Syllabus: Digitizing Folk Music History 2.0, Spring 2012

teaching digital humanities folk-music style.

Hootenanny TV Show

It’s time for the second go at my upper-level undergraduate research seminar, Digitizing Folk Music History: The Berkeley Folk Music Festival Project. At the end of teaching the course last time, I offered the following reflections on what worked and what did not in this kind of digital humanities/digital history course:

Here’s what I came up with this time around based on those reflections. I had enormous help here from working with the extremely talented librarians Claire Stewart and Josh Honn of Northwestern’s Center for Scholarly Communication and Digital Curation, the ace staff of NUAMPS, in the A&RT group of NUIT, Northwestern’s Information Technology Unit, particularly Harlan Wallach, Gus Childs, and Andrea Gaither, the librarians in Special Collections, especially Scott Krafft, and the librarians in Digital Collections, Sarah Ellis, Dan Zellner, and Julie Patton.

Remember, this is first and foremost a history course and a research course. It is secondarily a digital media course. Hence the use of wordpress, which has a fast learning curve even if one runs up against its limitations pretty quickly in terms of advanced computational research and publication possibilities. Also note that you cannot access the actual course website: because we are working with copyrighted materials in the archive, we must keep the course website behind the campus security firewall.

I welcome comments, thoughts, ideas, critiques of the syllabus—I’ll be offering running commentary on teaching the course as well as final reflections at its end.

(For more posts on Digitizing Folk Music History, click here.)

Digitizing Folk Music History: The Berkeley Folk Music Festival
Hist 395-0-40 Tu, Th, 12:30-1:50pm Harris Hall L04

Instructor:
Dr. Michael J. Kramer
History & American Studies
email: mjk@northwestern.edu
Office hours: Wed, 3:30-4:30pm or by appointment
Office location: 1908 Sheridan Road

Technology/Research Consultant:
Josh Honn
Center for Scholarly Communication & Digital Curation
email: joshua.honn@northwestern.edu
Office hours: Thu, 2-3pm or by appointment
Office location: Digital Collections, Level 2, East Tower, University Library

Overview:
What was the post-World War II American folk music revival? How might the tools of digital history allow us to understand this phenomenon more deeply? Using the Berkeley Folk Music Festival collection, housed in the Northwestern University Library’s Special Collections division, we will begin to develop a digital history of the American folk music revival. Students will work extensively with digitized archival materials while also exploring the history of American music, Cold War culture, theories of the archive, and new concepts in digital history.

This is an upper-level research seminar and will include intensive reading, listening, and viewing assignments; no musical expertise is needed to enroll in the course. Each student will be evaluated based on class participation, digital mini-projects, blog posts, presentations, and a final interpretive digital history project in WordPress based on primary sources found in the Berkeley Folk Music Festival collection.

Our goal is not only to document the Berkeley Folk Festival, but also to interpret the American folk music revival through digital media: what was at stake in the Berkeley Folk Music Festival, which ran from 1957 to 1970, in relation to American culture and politics, to questions of race, class, gender, age, and region, to the strange workings of memory and music-making? How can digital media help us to interpret this story more effectively and probingly?

This year we will focus especially on the 1968 Berkeley Folk Music Festival, which has been transferred to our digital repository.

Objectives:

  • To deepen understanding of the folk music revival as a lens on Modern U.S. history
  • To develop and sharpen historical research skills using evidence to produce new findings that are in conversation with existing interpretations.
  • To explore the new field of digital history, including: the digital database as a new kind of historical research and publication tool; the new relationship between digitized archive, research workshop, publication, and scholarly communication; generating new modes of individual and collective historical inquiry using tools such as keyword tag clouds; new modes of narrative and historical interpretation in digital formats; and most especially new insights into the relationship between evidence and argument using digital tools of annotation and arrangement.

Required Materials:
(books available at NU Norris Bookstore and on 1-day reserve at NU Library Reserves desk)

  • Benjamin Filene, Romancing the Folk: Public Memory and American Roots Music (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999)
  • W.J. Rorabaugh, Berkeley At War: The 1960s (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989)
  • Ron Cohen, A History of Folk Music Festivals in the United States (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2008)
  • Additional articles, videos, audio available on WordPress website

Evaluation:

  • Eight (8) blog mini-projects, 5% each = 40%
  • Metadata Project = 15%
  • Final interpretive digital history project = 30%
  • Class participation and discussion = 15%

Discussion assignment. Please come to seminar meetings prepared to discuss the following:

  • What is the most important point you learned from today’s materials?
  • What is the most important question you have about today’s materials?
  • Each student will receive a midterm evaluation, final term evaluation, and evaluation of final project.

Schedule:

  • Week 1. Introduction.
  • Week 2. What Was the Folk Revival?
  • Week 3. What Is Digital History?
  • Week 4. Reviving the Revival – Thinking About Sources.
  • Week 5. Berkeley in the Sixties. Thinking About 1968.
  • Week 6. Thinking About Festivals.
  • Week 7. The Lore of Folklore and Fakelore. Thinking About Authenticity.
  • Week 8. Reviving the Revival, Part 2. Thinking More About Secondary Sources.
  • Week 9. Final Reflections, Discussion.
  • Final Exam. Final Interpretive Digital History Project and Reflective Blog Post Due (see assignment instructions and rubric here).

