“Public History and the Digital Humanities” will be an interdisciplinary minor at the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies (ITPS) open to students in any major in the School of Arts and Science or the Lapenta School of Business. This minor explores the interrelated fields of public history and digital humanities, studying each as virtual and physical communities, sets of research methods and practices, and a shared commitment to accessible communication of knowledge. Inspired by the work of Thomas Paine in politics, activism, media, and communication, “Public History and the Digital Humanities” empowers students to gain scholarly and pre-professional experience in a wide range of experiential and intellectual formats.
The goals of the program are:
- Through a required internship in public and digital history, students will hone stills in wide range of projects and learning formats in museum and archival studies, with a particular emphasis on building historical and digital community, both in New Rochelle and around the country. These include onsite collaborations with the Thomas Paine Cottage Museum and the Fred Smith Library at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Examples of types of work done in this internship include: social media strategy; website and digital outreach; event planning and fundraising; exhibit curation; archival cataloguing and preservation; visitor engagement, tour development, and multi-language docent work; database development; and other aspects of non-profit organizational development.
- Through a required course in Public History and the Digital Humanities, students will gain an understanding of the origins, development and current status of those two fields, as well as strategies for rendering both relevant to their personal and professional goals. In particular, the “Public History and Digital Humanities” minor reinforces the Iona mission in its commitment to community engagement, intellectual inquiry, and a commitment to diversity. These values are inherent and foundational to both the digital humanities and public history, particularly in those fields shared emphasis understanding the technological and digital impact on society. As a result, students will gain a proficiency in related civic and personal development skills, in particular media and information literacy.
- Students will gain key work experience and networking opportunities, from access to the McNeil Center for Early American Studies Undergraduate Research Workshop (URW) to other initiatives such as the TAP project at the ITPS. Students will develop key job skills relevant to work as historical consultants in television, theater, and the arts, museum professionals, government employees, archivists, library and information science, heritage and cultural resource managers and preservationists, curators, film, journalist, and media experts, and policy and community activists.