Welcome to the Digital History Working Group (DHWG) website. Founded in February 2013, the DHWG meets to discuss and learn about the digital humanities as they apply to the field of history. Our group is a forum for conversation and experimentation with new digital methods. We have also organized several events on campus aimed at introducing fellow graduate students to new digital tools that may help them with their research and teaching.
The digital humanities is an emerging field with advocates and critics who voice a variety of opinions about what it has to offer. At the DHWG, we conceptualize the digital humanities through four broad and sometimes overlapping categories: research methods, pedagogy, publishing, and academic tools.
- Research Methods: Using digital tools to conceptualize change across space and time in our research, we ask: how can digital tools help us identify relationships, affinities, and connections we could not see before? How can these tools help us conduct previously unfeasible research (i.e. working with massive collaborative databases, vast publication records, etc.)? What results do these new approaches yield? How do these new tools shape the questions we ask? What are the drawbacks?
- Pedagogy: As current and future educators, we are interested in using technology in the college classroom in a way that enhances the learning experience. Increasingly, college students are shaped by a digital environment: online social networks and media have been a part of their lives since their earliest memories. Exposure to digital tools have transformed the way they perceive and absorb information. Building on their native skills, we want to help students imagine new ways of thinking about the past through innovative pedagogy. What digital tools, including social media, can be used productively in the classroom? How can MOOCs, OpenCourseWare, and other ways of sharing information open access to students in the twenty-first century?
- Publishing: Digital platforms offer many possibilities for sharing academic research, in a moment in which traditional publishing venues are undergoing radical changes. What do blogs, digital collaboration across continents, and journals embedded with audio-visual material offer the future of publishing? In what ways can we as scholars make our work known? What are the benefits and disadvantages of changes in publishing as they apply to graduate students and non-tenured faculty? How will this transform the practice of historiography and the production of scholarship?
- Academic Tools: We are interested in the ways that technology may enhance workflow. We share how we use digital tools in our academic research and coursework, addressing pros and cons and practical issues. Our group explores ways of using citation managers, note-taking programs, social media and personal digital databases to streamline the academic and research experience. How do these research tools change the way we work?