Week 1: Introduction

Welcome! I’m so glad you’re in this class. Every week, you’ll see a page like this where all the materials for the week are laid out. There will be videos and podcasts, questions, and activities. I will always post here on Mondays and Thursdays, but you should also watch our Slack group for any updates or amendments.

This leads me to your tasks for this week!

Monday: Introduction

  • Sign up for our class Slack group if you haven’t already. You should have gotten an email from me that included information on joining. You really need to get this done sooner rather than later because that space will intersect with most of our class activities.
  • Watch this video about how to use Slack, if you’re new to it.
  • Watch today’s video, “Welcome to HIST390!”
  • Read this course site from top to bottom.
  • Fill out the introductory survey, which you can find here.
  • Start thinking about your grade contract, which you can submit here until September 7.
  • Finally, start your journey of digital content creation (and practice using Slack) by creating a meme that illustrates how you feel about this class right now. You can learn about making memes here. Post your meme in the #memes channel in our Slack group.

Special event: Synchronous meetups to talk about the syllabus

Most weeks we won’t have any synchronous components. But this week I’m offering two special sessions for you to come to a Zoom meetup and ask questions about the syllabus and meet me. The links are in the email you received before this week. These meetings will occur at:

  • Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 1:00pm
  • Wednesday, August 26, 2020, at 10:00am

If you can’t make it at these times, that’s ok! Just reach out and we can set up a different time to talk, or you can ask me questions on Slack.

Thursday: What is the Internet?

  • Watch this video to help you understand how the Internet works.

Small Project 1: Create yourself a website. (Due August 31, 2020)

This project is the basis of much of the rest of the work you’ll do the rest of the semester. Make sure you follow the instructions very carefully! If you can’t figure it out, reach out sooner rather than later—you don’t want to get behind on this project!

Step 1: Buy your domain.
  • Go to Reclaim Hosting.
  • Click on “Sign up.”
  • Sign up for the personal ($30) option. Fill out all the details of the forms Reclaim provides.
  • Once you have received a confirmation/welcome email from Reclaim, be sure you click the link in the email to activate your domain.
Step 2: Set up WordPress.
  • On Reclaim Hosting, go to Client Area Login. Use the login info provided in your welcome email to sign in.
  • Go to cPanel, and then click on WordPress in the “Applications” section.
  • Click “Install application” to open up a settings panel.
  • Leave everything exactly as is, except scroll down to “Settings.”
  • Under “Settings,” change the administrator username and password to something you’ll remember.
  • Change the blog name and tagline to something more personalized than the WordPress generic language.
  • Then click “Install” at the bottom.
Step 3: Access your WordPress site.
  • In the Installatron, you should now see a tab that says “My Applications,” and under “My Applications” you should see your newly installed WordPress instance.
  • The key link you need there is the one that ends in “wp-admin.” Click on that to get to the back end of your WordPress site. You should bookmark that link so that you don’t have to go through the Reclaim cPanel every time you need to get to your website (which will be often).

Step 4: Write your first blog post.

  • Read this brief article by Joanne Freeman. Then write a blog post responding to it. What parts of the history of war in the antebellum United States do you think are relevant for today? What parts do you think you still need to grapple with? (We’ll revisit these questions at the end of the semester when you know a little more about the history!)
  • Post a link to your published blog post in Slack in the #week1 channel.

Coming up for Monday

  • Sign up which conflict you want to focus on for the semester (see this page for more details).
  • Reading: James Ambuske et al., “The American Revolution,” Michael Hattem, ed., in The American Yawp, eds. Joseph Locke and Ben Wright (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2018). (Response options: blog post, Hypothesis, audio)