Week 4: Representing Yourself and Others Online

Week 4 is already done and I’m just now able to post from my course. When I was developing my composition course, I read some great work by Ann Frances Wysocki about how students need to consider the ethics of representing themselves and others online. 

Since I’m asking my own students to create archives that may include photos of my students or their family and friends, I adjusted my calendar so that we could slow down and collaboratively create a statement for the ethical representation of themselves online. 

Here’s my screencast video introducing students to the assignment:



Week 3 Reading, Writing, and Digital Culture

Spring term is buzzing by. We have one hummingbird outside our house who has been sitting on a branch all winter and now he’s almost obscured by the leaves that have filled in. 

Week 3 is about mapping. As I wrote in my thought piece on “minimal computing” in January, I use Google maps to help students develop several kinds of DH skills, from basic procedural knowledge for working with online primary source materials to content knowledge about the what, where, when, and how of literary and cultural histories.

Picking up on our Week 1 reading of Mrs. Dalloway, I sent my online students to the wonderful Georgia Tech students’ project, Mrs. Dalloway Mapping Project to get a feel for how plot points, settings, and other narrative features can be interpreted through maps. Originally I was going to ask my own students to map the novel, but the Georgia Tech example is so strong that I thought it would be better to try something else. So I asked students to then explore another site, Mapping Emotions in Victorian London , from the Stanford Literary Lab.


Covent Garden Flower Women, Mapping Emotions in Victorian London

 This site gave me an idea for my own students: to use the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America database to explore an emotion in America from 1789-1924 (the range of the database’s complete collection of newspapers), and then map the appearance of emotions in print in America over time. 

First instructional video 

Second instructional video

Third instructional video

Instructions for Mapping Emotions in America Project

I’m looking forward to seeing what my students come up with and hearing about their process. It’s been a great experience for me to break the steps down as clearly as possible. Procedural knowledge is a key skill set for C21 students. It’s one thing to create the maps myself through tinkering and my own tacit knowledge. It’s another thing altogether to step back and provide the steps so that online students can perform a lengthy series of steps toward a single end. We’ll see next week how they did!

Week 2 of ENG 217 Reading, Writing, and Digital Culture

What cool things my students did for last week’s Mrs. Dalloway Second Sandbox blog entry! Wonderful pictures of flowers and larks and Big Ben and village greens and green dresses and early 20th century hats and war images and even (my favorite) a sound file of a Buddhist chant. The First Sandbox assignment–annotations of Mrs. Dalloway on a Google doc–were somewhat less successful if you use an old-school rubric of rigor and systematic analysis. But I was pleased that most of the students in this class reapproached the novel as a digital document and found several things to comment on—even as small as a vocabulary word.

This week, my expectations are high for the “Dead Media Poster Project,” which I adopted from Professor Ryan Cordell’s “Texts and Technologies” class. I created my own poster as an example for students using the old 8-Track Tape. I used to listen to Barbara Streisand on 8-Track, so this was a dead medium near and dear. Dead Media Poster Session Assignment

I shared Marshall McLuhan and Alan Liu as these pieces are in the syllabus, and ambitious students will read them. Reading Liu’s “New Media Encounter” I was reminded of being in a doctor’s office as a child, watching cursive letters flow from a nurse’s pen. When I got home I tried to conjure meaning from loops and waves myself with a Flair pen–as does the chief in Liu’s quote of Levi-Strauss

To deepen the encounter with dominant, residual, and emergent media, I assigned Elizabeth Eisenstein’s chapter on “Some Features of Print Culture” from The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge UP 2012).

This is a very sophisticated chapter and, thinking of my CC audience, I created a slideshow that walks students through the major points that Eisenstein makes. Of course, her argument is deeply complex and embedded in a conversation about print culture that historians are having, so my slides may be a bit oversimplistic. But I think that these slides convey the most important of Eisenstein’s major ideas about print media for students. So here are my notes on Eisenstein for students with no prerequisite knowledge. This was a really good intellectual exercise for me: to first boil down the features of Eisenstein’s argument most salient for community college students,  and then to try to make them accessible enough to novice, online learners. My measure of success will be that they have completed all of the slides!