Blog Mini-Project Assignment Instructions:

  • Overview.
  • Blog 1. Text Annotation. Due Monday, 4/9.
  • Blog 2. Timeline. Due Monday, 4/16.
  • Blog 3. Video Annotation. Due Monday, 4/23.
  • Blog 4. Image annotation. Due Monday, 4/30.
  • Blog 5. Final Project Proposal. Due Monday, 4/30.
  • Blog 6. Mapping, Geocoding, and Digital Visualization. Due Monday, 5/7.
  • Blog 7. Audio Annotation. Due Monday, 5/14.
  • Blog 8. Reflections on Tag Cloud and Final Project Update. Due Monday, 5/21.

Meta-data Project Assignment Instructions:
One of the new aspects of digital history is the emergence of the database as a key research and publication document. To explore what it means to create an effective database, each of us will be assigned fifty (50) archival objects. We will each develop more comprehensive descriptive data for these documents.

  • Instructions.
  • Due Monday, 4/16: Metadata items 1-10 due.
  • Due Monday, 4/23: Metadata items 11-20 due.
  • Due Monday, 5/7: Metadata items 21-30 due.
  • Due Monday, 5/14: Metadata items 31-40 due.
  • Due Monday, 5/21: Metadata items 41-50 due.
  • Ongoing, Final version due Monday, 5/28: Meta-data Project Reflections.

Final Interpretive Digital History Project:

  • Instructions.

Academic Integrity:
All Weinberg College and Northwestern policies concerning plagiarism and academic dishonesty are strictly enforced in this course. See http://www.wcas.northwestern.edu/advising/integrity for more details.

In addition, because we are using potentially copyrighted materials in digital form, you will be asked by the Northwestern library to sign a waiver form that you will not violate any copyright laws. If you do so, this also constitutes academic dishonesty. If you have any question as to what constitutes plagiarism or academic dishonesty or copyright violation, please feel free to contact the instructor. Please note that under WCAS and Northwestern policy, the instructor is required to report any suspected instances of academic dishonesty. The instructor also reserves the right to assign a failing grade for the course if a student is found to have violated college or university policy concerning academic integrity.

History Writing Center:
The History Writing Center is a place students enrolled in history courses may come for help with their writing assignments.  While the University Writing Place (http://www.writing.northwestern.edu/) remains an excellent resource, the History Writing Center, staffed by a department graduate student, offers advice tailored to the specific challenges of writing history.

Neal Dugre
History Writing Center Director
Wed., 3-6pm; Thur. 2-445pm
Library Cafe, NU Library, Mezzanine
Or by appointment,  historywriting@northwestern.edu

Special Needs:
Students with special needs and disabilities that have been declared and documented through the Northwestern Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) should meet with the instructor to discuss any specific accommodations. For further information, see the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) website: http://www.northwestern.edu/disability.

Week 1. Introduction.
This week’s readings/viewings/listenings:

  • Barry Olivier, “Folk Music at Berkeley: 1956-1970″ and “A Personal Beginning,” in Berkeley Folk Music Festival Collection, Special Collections, Northwestern University Library, written circa 1974
  • Larry Kelp, “The Berkeley Renaissance,” Berkeley Insider, 1, 10 (November 1993): 15-23
  • Warren Bareiss, “Middlebrow Knowingness in 1950s San Francisco: The Kingston Trio, Beat Counterculture, and the Production of ‘Authenticity,’” Popular Music and Society 33, 1 (February 2010): 9–33
  • Introduction Listening Mix

This week’s schedule:

  • 3/27. Tuesday. Introductions. Of folk revivals and folksonomies: taking the folk revival digital.
  • 3/29. Thursday. Discussion. Starting to think about folk music at Berkeley and beyond.

Week 2. What Was the Folk Revival?
This week’s readings/viewings/listenings:

  • Benjamin Filene, Romancing the Folk: Public Memory  and American Roots Music (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999)
  • Archie Green, “Vernacular Music: A Naming Compass,” Musical Quarterly 77, 1 (Spring 1993): 35-46
  • American Roots Music, Episodes 1-4
  • Filene Listening Mix
  • Introduction Listening Mix

This week’s schedule:

  • 4/3. Tuesday. NUIT A&RT workshop, WordPress for digital historians.
  • 4/5. Thursday. Discussion. Folk vs. Roots vs. Vernacular?

Week 3. What is Digital History?
This week’s readings/viewings/listenings:

  • Lisa Spiro, “Getting Started in the Digital Humanities,” Journal of Digital Humanities 1, 1 (April 2012)
  • William G. Thomas, “Computing and the Historical Imagination,” in A Companion to Digital Humanities, ed. Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, John Unsworth (Oxford: Blackwell, 2004)
  • William G. Thomas, “What We Think We Will Build and What We Build in Digital Humanities,” History and The Making of Modern America, 15 October 2011
  • Tara McPherson, “Introduction: Media Studies and the Digital Humanities,” Cinema Journal 48, 2 (Winter 2009): 119-123
  • Tim Hitchcock, “Academic History Writing and Its Disconnects,” Journal of Digital Humanities 1, 1 (April 2012)
  • Trevor Owens, “Defining Data for Humanists: Text, Artifact, Information, or Evidence?,” Journal of Digital Humanities 1, 1 (April 2012)
  • Alan Liu, “Where is Cultural Criticism in the Digital Humanities,” paper delivered at “The History and Future of the Digital Humanities,” Modern Language Association convention, Los Angeles, 7 January 2011
  • Joanna Drucker, “Humanistic Theory and Digital Scholarship,” in Debating the Digital Humanities, ed. Matthew Gold (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2012), 85-95
  • Dave Parry, “The Digital Humanities or a Digital Humanism,” in Debating the Digital Humanities, 429-437
  • Fred Gibbs, “Critical Discourse in Digital Humanities,” Journal of Digital Humanities 1, 1 (April 2012)
  • Bryan Alexander, “Historical Storytelling Via Twitter”
  • Adeline Koh, Addressing Archival Silence on 19th Century Colonialism – Part 1: The Power of the Archive
  • Adeline Koh,  Addressing Archival Silence on 19th Century Colonialism – Part 2: Creating a Nineteenth Century “Postcolonial” Archive
  • Michael J. Kramer, selected posts from Issues in Digital History
  • Example: Invisible Australians: Living under the White Australia Policy

This week’s schedule:

  • 4/9. Monday. Blog assignment due by midnight. Blog 1, Annotation. Blog followup due by Monday, 4/16.
  • 4/10. Tuesday. Open for individual meetings about final project interests. More digital training as needed/requested. Assignment of database objects by student.
  • 4/12. Thursday. Discussion. What might digital history be?

Week 4. Reviving the Revival: Thinking About Sources.
This weeks’s readings/viewings/listenings:

  • Robert Cantwell, “When We Were Good: Class and Culture in the Folk Revival,” in Transforming Tradition: Folk Music Revivals Examined, ed. Neil V. Rosenberg (Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993), 35-60
  • Archie Green, “The Campus Folksong Club: A Glimpse at the Past,” in Transforming Tradition, 61-72
  • Bruce Jackson, “The Folksong Revival,” in Transforming Tradition, 73-83
  • Ellen J. Stekert, “Cents and Nonsense in the Urban Folksong Movement: 1930-1966,” in Transforming Tradition, 84-106
  • Sam Hinton, “The Singer of Folk Songs and His Conscience,” Western Folklore 14, 3 (1955): 170-173; reprinted in Sing Out! 7, 1 (Spring 1957): 24-26
  • Alan Lomax, “The ‘Folkniks’—and the Songs They Sing,” Sing Out! 9 (1959): 30-31
  • John Cohen, “In Defense of City Folksingers,” Sing Out! 9 (1959): 33-34
  • Susan Montgomery, “The Folk Furor,” Madamoiselle, December 1960, 98-99, 118
  • Jon Pankake, “Pete’s Children: The American Folk Song Revival, Pro and Con,” Little Sandy Review 29 (March-April 1964): 25-31
  • Ralph J. Gleason, “The Times They Are a Changing,” Ramparts, 3, 7 (April 1965): 36-48
  • Mike Seeger, “A Contemporary Folk Esthetic,” Sing Out! 16, 1 (February-March 1966): 59-61
  • Carl I. Belz, “Popular Music and the Folk Tradition,” Journal of American Folklore 80, 316 (April-June 1967): 130-142
  • R. Serge Denisoff, “The Proletarian Renascence: The Folkness of the Ideological Folk.” Journal of American Folklore 82, 323 (January-March 1969), 51-65
  • Film: Pete Seeger: The Power of Song, dir. Jim Brown
  • Film: A Mighty Wind, dir. Christopher Guest

This week’s schedule:
[Professor Kramer and wife’s baby due this week, so may need to cancel class meeting…I’ll keep you updated.]

  • 4/16. Monday. Blog assignments due by midnight. Blog 1 followup. Metadata Project. Blog 2, Timeline. Blog 2 followup due by Monday, 4/23.
  • 4/17. Tuesday. Discussion. Issues in the Folk Revival.
  • 4/19. Thursday. Discussion.

Week 5. Berkeley in the Sixties. Thinking about 1968.
This weeks’s readings/viewings/listenings:

  • Film: Berkeley in the Sixties, dir. Mark Kitchell
  • W.J. Rorabaugh, Berkeley At War: The 1960s (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989)
  • Browse Chicken On a Unicycle; Wolfgang’s Vault; Free Speech Movement archive; Free Speech Movement Digital Archive

This week’s schedule:

  • 4/23. Monday. Blog assignments due by midnight. Blog 2 followup. Blog 3, Video Annotation. Metadata Project. Blog 3 followup due by Monday 4/30.
  • 4/24. Tuesday. Open to visit Special Collections.
  • 4/26. Thursday. Discussion. Berkeley in the Sixties, a broader context.

