HIST 5110/6010 - Public History Practicum - Spring 2020

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Course Information

Instructor Information

Dr. Rebecca S. Wingo
(rebecca.wingo [at] uc. edu)

Office Hours
Weds 10-11:30AM; Thurs 1:00-2:00PM
or by appointment.

Office Location
McMicken Hall, 320C

Office Phone

Course Details

Class Time & Location
5:00-7:50PM Thurs McMicken Hall 315

Important Links
Oral History in the Digital Age
Oral History Association

This project has been developed in collaboration the BH+R Collaborative.

5110 Course Texts (Undergrad)

Required Books:
  • Donald A. Ritchie, Doing Oral History, 3rd Edition (Oxford University Press, 2014)
  • Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America (W. W. Norton and Company, 2017)

6010 Course Texts (Grad)

Required Books:
  • Donald A. Ritchie, Doing Oral History (Oxford University Press, 2014)
  • Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America (W. W. Norton and Company, 2017)
  • Nikki M. Taylor, Frontiers of Freedom: Cincinnati's Black Community, 1802-1868 (Ohio University Press, 2004)
All other readings:
Other readings and resources will be available through this digital syllabus or via Blackboard.

Course Description & Objectives

This course is designed to give students a hands-on experience working as a public history practitioner. Students will work together as a team to meet the needs of a local history client and produce a tangible real-world product.

Students in this class will partner with the Bond Hill-Roselawn Collaborative (BH+R) to collect oral histories from residents in the neighborhoods. Bond Hill is a predominantly African American neighborhood with a history that spans its founding by white teetotalers in the 1870s to redlining and blockbusting in the 1960s. Students will learn about its recent history from the residents themselves.

We will work also design and develop content for BH+R's community website based on their seven priority themes. All work will be presented to the BHR board at the end of the semester.

photograph of the sign welcoming traffic to Bond Hill

Photograph: Gehio Blog

Upon the successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in the history of African Americans in Cincinnati and the history of redlining, blockbusting, and urban renewal on a national and local level
  • Examine the best practices and ethical considerations of developing partnerships with marginalized communities and communities of color
  • Put oral history theory and methodolgy into practice with participants selected by BHR
  • Craft meaningful historical narratives based on primary and secondary research
  • Articulate the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the public history practice, and be able to recognize when there is an absence of diversity as a result
  • Integrate appropriate technology into the practice of history

Transferrable Skills

History classes are about the past, but they can inform your future. You can leverage many of the skills you gain in the course to your future careers both in and out of the historical discipline. Skills gained through the study of history include (but are not limited to):

  • Organizing and managing diverse and complex information
  • Expressing strong and persuasive evidence-based arguments in writing and speech
  • Building unparalleled research skills through deep and broad inquiry
  • Exploring the complexity of the human experience across time and space
  • Using the lessons of the past to understand the present


Please Note: Graduate students have additional readings and assignments. All these assignments are color-coded with a GRADS icon.

Date Topics Read & Prepare for Class Assignments Due
Week 11
Th 03/26

Test Recordings

DO Create a test recording based on these instructions. I am generally available during the business day to do a test call with you either over WebEx or on our cell phones.

ORAL HIST Test recordings should be deposited in the "Test Recordings" folder on our shared Google Drive

Week 12
Th 04/02

Interview-a-thon Debrief


DO Hey, y'all - your oral histories are due (finally). Have fun with these! And don't forget to read all the directions.

MEET We will meet virtually via WebEx during class time to debrief our essays and discuss common themes. This will help you generate ideas for your final essays.

ORAL HIST Oral history video due

ORAL HIST Transcription draft and metadata due

Videos, transcripts, and metadata should be uploaded to our shared Google folder.

ESSAY Essay proposal due (emailed)

Week 13
Th 04/09

Writing with Oral History

MEET If you would like to meet and discuss the Ritchie reading, I will have virtual office hours from 5:00pm - 6:00pm on Thursday, or by appointment. Just click this WebEx link and provide the password I emailed you.

