We’ve talked ad nauseum about the advantages and limitations of digital archives and storytelling. In this assignment, you’re going to write a history of any topic almost entirely in terms of digital images. You can use the NM history topic you picked much earlier, or do something TOTALLY DIFFERENT. It’s up to you. Pick something you have some interest in learning about, since research is still required—although not nearly as much as before.
Clearly, this is a highly restrictive and artificial limitation, but one that represents research in the real world, as there are always arbitrary limitations (whether geography, time or access, etc). It’s also an extreme test of the power of digital essays to (potentially) create more engaging histories. In your essay, therefore, you should comment on how this kind of restriction affects your ability to tell an interesting and accurate story about your topic.
Your research is not restricted to digital images, as that would be impossible, or so crude as to be useless. Your research will be the same as if you were writing a standard 5-page paper (or whatever). But you need to TELL THE STORY THROUGH IMAGES, with as little text as possible, and highly informative captions and image citations.
AS ALWAYS: Part of the goal of your digital portfolios is to show off ability to engage simultaneously with the potential and limitations of digital research. As always, imagine that you are writing this for a potential employer who is intrigued by the “Digital History” course on your transcript. Show them how you can tell a complex story effectively with digital media. And remember, this is one of many components of your portfolio—one that privileges the visual (you have lots of text elsewhere).
At the end of your essay, you should list the full bibliographic entry of your sources and images. Use whatever style you’re most familiar with (Chicago, APA, whatever), but be consistent.
At the end of your image caption, you should have a hyperlink that takes the reader to the digital source of your image, which will look like
[source]. Please don’t make the brackets part of the hyperlink. Have the link go to wherever you found the image. A working example might look like:
Protestors and spectators on Cornell Mall after the arrival of the National Guard on UNM campus. Mesa Vista Hall in background. [source]
As a class exercise, we are operating under the doctrine of fair use, so we don’t need to worry about copyright for our website. Still, we should always be respectful of the fact that every image is a creative work subject to copyright.