Military diplomas, cc Taifighta, Flickr
Military diplomas, cc Taifighta, Flickr


Activity Posts

Starting in week two and running until week eleven, two different groups will be assigned particular roles with regard to blogging both the readings and the discussion from the week’s class. These will be posted on the student’s activity page on the website, as a blog post. Each group will serve in each role at least once over the course of the semester (the exact number is TBA as it depends on enrollments). The design of this assignment is inspired from Mark Sample’s English course on videogame criticism at George Mason University (

The ‘leader’ group will each consider at least two of the required readings for the week, drawing out the interesting, puzzling, or striking elements from those readings. They may also consider linking out to other articles, recent news, and so on, that are directly relevant. These must be posted prior to the lecture session on Tuesday.

The ‘responder’ group will leave critical comments on those activity posts, before discussion on Thursday, which also reference the readings and take into account Tuesday’s discussion, and which try to ask good questions (for a primer on good questions, see Patrick Rael’s post).

ALL students will be expected to have read these activity posts prior to the Thursday, and to be ready to discuss them.

Open Participants: You may decide to post as a ‘leader’ or a ‘respondent’. You can post in the activity stream, on Twitter, or on your own blog (but tweet the link or paste in your activity stream).

In Class Discussion Leaders

In certain weeks, a third group will be designated the ‘in class discussion leaders’. As individuals, they will each prepare a five minute case study related to the week’s theme. Assignment of these will take place during weeks 1 and 2. These presentations should be uploaded to and the links posted to the activity stream prior to the Wednesday session. These presentations should have a ‘works cited’ slide at the end, and consist of no more than 10 slides. Each student will only have to do this once. Topics and questions to address:

Week 3: select a Roman city. What makes a city Roman?
Week 4: select a Roman landscapes research project. How do these projects write history?
Week 5: select a particular trade good and indicate the ways it has been used to illustrate economic history.
Week 6: pick a film that depicts the Roman army. What did they get right? What did they get wrong?
Week 7: consider the way a Roman building structures space. What kind of social interactions become possible?
Week 8: pick a cult. What do we know based on historical sources, archaeological sources?
Week 9: How does spectacle create identity?
Week 10: To what degree can you read such a thing as ‘romanization’ in material culture?

You don’t necessarily have to have an answer to the question, as you are merely putting things on the table for class discussion.

Open participants Upload your presentation to slideshare, and share the link in your activity stream (or on twitter, or on your blog). Feel free to form a group on this site as a forum to continue the conversation about these topics.

In-class exercises

Full details with supporting screencasts to be posted. In essence, these are exercises meant to develop facility with certain kinds of digital analysis of archaeological and historical materials. These exercises will take place during the Monday session. Your results will be posted to the Wiki section of this site.

  • Week 2: Text analysis using Voyant Tools of 5 archaeological and 5 classical academic papers. We’ll be exploring the disciplinary differences in language used to talk about the past.
  • Week 5: Network Analysis of trade objects, using Gephi and Portable Antiquities Scheme data
  • Week 7: Exploring linked data
  • Week 10: Simulation: Orbis, the Antonine Itineraries, Travellersim.

Open Participants: full instructions will be posted; post your thoughts and results in your activity stream, and/or contribute to the wiki documents.

Major Project

Due the last day of term. You will have an opportunity to present your work to your peers during the last week of term. You may work as an individual, or in pairs. If you choose to work in pairs, one grade will be assigned to both of you (though I reserve the right to grade as individuals). Using the unpublished field reports available at the Archaeology Data Service, you will craft a work of history. There are some options though (more details to follow).

  • Can be a traditional 25 page paper. Harvard citations. List of possible questions to be posted.
  • Can be a work of digital public archaeology using the Twine authoring platform
  • Can be a work of digital public archaeology, using Prezi where the zoom metaphor functions as a kind of digital excavation.
  • Can be a work of digital archaeology: GIS or Networks Analysis.

More details, rubrics, to follow. I reserve the right to grade group work on an individual basis.

Open participants: Post your project to your blog, or upload to a service like Scribd, and share the link.

Late or Missing Work

Get out of jail free. Each student may miss 1 activity post without penalty provided the student alerts Dr. Graham that he or she wishes to use their ‘get out of jail free card’.

Otherwise, activity posts cannot be made up if the deadlines are missed.

In class exercises may be handed in late, with permission. A penalty of 10% per day to a max of 50% will apply.

Final project cannot be submitted late. MAKE SURE THAT THIS GETS HANDED IN ON TIME.

NB You will note that there is no final exam. DO NOT take that as a sign that this class is not as important as your other classes. By not having a final, I wish to signal to you that you must bring your best work to bear on your class work at all times.

Technology Failure: As much of this course depends on the internet, you will be expected to have appropriate internet connectivity, and a backup plan for your work: ‘my computer crashed’ (and similar) will not be an acceptable excuse. Please make sure your computer is as up to date as possible in terms of software, drivers, Java, and so on.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *