The DHWG will begin a new project called Visualizing the Duke History PhD this semester in our library’s new collaborative research space, The Edge. We’ll be working with a data set produced by our department about what past graduates have done after finishing the PhD in History. We hope to produce a study and a presentation, using digital analysis and visualization tools, about placement and professional choices for History graduate students. Given that the AHA has been tracking placement data for graduates nationwide, we think it’s a particularly relevant moment to reflect on the trajectories of our own department’s graduates.
We have a great brand-new working space, and we hope to use this project as an opportunity to collaborate on a common digital project. We will be posting here regularly to document our learning process. Next week we will begin to comb through the data that we have been given and come up with a set of questions that we think we can answer. This process will certainly challenge us to think critically about how we, as historians, can potentially organize data in meaningful ways.
More on organizing data sets and data visualization: