Teaching

Here’s an overview of some of the courses I’ve taught and/or consulted in recent years. I have 10+ years of teaching experience at the college level. I’ve taught courses at Brown University, Northeastern University, and Wentworth College. Happy to consult with educators in higher ed and K-12 on effective uses of technology in the classroom and digital pedagogy: feel free to get in touch via Twitter (@JimMc_Grath) or email (james_mcgrath@brown.edu)!

Brown University (Fall 2015-present)

Digital Public Humanities (Brown University; Fall 2017)

I’m teaching Digital Public Humanities for the second time at Brown this fall. Once again it’s a graduate-level course. This particular version of the course is centered on a collaboration with the Providence Public Library Special Collections Department. View our course site for more information.

Digital Storytelling (Brown University; Spring 2017)

This is a graduate-level course offered through the Public Humanities M.A. program here at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage (institutionally house in American Studies). Visit our course site to view readings, our student-run blog, and digital projects / stories in development.

Official course description: This course surveys the current state of digital storytelling, examining topics ranging from digital curation to data journalism to social media activism (and beyond). We will consider the narrative conventions, multimodal dimensions, and mechanics of a wide range of digital stories, carefully examining both the tools available to creators and the theoretical perspectives that motivate their authors. Students will determine best practices for digital storytelling projects through their engagement with course readings, their participation in in-class workshop sessions where we experiment with particular tools and publishing platforms, and their implementation of a digital storytelling project.

This course meets at Brown’s Digital Scholarship Lab, runs informal workshops for students on particular tools, and makes use of Slack to augment and continue class discussions and project development.

 

Digital Public Humanities (Brown University; Spring 2016)

This is a graduate-level course offered through the Public Humanities M.A. program here at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage (institutionally house in American Studies). Visit our course site to view readings, blog posts, and student descriptions of the digital projects they began developing by the end of the course.

Official course description:  What is digital humanities and how does it impact and intersect with the field of public humanities? Digital humanities work involves new approaches to reading, writing, research, publication, and curation: digital tools help us examine digital and non-digital material in innovative ways, and digital modes of communication help us reach new and wider ranges of audiences. While many of you are no doubt aware of the ubiquity of digital technology and the massive amounts of time people spend with digital media, my hope is that this course provides students with the opportunity to create digital projects and utilize digital tools to further their academic and professional interests.

 In this course, students will:

  • Examine the recent (and still developing) history of digital humanities and the uses of digital spaces and tools by cultural institutions, academics, and other parties (artists, activists, community reps) interested in various forms of public engagement
  • Consider the place of digital initiatives less as a stand-in for “analog” work and more as projects in conversation with physical archives, exhibits, and events
  • Review best practices for the creation, management, publication, promotion, and preservation of digital exhibits and objects
  • Complete a project (ideally something you can add to your professional portfolio) designed to circulate publicly that demonstrates your familiarity with digital tools and contexts

This course met in the JNBC’s main classroom. We made use of Slack and Google Docs for class notes and discussion.

This course also led to the creation of a few Twitter bots after a class workshop. One bot, @elpublicoes (made by Eddie Roble and Bárbara Elmúdesi), is still running in 2017.

Wentworth Institute of Technology (Spring 2014-Summer 2015)

In the spring of 2014, I consulted with the instructors of a Wentworth course titled “Digital Approaches to Boston Culture: Curating the Legacy of Mayor James Curley.” Specifically, I helped the course make use of Neatline, a plugin for digital exhibits in Omeka, in order to create an annotated tour of “The Curley House,” the former residence of Boston Mayor James M. Curley. In the summer of 2015, I co-taught a version of “Digital Approaches to Boston Culture” that continued work on the Curley initiative and began work on a similar digital project concerning The Loring-Greenough House, a historic site in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston.

Northeastern University (Fall 2003 – Spring 2015)

During my time at Northeastern, I spent over ten years teaching various courses in the university’s Writing Programs (College Writing, Advanced Writing in the Disciplines). I also ran workshops on digital tools with the Northeastern University Library, guest-lectured on digital media and technology (in undergraduate and graduate-level courses), worked as a teaching assistant for tenured faculty, and served as a writing tutor (as part of Northeastern’s Writing Center and International Tutoring Center) My in-class work at Northeastern involved a range of uses of digital tools and methodologies. Highlights include:

  • Ran Omeka workshops for students and faculty in the spring of 2015
  • Assisted an undergraduate service learning course with the creation of digital exhibits for Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive in the fall of 2014 (link)
  • Created “Alex Panoptix,” a commentary on student social media use and surveillance culture via a collaboratively-written (with students in a College Writing course) Twitter account about a fictional Northeastern student living in Boston (Spring 2013)
  • Created “@Robert_Frost,” a playful critique of periodization and literary history in the form of a Twitter parody account (for a Spring 2009 Special Topics course on Robert Frost)
  • Assigned students Wikipedia editing / revision assignments that asked them to participate in and reflect on issues related to knowledge production and public writing (various courses)