their draft, and what needed the most work? Summarize the point/plot of each draft you read in 1-2 sentences. How did you think your conveyance of the story compared to theirs? How will you revise your post?
Mar 22: Research Presentations.
- We will put our blog drafts into WordPress in class.
- You will each need to speak briefly about your final post—what your thesis was if you wrote a traditional research piece, and what the plot was if you wrote fiction—and then describe how you addressed the peer review critiques in your final draft.
In-Class Journal: How does writing a blog post differ from writing a traditional research paper? What did you find to be the most challenging? What do you wish you had done differently in the preparation, writing, editing, and final production?
Weeks 10-16: Filming Family History
Mar 29: Introduction to Film Making, Family History, and Oral History Collection
- Due: Ronald Blumer, “So You Want to Make a History Documentary?”
- In-Class Assignment: Make a plan for your documentary. Who will you interview, and when? Send emails or make phone calls to schedule interviews. Where are your family photos? Contact a family member who would know and make a plan to digitize. Start researching your family using Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org
Apr 5: Storyboarding & Narration Script Writing
In-Class Assignment: Make a 10 second video on a topic of your choosing. Post the link to your finished video in this week’s journal slot.
- NO CLASS — EASTER BREAK.
- DUE OVER BREAK: Oral histories. You should have a total of six hours of oral history interviews with family members.
Apr 19: Narration Recording & Final Cut Pro
- Due: Narration Script & Storyboard. Determine the story you want to tell about your family history – whether the specific story of a single family member or the overarching story of your family. You will need to block out the film components before you start putting it all together, and create a script for you to record in the studio. Narration recording will begin during class on Wednesday.
Apr 26: Editing.
- Due: High-res images of the subject material for your video (family photographs, images from your research, etc) & Studio Time.
- All Narration Recording must be completed by the end of class on April 26.
May 3: Editing.
In-Class Journal: How does the art of storytelling through film differ from audio (podcast) and written (blog) storytelling?
May 10: Video presentations.
- Due: Final projects uploaded to Vimeo and embedded on the Class website.