Week 6. Thinking about Festivals.
This weeks’s readings/viewings/listenings:

  • Ron Cohen, A History of Folk Music Festivals in the United States (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2008)
  • Robert Cantwell, “Feasts of Unnaming: Folk Festivals and the Representation of Folk Life,” in If Beale Street Could Talk: Music, Community, Culture (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2008), 71-110
  • Sheldon Posen, “On Folk Festivals and Kitchens: Questions of Authenticity in the Folksong Revival,” in Transforming Tradition, 127-136
  • Film: Festival, dir. Murray Lerner

This week’s schedule:

  • 4/30. Monday. Blog assignments due by midnight. Blog 3 followup. Blog 4, Image annotation. Blog 5, Final project proposal. No metadata project due this week. Blog 4 followup due by Monday, 5/6. Blog 5 followup due by Monday 5/6.
  • 5/1. Tuesday. Open for library visits, project consultations.
  • 5/3. Thursday. Discussion. The folk festival as cultural form.

Week 7. The Lore of Folklore and Fakelore: Thinking About Authenticity.
This week’s readings/viewings/listenings:

  • Ray Allen, “In Pursuit of Authenticity: The New Lost City Ramblers and the Postwar Folk Music Revival,” Journal of the Society for American Music 4, 3 (August 2010): 277–305
  • NLCR Covers vs. Originals Listening Mix
  • Richard M. Dorson, “The American Folklore Scene, 1963,” Folklore 74, 3 (Autumn 1963): 443-449
  • Simon Frith, “‘The Magic That Can Set You Free’: The Ideology of Folk and the Myth of the Rock Community,” Popular Music 1 (1981): 159-168
  • Grace Elizabeth Hale, “Black as Folk: The Folk Music Revival, the Civil Rights Movement, and Bob Dylan,” in A Nation of Outsiders: How the White Middle Class Fell in Love with Rebellion in Postwar America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 84-131
  • Barry Shank, “‘That Wild Mercury Sound’: Bob Dylan and the Illusion of American Culture,” Boundary 2, 29 (Spring 2002): 97-123
  • Listen to KPFA 1968 Jubilee recordings in digital repository

This week’s schedule:

  • 5/7. Monday. Blog assignments due by midnight. Blog 4 followup. Blog 5 followup. Blog 6, Mapping, Geocoding, and Digital Visualization. Metadata project. Blog 6 followup due by Monday, 5/14.
  • 5/8. Tuesday. Open for library visit, individual project consultation.
  • 5/10. Thursday. Discussion. An authenticity breakdown.

Week 8. Reviving the Revival, Part 2: Thinking More About Secondary Sources.
This week’s schedule:

  • 5/14. Monday. Blog assignments due, midnight. Blog 6 followup. Blog 7, Audio Annotation. Metadata project. Blog 7 followup due by Monday, 5/21.
  • 5/15. Tuesday. Meeting with reference librarian Jeanette Moss to explore using databases and other resources for locating secondary sources.
  • 5/17. Thursday. Discussion.

Week 9. Final Reflections, Discussion.
This week’s readings/viewings/listenings:

  • Alice Stuart listening mix

This week’s schedule:

  • 5/21. Monday. Midnight. Blog assignments due. Blog 7 followup. Blog 8, Final project update. Metadata project.
  • 5/22. Tuesday. Open for final discussion, reflection, catching up, getting a breather, etc.
  • 5/24. Thursday. Visit from Alice Stuart!
  • 5/25. Friday, 3-5pm. A Conversation with Alice Stuart, NU Library Forum Room, 2nd Floor.
  • 5/28. Monday. Blog 8 followup due. Metadata project final post due.

6/8. Friday, 5pm. Final Project Due.

  1. Final project posted in final form on project space of networked wordpress blog (instructions and rubric).

  2. On the collective blog, post reflections (2-4 paragraphs approximately) on your final project. Be sure to respond to the following questions. You should write a compelling and clear reflection in complete sentences, developing a flowing and effective assessment of your final project.

 

  • What would you say is the topic, research question, and argument of your interpretive digital history project?
  • What primary sources did you use in the project?
  • What secondary sources did you use in your project?
  • What digital tools did you attempt to deploy in the project? How did they work (or not work)?
  • What was similar and different about developing an interpretive digital history project as compared to a traditional research paper?
  • What would you do differently if you could revise the project?

Blog Mini-Project Assignment Overview:
Overview.

As we explore the history of the folk revival and the Berkeley Folk Music Festival in general, the goal of your blog mini-projects is to explore different WordPress-based tools for interpretive historical analysis: text, photographic, video, and audio annotation; geo-coding and visualization; database construction; and other building blocks of digital history scholarship. You may find yourself learning as much from what does not work as what does, and that is okay. The objective is to learn about the past by investigating both time-tested historical methods and cutting-edge ways of thinking about the practice of history.

Below you will find an overview of blogging and instructions that apply to all mini-project assignments. Each blog has additional instructions as well. Do not hesitate to ask for clarification if you have questions!

WordPress Introduction to Blogging [http://codex.wordpress.org/Introduction_to_Blogging]

For each blog assignment:

(1) Select the appropriate blog category (Blog 1, 2, 3, etc.) for the post.
(2) Add a minimum of three tags to your post. These tags serve as keywords that you see as the essential terms that arise from your annotations. [How to add tags.]
(3) Make at least one comment of constructive criticism, praise, questions, ideas on another student’s project from the previous week.
(4) Write a brief but substantive (approximately one paragraph) follow up to your initial post as a new comment on the initial post. What did you learn? What questions do you still have? What new questions do you have? [Due one week after original assignment.]

  • Blog 1. Text Annotation. Due Monday, 4/9.
  • Blog 2. Timeline. Due Monday, 4/16.
  • Blog 3. Video Annotation. Due Monday, 4/23.
  • Blog 4. Image annotation. Due Monday, 4/30.
  • Blog 5. Final Project Proposal. Due Monday, 4/30.
  • Blog 6. Mapping, Geocoding, and Digital Visualization. Due Monday, 5/7.
  • Blog 7. Audio Annotation. Due Monday, 5/14.
  • Blog 8. Reflections on Tag Cloud and Final Project Update. Due Monday, 5/21.

Blog 1. Text Annotation. Due Monday, 4/9.
Goal: Connect reader responses to comparative interpretation.
Tools: Crocodoc, WordPress Table plug-in.
Assignment: Relate your own understanding of the folk revival to the readings by annotating one of the assigned e-reserve essays from weeks one or two (Kelp; Olivier; Bareiss).
(1) Create a crocodoc account (free) at http://crocodoc.com/. This will allow you to save your annotated document as you work on it over time.
(2) Use text annotation tool—http://crocodoc.com/—to upload a pdf file of one of the readings and annotate it with your observations about particular words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs. What particular parts of the article seem most important to you? What do you observe about those particular parts?
(3) Embed your annotated PDF into your blog post. To do this:
In Crocodoc, click “Share”
Select “Embed” and copy the code
In your blog post, select the HTML tab, paste code where you want the PDF to appear. Select “Visual” tab to return to composing your blog post.
(4) Under the Tools icon on the lefthand side of your dashboard, select and use the wp-table-reloaded plug in—wp-table-reloaded. Be sure to first create a copy of the table template, then use the copy, following the format for title. Cut and paste or copy a description of each part of the document that you annotated (for instance a quotation from the text, a particular word) into the table in your blog post under item. Add in your description, analysis of significance, and any other comments as you think about the annotated item [WP-Table Reloaded Instructions].
(5) Using the wp-table-reloaded plug in, embed your completed table into your blog post [WP-Table Reloaded Instructions]. Use the “Insert a table” icon just below the “visual” tab or cut and paste the code from your WP-Table Reloaded table, written in the sentence “On this page…” above your table.
(6) Assemble and edit your annotations into a coherent short analytic essay about three to five (3-5) paragraphs long. In the essay, your task is to flesh out what the precise link is between (a) the evidence from the article, (b) your annotated observation about that piece of evidence, and (c) the significance of your observation. Your essay should have a good introductory opening, a clear and compelling sense of development, a clear topic sentence to begin each paragraph, explicit and articulated linkage of evidence to interpretation, and a strong conclusion.
(7) Select blog category from category choices–Blog 1: Posts.
(8) Add tags–the keywords of significance for your annotation and essay.

(9) Print, sign, and return Researcher Agreement Form (pdf).
(10) Print, sign, and return Transfer Agreement for Research Papers/Portfolios Form (pdf).
Blog Followup Due by Monday, 4/16:
(11) Comment on another student’s post.
(12) Followup reflection on your post.

Blog 2. Timeline. Due Monday, 4/16.
Goal: Create an interpretive timeline.
Tool: Timerime [http://timerime.com/]
Assignment: Construct a timeline for the history of American folk music based on your reading of Filene and viewing of the American Roots Music documentary film.
(1) Read: Steven Lubar, “Timelines” [http://www.visualizingthepast.org/2012/02/timelines/]
(2) Create a Timerime account and use Timerime to construct and annotate the timeline. What events did you choose? Why are they significant for the narrative you wish to tell about the American folk revival? [How to use Timerime Timeline.]
(3) Embed your Timerime into your WordPress blog. [How to use Timerime Timeline.]
(4) Using the wp-table-reloaded plug in, copy the template of the table and copy or cut and paste the essential information from your timeline information and your annotations about why you have chosen this information into the table in your blog post [WP-Table Reloaded Instructions].
(5) Embed your completed table into your blog post [WP-Table Reloaded Instructions] using the Insert a table icon just below the Visual tab or using the code provided on top of your table.
(6) Assemble and edit your annotations into a short analytic essay (3-5 paragraphs) about the chronological narrative you have developed about the folk revival. Your essay should have a good introductory opening, a clear and compelling sense of development, a clear topic sentence to begin each paragraph, explicit and articulated linkage of evidence to interpretation, and a strong conclusion.
(7) Blog category (Blog 2: Posts).
(8) Tags.
Followup due by Monday. 4/23.
(9) Comment.
(10) Followup.

