Course Description

“Everything that lives, lives not alone, nor for itself”

-William Blake, “The Book of Thel”

“In its contrast with the ideas both of unfolding of latent powers from within, and of the formation from without, whether by physical nature or by the cultural products of the past, the ideal of growth results in the conception that education is a constant reorganizing or reconstructing of experience”

-John Dewey, Democracy and Education

In Digital Humanities 373: Public Access and the Liberal Arts: A Narrative History students will collect and publish stories that capture the identities, cultures, histories, and environments related to a public liberal arts education. The Narrating the Liberal Arts (NAPLA) project documents the 1944 G.I. Bill and public access to higher education and, later, increasing public access to the liberal arts.

Students are creating online chronicles of the life experiences of students, alumni, staff and faculty at the campuses at which they are studying—digital resources that capture the history and the prospects of the public liberal arts. As designers and editors of these digital archives, the students are exploring their place in higher education by making visible the history of the liberal arts at the institution in which they are studying.

The student teams will be

  • building an online archive of oral histories by alumni, faculty, staff and current student
  • employing digital tools to produce a layered, web-based narrative that includes audio and video stories, images, maps and documentary evidence of their home campus and
  • collaborating with faculty mentors to integrate their web site projects with the COPLAC Digital Project

COPLAC Storytelling is making visible the traditions and values of a public liberal arts education for current students, alumni, educators, administrators, development and admission offices, historians, archivists, and the wider public.