It was quite a summer, but I couldn’t be happier to be back at UMass for another year! I’ve already had my first week of classes, and I’m pleased to say that it should be an interesting semester.
I’m taking two courses in the history department – 397Z, Introduction to Public History, and 394CI, Ideas That Changed History. The first course is relatively new to the course offerings – while UMass is home to the oldest public history program in the country, there isn’t a formal concentration for undergraduates. We’ll be having lots of guest speakers in class and discussing the forms by which we present history to the public. The second course is a requirement for my major that focuses on historiography. I’m really intrigued by what this course will bring, as it should prepare me for more difficult, graduate-level work. I plan to share some of my thoughts on those classes, so keep an eye out for #hist397z and #hist394ci on my posts.
I’m also taking a course in Sociology on youth risk and rebellion resistance, a Journalism course in web design. In addition, I’m taking advantage of the Five College Consortium to take a course at Hampshire College – “Media Overload,” which takes a digital-age perspective at the explosion of print culture. Hampshire does teach a little differently than UMass – the courses are much more discussion-based and traditionally give evaluations instead of grades at the end of the semester. It will definitely be interesting to see how the course goes.
Finally, I was accepted into the first stage of the UMass BDIC program, which is an individualized major program for students to take an interdisciplinary approach to their education. My plan is to form a secondary major in Digital Humanities – after my experience in a course last semester and participating in THATCampNE, I’ve decided I would really like to pursue the field in-depth. Throughout the course of this semester, I’ll be formalizing my curriculum and officially proposing the major to the department. So, keep on the lookout for DH-related posts as well!
Good luck to everyone else this fall semester!