Blog 3. Video Annotation. Due Monday, 4/23.
Goal: Annotate video to understand history of folk revival through parody of it.
Tools: Video and annotation tables.
Assignment: Explain what historical references make a clip from A Mighty Wind humorous. What is the film parodying or burlesquing and why are these references funny (or not funny) to you?
(1) Choose one of the clips from A Mighty Wind.
(2) Embed it in your blog post. [How to embed images, audio, and video.]
(3) Using the wp-table-reloaded plug in, copy or cut and paste your video annotations into the table in your blog post [WP-Table Reloaded Instructions]. By column, you should include the precise time code, a title of the annotation, a description of precisely what the historical reference is, an analysis of its humor or lack there of in the annotation significance column, and any additional comments, questions, or issues.
(4) Embed your completed table into your blog post [WP-Table Reloaded Instructions].
(5) Write a one paragraph analysis of the annotated clip and your interpretation of it.
(6) Blog category (Blog 3: Posts).
(7) Tags.
Due by Monday. 4/30.
(8) Comment.
(9) Followup.

Blog 4. Image annotation. Due Monday, 4/30.
Goal: Annotate an image to investigate analyzing visual material for historical interpretation.
Tool: Demon Image Annotation
Assignment: Using the text or image annotator, select one text or image object from the 1968 digital repository and explain its significance using the annotating tool.
(1) When you’ve found an image you’d like to annotate, click the link in the spreadsheet to open the full image.
(2) Drag and drop the image onto your computer’s desktop.
(3) In the new blog post text editor, select the “Upload/Insert” icon to upload, select “Medium” size, and embed the image. [How to embed images, audio, and video.]
(4) Under the “Format” box to the right of the text editor, select “Image.”
(5) Save your post as a draft.
(6) To begin annotating the image, under “Publish,” select “Preview.”
(7) To annotate, click “Add Note,” drag and drop the box that pops up to the area of the image you are referencing, compose your annotation, and select OK.
(8) The annotations will automatically be saved, but you may also want to select “Update” in the blog post editor when finished.
(9) Using the wp-table-reloaded plug in, copy or cut and paste your annotations into the table in your blog post [WP-Table Reloaded Instructions].
(10) Embed your completed table into your blog post [WP-Table Reloaded Instructions].
(11) Assemble and edit your annotations into a short analytic essay (3-5 paragraphs) about the chronological narrative you have developed about the folk revival. Your essay should have a good introductory opening, a clear and compelling sense of development, a clear topic sentence to begin each paragraph, explicit and articulated linkage of evidence to interpretation, and a strong conclusion.
(12) Publish your post, selecting the blog category “Blog 4: Posts”.
(13) Tags.
Due by Monday. 5/7.
(14) Comment.
(15) Followup.

Blog 5. Final Project Proposal. Due Monday, 4/30.
Goal: Writing an effective project proposal.
Assignment: Blog post in the following format…
The main goals of a project proposal are to develop a topic, research question, and research plan of the right scope and depth. Your post should be written in the following format.
1. Tentative title.
The title gives a reader a quick sense of what you plan to offer and why it is important.
2. Research question.
Perhaps the most crucial section of the proposal, the research question frames what you plan to investigate in your project and why it is significant.
3. Abstract.
A one paragraph overview of your project topic, question, and plan. What are you studying? What is your sense of the existing interpretations of the topic? What will your “intervention” (your contribution) to this existing conversation be? Why is it important to understand the topic in this new way?
4. Secondary literature annotated bibliography.
What are the secondary sources (books, articles, films, etc.) that exist about your topic? In 2-3 sentences for each source, describe what they argue or suggest about your topic and why this position is important to your perspective on the topic. You should have at least 2 secondary sources.
5. Primary sources annotated bibliography.
What primary sources do you plan to use as evidence and why, in 2-3 sentences, is each item important. Depending on your project’s goals and argument, you might be working with 1 source (if it is rich enough to study in extraordinary detail) or many sources (if you want to shift to a “data” mode of evidence). There is no ideal number of sources, only what fits with what you wish to investigate and the argument you wish to develop.
6. Digital dimensions of research.
What kind of ways could you imagine using digital tools to probe your evidence and secondary sources? Do any digital tools actually exist that would allow you to investigate your material in the way you imagine?
7. Digital dimensions of presentation
What kind of ways could you imagine using digital tool to present your materials, secondary literature, argument, and interpretive details more effectively and compellingly? Do any digital tools actually exist that would allow you to do so?
8. Research plan.
Develop a schedule for your research plan from now until the due date for the project. How, week by week, do you plan to proceed?
9. Questions, concerns, issues, ideas.
Any other things on your mind as you begin to develop your final project?
(1) Post proposal in the format above, using the numbers for each section.
(2) Upload a sketch or drawing of what your final project might look like.
(3) Blog category.
(4) Tags.
Due by Monday. 5/7.
(5) Comment.
(6) Followup.

Blog 6. Mapping, Geocoding, and Digital Visualization. Due Monday, 5/7.
Goal: Explore spatial mapping using digital technology.
Tool: MapPress Pro [http://wphostreviews.com/product/mappress]
Assignment: Develop an annotated map of where all the performers at the 1968 Berkeley Folk Music Festival came from to perform at the event.
(1) Explore examples of mapping and geocoding:
Nebraska Railroads Expansion, 1865-86 [http://railroads.unl.edu/views/item/bryan_rr_chars]
Mapping the Republic of Letters [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nw0oS-AOIPE, http://www.stanford.edu/group/spatialhistory/cgi-bin/site/pub.php?id=71]
(2) Annotate and embed your map in WordPress with short reflective comments posted below [How to use Map Press Pro].
(3) Using the wp-table-reloaded plug in, cut and paste your annotations into the table in your blog post [WP-Table Reloaded Instructions]. (You may alternatively assemble a spreadsheet on your own computer then cut and past annotations into the wp-table-reloaded template.)
(4) Place your completed table into your blog post [WP-Table Reloaded Instructions].
(5) Are there any conclusions you can draw from the map? Explain in your WordPress blog.
(6) Blog category.
(7) Tags.
Due by Monday. 5/14.
(8) Comment.
(9) Followup.

Blog 7. Audio Annotation. Due Monday, 5/14.
Goal: Analysis of aural materials for interpretive digital historical study.
Tool: MP3 embed and timecode table.
Assignment:
(1) Import one of the 1968 KPFA festival recordings into WordPress. [How to import and embed.]
(2) Using the wp-table-reloaded plug in, annotate the recording. Address the following question: what is significant about specific moments in the recording? Cut and paste your annotations into the table in your blog post [WP-Table Reloaded Instructions]. (You may alternatively assemble a spreadsheet on your own computer then cut and past annotations into the wp-table-reloaded template.) By column, you should include the precise time code, a title of the annotation, a description, an analysis of the significance of the annotation, and any additional comments, questions, or issues.
(3) Place your completed table into your blog post [WP-Table Reloaded Instructions].
(4) Develop an analytic essay that compiles your annotations and turns toward a larger interpretation of the audio. How do the particular annotated comments you made lead to a larger point?
(5) Blog category.
(6) Tags.
Due by Monday. 5/21.
(7) Comment.
(8) Followup.

Blog 8. Final Project Update. Due Monday, 5/21.
Goal: Reflection on designing interpretive history in WordPress.
Assignment:
(1) Analyze your experience of designing an interpretive digital history project in wordpress: How has working in the digital domain, particularly in wordpress, been similar and/or different from a traditional research essay? What do you feel you have learned thus far about the folk revival, modern U.S. history, digital history, or simply history in general? What have been the challenges, dilemmas, or problems of researching and writing history in this form?
(2) Examine the tag cloud. What do you notice in terms of keywords? Try pasting texts of posts into http://voyeurtools.org/. Do you notice anything qualitatively in the quantitative analysis of the corpus/archive of our course blog (or some portion of it)? If so, describe.
(3) Look back at your initial sketch from our first class meeting, in which you quickly drew out a vision of what folk music was. Has your sense of folk music changed? Has anything been confirmed? Explain with reference to the sketch.
(4) Update on final project. How have your research question, hypothesis, and analysis changed as you continue to work on your project?
(5) Blog category.
(6) Tags.
Due by Monday. 5/28.
(7) Comment.
(8) Followup.

Meta-data Project Assignment Instructions:
One of the new aspects of digital history is the emergence of the database as a key research and publication document. To explore what it means to create an effective database, each of us will be assigned fifty (50) archival objects. We will each develop more comprehensive descriptive data for these documents.

To begin:

  • Read Anne J. Gilliland, Setting the Stage,” in Introduction to Metadata, Online Edition, Version 3.0
  • Read Michael J. Kramer, “Meditation on Metadata”
  • Browse the 1968 Digital Archive of the Berkeley Folk Music Festival
  • In the assigned week, enter “meta-meta-data” for ten objects. You will find your assignments in the Google Docs 1968 Digital Archive of the Berkeley Folk Music Festival by name under the column “Student Meta-Data Project”
  • For each week, create a blog post called “Meta-data Project Reflections”—note any observations you have had from developing descriptive data for the assigned archival objects: questions, concerns, worries, realizations, etc. These can be brief and informal.

Due Monday, 4/16: Metadata items 1-10 due.
Due Monday, 4/23: Metadata items 11-20 due.
Due Monday, 5/7: Metadata items 21-30 due.
Due Monday, 5/14: Metadata items 31-40 due.
Due Monday, 5/21: Metadata items 41-50 due.
Ongoing, Final version due Monday, 5/28: Meta-data Project Reflections.

Final Interpretive Digital History Project:

Description:
Your final digital project must develop a convincing and compelling interpretation grounded in, but not necessarily exclusively focused on, materials in the Digital Berkeley Folk Music Festival Archive. A successful project will address specific arguments in the existing historiography of the American folk music revival and related topics based on the secondary materials we have explored. It will do so by demonstrating how new primary evidence relates to this extant literature. The project will also explore inventive and creative uses of digital technologies, tools, designs, and capabilities with the wordpress content management system (cms) to further the interpretive stakes of the project.
Remember to post your reflective blog essay on the collective blog as well.