READ Ritchie, Doing Oral History, Ch 4 & 8

ORAL HIST Peer-review one assigned transcript & metadata

ESSAY Essay proposal due

Week 14
Th 04/16

Writing with Oral History

Work remotely this week. The first draft of your essay is due to me AND your class partner by the end of class (8pm).

I will return my comments on to you by the end of the day on Monday, April 20th. You must return your comments to your peers by Tuesday, April 21st so that they can incorporate your comments by next class period.

ORAL HIST Final transcripts due

ESSAY 1st Draft Due

Week 15
Th 04/23

Final Presentations

Upload Oral Histories to Omeka Site

MEET You are to present for 5 minutes maximum on your final essay, then we will discuss final reflections about the course / the rollercoaster ride we've all been on since March.

We will meet via WebEx during class time (5pm). Either follow this link with the password I emailed or the link emailed to your school account.

The second draft of your essay (incorporating my comments and your partner's comments) is due to me by the end of class (8pm).

I will return my next revisions to you by the end of the day on Monday, April 27th.

ORAL HIST Upload your video to the submission portal on A Journal of the Plague Year.

ESSAY 2nd Draft Due

FINAL 5-minute essay presentation due

Exam Week
Th 04/30

Final Exam

2:15pm - 4:15pm

FINAL Your final essay and final reflection is due to me (emailed) by 4:15pm.

ESSAY All final essay revisions due before the end of the exam period

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Assignment Descriptions

Component (click on labels for assignment overviews) Points per Assignment Number of Assignments Total
ORAL HIST Oral histories are more than just recorded interviews. There are many different components to good oral histories, including question development, interview summaries & metadata, transcription, and reflection. Project components will be due throughout the semester, adding up to 55 / 65 points. varies multiple 55 / 65
ESSAY Once we have conducted oral history interviews, we will use them as a springboard for short research essays on a singular topic or theme. The minimum length of these essays is 5 pages for undergraduates and 8 pages for graduate students. varies 2 25 / 30
GRADS Over the course of the semester, graduate students will complete two main assignments separate from the undergraduates. These are marked throughout the syllabus with a GREY icon. The assignments are the teaching assignment (Week 2) and an digital oral history project review (Week 7). varies 2 0 / 30
FINAL Students are required to create a short presentation based on their essays, and will deliver them during a community meeting. 10 1 10 / 10
PARTICIPATION Attendance and participation in this course are mandatory both inside and outside of the classroom. We only meet once per week. You are expected to attend each class meeting. varies N/A 10 / 15
TOTAL 100 / 150

Grading Scale

Letter Grades are comprised of points earned.

Grade Points
A 93-100
A- 90-92
B+ 87-89
B 83-86
B- 80-82
C+ 77-79
C 73-76
C- 70-72

Related Policies

Due Dates
Late work will not be accepted. Assignments submitted late will automatically receive no credit/zero points.

Shit Happens Clause
Once per semester, you may invoke the Shit Happens Clause. This clause grants you a three-day extension on your assignment with no questions asked. However, you can not use this clause on your final project deadline or any group work. To invoke the clause, email me before the assignment is due, letting me know you are using it.

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Classroom & University Policies

Classroom Etiquette

Courtesy & Respect
My goal is for us to create a constructive learning environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing ideas and participating regularly. Therefore, I expect you to come on time and stay for the entire class period, listen attentively while others are speaking, and respect opinions other than your own. I encourage discussion and healthy disagreements, so long as the disagreements are factual, constructive, and free from harassment. Unprofessional or disrespectful conduct will result in an absence for the day. Please contact me if you feel unsafe or have suggestions for improving the classroom environment.

Controversial Content
During this course you may encounter a range of topics to which you may experience strong reactions. It is important to keep an open mind and be respectful of others, as this will help to facilitate the discussion about content, audience, and purpose. If you feel uncomfortable with certain materials (such as references to violence or sex), please let me know and we can make accommodations or discuss other learning opportunities.

Name and Gender Identity
I am provided a class roster with students’ legal names. I will gladly honor your request to address you by an alternate name or your preferred gender pronoun. Let me know your preference as early in the semester as you feel comfortable. Please be aware that this will not affect your official university records, but I can help you with that process if you'd like.

