History and Art History

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

The Past and New Media

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Our department has long been a leader in pioneering digital technologies for researching and teaching the past.  In 1994, Roy Rosenzweig established the Center for History and New Media, and it has since grown into one of the largest and most influential digital humanities centers in the world.  The center’s founding vision was to use new media to democratize history:  to incorporate multiple voices, reach diverse audiences, and encourage popular participation in presenting and preserving the past.  The center does this through its many projects, ranging from websites to digital archives to software tools  and new models of scholarly communication. RRCHNM sponsored the first website to collect testimony from witnesses of the attacks on September 11, 2001 and to Hurricane Katrina.  CHNM’s work has been recognized with major awards and grants from from institutions such as the American Historical Association, the National Humanities Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the U.S. Department of Education, the Library of Congress, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Mellon, Sloan, Hewlett, Rockefeller, Gould, Delmas, and Kellogg Foundations.  

Faculty members integrate new media instruction into the curriculum at all levels.  This effort began with the doctoral program in History, which requires coursework in new media. The department now offers courses in digital media that are open to all History and Art History graduate students and undergraduates. Our goal is to teach students not only how to use new media technology but to gain a critical appreciation for its limitations. These  skills will make them better historical researchers while also -preparing them for a broader variety of careers.

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