Archive | December, 2012

Who Should I Follow on Twitter and What Should I Do Once I Follow Them?

29 Dec

Twitter iconWhen you’re first getting started on Twitter, it can be a bit overwhelming.  There are millions of users, and it seems that among the babble, there is little of use to professional historians.  However, there are hundreds of so-called “Twitterstorians” who have created a robust and active community over the past several years (click here to read about one new user’s experience).  These Twitterstorians include graduate students, university-based historians, public historians, curators, and more.

#Twitterstorians is a hashtag created by Katrina Gulliver (@katrinagulliver)  in 2009.  Since then, it has become the de facto hashtag for general history conversations on Twitter.  It has been joined by others such as #histsci, which focuses on history of science, and #dhist, which focuses on digital history.

While there is no comprehensive list of historians on Twitter, there are a few useful resources online.  Katrina Gulliver keeps a running list of Twitterstorians on her blog.  The London School of Economics has created an edited list of academic tweeters.

Below are a few things that you can do to get yourself started as a public historian on Twitter.

  1. Following relevant hashtags is a great way to find out which historians are active on Twitter and who you might like to follow.  Follow #twitterstorians, #dhist, and #digitalhumanities and familiarize yourself with the conversations taking place on each of the threads.
  2. Create a Twitter list of institutions to follow.  To get you started, you should follow @ncph, @AHAhistorians, and @ProfHacker.
  3. Begin following 20 individuals on Twitter.  A good way to find people is to see who is posting on #twitterstorians.

Once you begin following a few people and institutions, pay attention to how they are using the system and participating in the community.  This is one of the best ways to learn about the unwritten codes of conduct that emerge in Twitter communities.  There are lots of useful tutorials on the web.  Below are three short and useful guides for the Twitter newbie.

  1. Elisabeth Grant, “Five Ways for Historians to Use Twitter,” in AHA Today (16 August 2011). 
  2. London School of Economics, “A guide to using Twitter in university research, teaching, and impact activities.”
  3. Have a look at the details on etiquette at “100 Serious Twitter Tips for Academics” (21 July 2009).

Please add your suggestions and tips in the comments section below.


Syllabus and Lecture Details

27 Dec

You will notice that the details for the syllabus and for the lectures have not been filled in yet.  I will have the syllabus ready by the first day of class.  The details for lecture, including readings and assignments, will also be ready by the first day of class.  However, I will add supplementary information, such as lecture abstracts and optional readings, as we go along.

Getting Ready for the First Day of Class

27 Dec

I hope that all of you have a had an enjoyable vacation.  Believe it or not, classes begin in just over a week.  I’ve already posted a list of books that we will be using in this class.  So, please have a look.  There are a good number that you don’t have to purchase because they are available as open access volumes.  I recommend using the open access versions for two reasons.  First, we won’t be reading large sections of the books.  Secondly, you will have computers with you in class each day, so it will be easy to access the digital versions.  You can annotate your digital copies, just like you would a printed text.  There are a number of tools available.  You might turn the pages into PDFs and annotate them in Adobe Acrobat Pro (free through IUWare) or even on your iPad using an app such as iAnnotate.  I also like Diigo, which allows you to annotate web pages directly from your browser.

While you’re getting ready for class, there are a few things that you can do to make the first week of class easier.  I have posted a page called “Getting Started” which will work you through the process.

I look forward to seeing you in class!  Please send me any questions to my email address (on the top right of this page).


9 Dec Debates in the Digital Humanites

I am currently putting together the syllabus.  It will be ready by the first day of class.  However, if you’re thinking about what books to purchase, the reading list is below.  I have noted which books are available as open access.  You will note that you will not have to purchase many books for this course if you choose not to.  Also note while you are considering making your purchases that we will not reading the entirety of all of these books, and you may find it more convenient and cost effective to use the online versions.  Since you will have your computers with you in class every day and have access to the wireless network, you should be able to use them similarly to the print version.

  • Cohen, Daniel, and Roy Rosenzweig. Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005. OA Version: 0812219236
  • Giddings, Seth, and Martin Lister, eds. The New Media and Technocultures Reader. Routledge, 2011. 0415469147
  • Gold, Matthew K. Debates in the Digital Humanities. University of Minnesota Press, 2012. OA Version: 0816677956
  • Moretti, Franco. Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models For A Literary History. Verso, 2005. 1844671852
  • Schreibman, Susan, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth, eds. Companion to Digital Humanities (Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture). Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture. Blackwell Publishing, 2004.  OA Version: 1405168064