Laptops & Mobile Devices
Please feel free to use any device that makes your participation in class discussions easier. It is expected that students of this class will use technology during class to take notes, experiment / work (during appropriate class times), refer to digital readings, show examples, etc. It is also expected that these technologies will not be used during class for purposes outside the scope of the class, including instant messaging, e-mail, social media, etc. Please do not leave your cell phones on audible ring, and barring emergencies, do not take or make phone calls during class. The right to use such technologies in the classroom may be revoked at any time by the professor. Additionally, tech-free or screens-down classes will be employed throughout the semester during which time no technology may be used in the class. Headphones are prohibited from this classroom unless a student requires them for accomodations and has documentation.

Online Etiquette
If this course uses any social media (blogs, Twitter, etc.), students are expected to uphold professional standards that meet university and professional codes of conduct. No bullying or disrespect will be tolerated. If you are experiencing any problems, please let me know and we will work together to resolve the issue.

University Policies

A student who is discovered plagiarizing on any assignment will automatically receive a grade of zero (0) for that assignment and the assignment cannot be resubmitted to obtain a different grade on the plagiarized assignment. A student who has been found guilty of plagiarizing shall not be allowed to withdraw from the course unless the student withdraws with a semester grade of "F." A second incidence of plagiarism will result in automatic failure of the course. For further details on the issue of academic misconduct, including plagiarism, see the Student Code of Conduct available on UC's website.

Americans with Disabilities Act
Students desiring a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act must contact the instructor immediately to discuss their needs. Failure to notify the instructor in a timely manner of the need for a reasonable accommodation may hinder the college’s ability to assist students in successfully completing the course.

Religious Holidays
UC / A&S students, who, because of their sincerely held religious beliefs, are unable to attend classes, take examinations, participate in grade activities, or submit graded assignments on particular days shall, without penalty, be excused from such classes and be given a meaningful opportunity to make up such examinations and graded activities or assignments provided that advance written notice of their absence is given to faculty members during the first two weeks of the semester.

Title IX
Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of your actual or perceived sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Title IX also covers sexual violence, dating or domestic violence, and stalking. If you disclose a Title IX issue to me, I am required forward that information to the Title IX Office. They will follow up with you about how the University can take steps to address the impact on you and the community and make you aware of your rights and resources. Their priority is to make sure you are safe and successful here. You are not required to talk with the Title IX Office. If you would like to make a report of sex or gender-based discrimination, harassment or violence, or if you would like to know more about your rights and resources on campus, you can consult the website or contact the office at 556-3349.

Counseling Services
Clifton Campus Students have access to counseling and mental health care through the University Health Services (UHS), which can provide both psychotherapy and psychiatric services. In addition, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) can provide professional counseling upon request; students may receive five free counseling sessions through CAPS without insurance. Students are encouraged to seek assistance for anxiety, depression, trauma / assault, adjustment to college life, interpersonal / relational difficulty, sexuality, family conflict, grief and loss, disordered eating and body image, alcohol and substance abuse, anger management, identity development and issues related to diversity, concerns associated with sexual orientation and spirituality concerns, as well as any other issue of concerns. After hours, students may call UHS at 513-556-2564 or CAPS Cares at 513-556-0648. For urgent physician consultation after-hours students may call 513-584-7777.


Child Care
Parenting should not restrict your access to class. If there is an emergency that causes an immediate change to your child care plans for that day, you are invited to bring your child to class. Please be prepared to step out with your child if needed.

If you have any questions or concerns throughout the semester, please see or call me immediately. I am here to help you learn, but it is your responsibility to address any issues you have concerning course content, assignments, and classroom dynamics. Do not risk your grade; if you are having problems, please come and talk me before it is too late.

Syllabus Modifications
This syllabus will serve as our guide throughout the semester, but may change, particularly as we identity digital skills we would like to pursue throughout the semester or face different time constraints from involved communities. I will alert you to any major changes made.

Acknowledgments & License

This syllabus and all assignments are copyrighted © 2020 Rebecca S. Wingo and licensed CC-Non-Commercial BY 4.0. You are free to use or modify this syllabus for any non-commercial purpose, provided that you attribute it to the author, preferably at the course website listed above.

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