I hope students will be able to see the most important discoveries about print culture: that print wasn’t only an aid to Enlightenment thinking but also infused mystical culture into texts; that printers were as important to knowledge production as scholars; and that printing multiple copies of the same text in multiple locations to be read by diverse readers was perhaps a more important development for the progress of science than was individual ownership of multiple texts.

Elizabeth Eisenstein Features of Print Culture, from The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge 2012)

Week 1 of ENG 217: Reading, Writing, and Digital Culture

I feel very privileged that my ENG 217 course “Reading, Writing, and Digital Culture” (Intro to DH) not only “made” enrollment minimums but actually filled to capacity! If your department isn’t under enrollment pressures, then you wouldn’t understand. But, suffice it to say, I tried to offer this course twice before and it didn’t “make,” so I’m thrilled. 

It is now an online course. This means I have had to rethink it and really map out every single step for students, anticipating missteps and gaps in understanding. Many students take online courses because their lives are extremely busy, but their preparation for digital projects can be uneven and frustration can lead to disappearance–this disappearance is for me the biggest threat and worst result of bad online pedagogy.

So here’s Week 1. I’m posting my syllabus with this week’s “Sandbox exercises,” both of which have worked in the f2f classroom as versions of DH labs I’ve taught. Now that everything’s online, my hope is that these instructions are clear enough that everyone has fun, sticks around long enough to read and learn more.


In the spirit of open sharing, I am sharing here the blog I created to provide an example for students–so that they can see what I mean when I ask them to post this or that on their blog. In my Blogger I am not blogging to impress but rather to simply demo: “What would it look like to do this assignment?” 

So here’s the blog prototype. It may not be interesting to you except as an example of an example for students and it’s helpful for me as a record of this work.








Threshold Concepts and DH at the CC

DH at CC Course Poster

Spring 2017 DH at CC Course goes Live!

At the Community College Humanities Association PNW earlier this month, I discussed my development of “threshold concepts” for digital humanities as a way of bridging and scaffolding accessible DH work into community college courses–simultaneously teaching a “whole game” approach that is valuable to all students while also preparing transfer students for a 21st century humanities education. Powerpoint is here: this-digital-life

Actually I retrofitted threshold concepts onto course assignments I had already developed or am in the process of developing for my Spring 2017 Intro to DH course entitled “Reading, Writing and Culture in a DIgital Age.” I took a page from Ryan Cordell’s wise essay and chose a title that refers to concrete practices that novice humanities students and Gen Ed students alike would recognize.

Here are some of the assignments that I’m still tinkering with–some of them are in the process of being developed, some have already worked successfully. One assignment is adapted out of a lengthy and sophisticated assignment in Bruno Latour’s “Scientific Humanities” MOOC and another was inspired by Jena Osman’s Public Figures book and website to provide opportunities for students to practice humanities methods of observation, analysis and creative imagining in their daily lives.

Humanities Computing or Digital Humanities is…

—About the Book

…About how algorithms-organize-information-essay-wr122

…About anticipating questions anticipate-your-audience-faqs-assignment-sheet

…About glitches and breaking-stuff-write-like-gertrude

…About non-human subjectivities synthetic-selfies-and-monumental-subjects

..About how words-get-their-meaning-from-other-words

…. About building an audience for your cause writing-studio-exercise-awareness-object-artifact

DH at the CC Commons Now Live!

DH at the CC Commons is a community of practice begun at the NEH ODH Advanced Topics Summer Institute 2015

DH at the CC Commons is a community of practice begun at the NEH ODH Advanced Topics Summer Institute 2015

The DH at the CC Commons is open to all interested in teaching digital humanities at community colleges.

Visit us today at https://dhatthecc.lanecc.edu/


Professor Marta Effinger Crichlow will give the public keynote address, “Mapping Black New York: an Interdisciplinary Search for Home” on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 6 pm at Lane’s Downtown Center for Meeting and Learning

Free and Open to the Public Click for More Information

NEH Advanced Topics in Digital Humanities Summer Institute July 13-17, 2015

neh_logo_horizontal_rgbPlans are underway for Lane’s NEH Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities Summer Institute July 13-17, 2015.

Applications have closed. We have confirmed our cohort of 29 participants from 12 states and DC.

Here’s my 3-minute lightening-round presentation on this summer’s institute.


The institute, entitled An Institute for Community College Digital Humanists: Beyond Pockets of Innovation, Toward a Community of Practice.

Since I first began my engagement with DH, I have noticed that community college humanists have been slow to join conversations and communities of practice in digital humanities (DH).  This is in part because serving students in an open-access context involves intensive teaching and service workloads and constraints on professional development. This institute seeks to address this lag in DH at community colleges.

This summer, a distinguished group of institute faculty will lead 29  CC faculty in a week of engagement with DH theory and methods, tool building and pedagogical innovations that scaffold digital humanities for the unique learning needs of their students.

One goal of this institute is to offer a context for CC faculty to participate in the definition of digital humanities practice to include the work of community college teachers, scholars and students. The participants will emerge with a firm grounding in the depth and complexity of DH and its applicability to their courses. They will create a portfolio of project prototypes in data visualization, geospatial mapping, crowdsourcing, and digital storytelling, et al.

To extend the reach of the institute, a public keynote address by Professor Marta Effinger-Crichlow of City Tech in New York, will welcome the community into the DH conversation, and participants’ work will be shared in an online commons that will serve as a hub for developing a community of practice.


Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website do
not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

NEH ODH Start-Up Grant Project: Video of Community College Humanities Assn Session


One of the activities of the Lane’s NEH Office of Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant “Bringing Digital Humanities to the Community College and Vice Versa” was an all-day pre-conference strategic discussion at the Community College Humanities Association national meeting, October 24, 2013. The meeting was recorded by videographer Russell H. Shitabata. Click on each picture below to watch the video of the sessions. Scroll to the end to view links to sites referred to in the videos.

Session I: Anne McGrail, Terri Whitney and Jake Agatucci, “DH in Community Colleges Now”

Project Director Anne McGrail Introduces DH Expert Panel in Session I of "Bringing Digital Humanities to the Community College" Pre-Conference Session at the CCHA 2013

Project Director Anne McGrail Introduces DH Expert Panel in Session I of “Bringing Digital Humanities to the Community College” Pre-Conference Session at the CCHA 2013

McGrail Intro Slides DH at CC

Session II: Jesse Stommel and Rebecca Frost Davis, “”In the Open Access, Lower-Division Classroom: Pedagogy and Faculty Development”

Jesse Stommel and Rebecca Frost Davis Lead Session II, "In the Open Access, Lower-Division Classroom: Pedagogy and Faculty Development"

Jesse Stommel and Rebecca Frost Davis Lead Session II, “In the Open Access, Lower-Division Classroom: Pedagogy and Faculty Development”

Session III: Dean Rehberger and Matthew K. Gold, “Equity and Institutional Policy: Opportunities and Obstacles for DH Development on Community College Campuses”

Dean Rehberger and Matthew K. Gold lead Session III, "Equity and Institutional Policy: Opportunities and Obstacles for DH Development on Community College Campuses"

Dean Rehberger (l)  and Matthew K. Gold (r)  lead Session III, “Equity and Institutional Policy: Opportunities and Obstacles for DH Development on Community College Campuses”


List of Website Resources Referred to in DH at the CC Session Videos







































Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website do
not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Survey Data Available from National Survey of Digital Humanities in Community Colleges




In Summer/Fall 2013, I implemented the National Survey of Digital Humanities in Community Colleges. The survey was a major activity of Lane’s NEH Office of Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant Project, “Bringing Digital Humanities to Community Colleges and Vice Versa.”


I sent notices out to humanities departments across the country, including Lane.  The aim of the survey was to develop a picture of the role that digital projects, digital pedagogies, digital archives, methodologies, rhetorics and tools play in the pedagogical practice and professional lives of community college faculty and instructional staff. The ultimate aim of this project is to develop a national community of practice in digital humanities at community colleges in the U.S.

Click on this link for summary survey data from the Fall 2013 National Survey of Digital Humanities in Community Colleges, a project sponsored by the National Endowment for Humanities Office of Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant.

A PDF of the survey data is available here:  Survey Results All March 2014