Rubric:
1. Interpretation 25%
·      What is the interpretation?
·      Is the interpretation clearly, precisely, and evocatively conveyed?
2. Use of evidence 25%
·      Is the evidence from the Digital Berkeley Folk Music Festival Archive linked to the interpretation effectively and precisely?
·      Does the project deepen a reader’s understanding of the evidence from the archive?
·      Does the project effectively draw upon additional primary sources?
3. Use of secondary material 25%
·      Does the project effectively and compellingly link its interpretation and evidence to secondary materials?
·      Does it explain existing interpretations cogently?
·      Does it demonstrate clearly what is important about its intervention in the existing questions, debates, and dilemmas of scholarly understanding?
4. Use of the digital 25%
·      Does the project make innovative use of digital tools, capacities, technologies, and design to communicate its interpretation?
·      Does it do so conceptually?
·      Was the project able to implement this technology effectively?

NOTE: Citations and Bibliographic Requirements:
Your digital project should include an integration or section that lists credits and citations. These should include secondary sources (authors, titles, publications, dates) and any photographic credits you can locate. You may use Chicago Manual of Style as a rough guide for citation formats, but use common sense as well. Your task is to give your reader access to the sources you made use of in a clear and concise way and to credit ideas and materials you draw upon.

Possible Projects, Or Design Your Own:
The goal of your research project is to produce an analytic, interpretive digital presentation using evidence related in some way to the Digital Berkeley Folk Festival Archive and the history of the American folk music revival in general. Your project should address these historical topics. It should also, in its presentation, explore the possibilities (and the challenges) of the wordpress digital publishing environment for new modes of historical interpretation. A successful project will have a clear argument that connects to evidence in a compelling and convincing way. It will also propose or enact inventive new ways of using digital technology to create historical interpretation.

Here is a list of potential foci. This is simply meant to inspire ideas and give you starting points on your projects. Through reading/viewing/listening to existing scholarship, exploring the digital archive, checking out existing digital history projects, and discussions in our seminar, you are encouraged to formulate your own project in relation to one of these proposed topics or to create your own topic of study.

Your project might be:

  • A study of one performer or participant at the Berkeley Folk Music Festival using photographs, recordings, descriptions, and additional research materials.
  • A study of one song or set of songs, investigating and analyzing the songs history, circulation, music and text, and significance.
  • A study of the relationship of the BFMF to other events and aspects of Cal, Berkeley, the Bay Area, California, the US or the world.
  • A study of politics at BFMF and/or in relation to BFMF and the folk revival.
  • A study of change (and continuity) over time in presentations at the BFMF.
  • A study of any aspects the business side of the BFMF: ticketing, funding, etc.
  • A study of the creation of the BFMF archive and the nature of archives in general.
  • A study of the programming, curation, and arts administration at BFMF.
  • A study of the relationship between the BFMF and the postwar university system.
  • A data-mining project of word clouds, musical compositions, or other factors in the BFMF or folk revival.
  • A study of genres and genre boundaries at the BFMF.
  • A comparison of BFMF to other folk, rock, jazz festivals.
  • Folk music as performance art, theatrical presentation, or other modes of presentation at BFMF.
  • The representation of folk music at BFMF.
  • The notion of a folk “revival”—revival of what, exactly?
  • The concepts of authenticity, sincerity, irony, and other modalities or sensibilities and values at BFMF.
  • The concept of citizen and citizen-artists at BFMF and in the folk revival.
  • Commerciality and notions of folk music as commercial or non-commercial at BFMF and in the folk revival.
  • Concepts of the audience and of participation at BFMF and in the folk revival.
  • Folk music as education at BFMF.
  • An oral history of performers or attendees at BFMF. Also could include design of a wordpress site for people to post memories of the BFMF.
  • A study of visual material and iconography at BFMF (posters, pamphlets, etc.).
  • A study of the journalism and arts criticism that emerged from the festival.
  • A study of uses of publicity and public relations in the BFMF.
  • An investigation of copyright issues in relation to BFMF.
  • A study of the “folk process” in relation to some aspect of BFMF and/or some aspect of the digital.
  • A study of some aspect of the BFMF in relation to concepts of “tradition.”
  • A study of some aspect of the BFMF in relation to race or ethnicity.
  • A study of some aspect of the BFMF in relation to gender.
  • A study of some aspect of the BFMF in relation to generational identity.
  • A study of some aspect of the BFMF in relation to regional identities.
  • A study of some aspect of the BFMF in relation to class formations, identities.
  • A study of some aspect of the BFMF in relation to technology.
  • A study of some aspect of the BFMF in relation to concepts of Americanness.
  • A study of antecedents to or events inspired by the BFMF: earlier folk festivals, or later ones; other kinds of festivity, such as World’s Fairs, rock concerts, Burning Man, etc.
  • Use your intuition and imagination to formulate your own topic!

Leave a Reply