History is a public good: In the public space of a democratic historical culture, different interpretations of the past lay claim to truthfulness and recognition. In addition to public institutions, civil society interest organizations, social and political groups, and individuals are also active here, seeking to establish interpretive sovereignty for their respective historical images and memories. Digital media present both potential and pitfalls. While digital media on the one hand provide interested laypersons ("citizen scholars") with the opportunity to research and write history(s). On the other, inaccurate or even false "alternative histories" are increasingly often being disseminated online. Digital History addresses the challenges for historical method and source criticism associated with these processes and aims at developing them further to meet these new challenges.
The Department of History at the University of Trier, under the leadership of Ursula Lehmkuhl and Eva Bischoff, is preparing the introduction of a new MA Digital Public History. The program combines the profiles of Public History and Digital History. While Public History refers to the diverse fields of work of professional historians in the context of publicly negotiated historical cultures, Digital History deals with the challenges that arise for historical method and historical source criticism through digital media.
The MA DPH program will combine teaching of knowledge and skills in public presentation and negotiation of historical facts (Public History) with training of skills in digital data criticism and research data management, digital communication, and digital research methods (Digital History). It also prepares students for the diverse fields of work of professional historians in the context of publicly negotiated historical cultures.
Planned structure and module structure
The areas "Historiography" and "Historical Cultures", students acquire specialized academic content on topics, interpretive controversies, modes of use and media of public historical cultures in an international perspective.
In the section of "Digital History", students acquire methodological and theoretical knowledge in the field of digital data criticism, digital historical hermeneutics as well as the use and application of digital formats for presenting, communicating and researching history. Here, a special focus lies on the problems of data ethics and data law as well as to the teaching of the FAIR and CARE principles. The theoretical-methodical knowledge and qualifications gained are coupled with application-oriented project work (so-called DPH labs), employing selected practical examples.
The fourth pillar, "Career-oriented practical projects", conveys content that qualifies students for their future careers. This includes an internship as well as modules on application-oriented digital history ("Computer-supported Research and Communication of History", "Working with Selected Tools of Digital History", "Data Literacy and Digital Hermeneutics").
Through cooperation with international partners, the program offers the opportunity to gather international experience.