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A new course section of ENG/HISTORY 485/585 Winter Term 2016 gives students an opportunity to delve into literary and public history while learning about new technologies and research methods:
Winter term of 2016, Dr. Ehren Pflugfelder and Dr. Raymond Malewitz team-taught ENG/HIST 485/585, a newly designed course in the Digital Humanities. The course moved from theory to practice, with a specific focus on student-driven digital humanities projects built around available archival material for the noted author Bernard Malamud. Malamud, the author of The Natural, The Magic Barrel, and numerous short story collections, was a past winner of the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the O. Henry Award. The course focused special attention to the time he spent teaching, writing, and living in Corvallis (1949-1961), and centered upon his 1961 academic novel A New Life, written about his time at OSU. Because Malamud’s archival materials have yet to be systematically studied and because they offer insight into both the life of OSU’s most important literary figure, the course represents an excellent learning opportunity for students to explore these materials. Designed for high-impact teaching that gives students real-world experiences, the course rapidly introduces students to contemporary theories, methods, and tools associated with the burgeoning field of digital humanities. Professors Pflugfelder and Malewitz believe the course combined critical thinking with visualization and digital media skills and resulted in projects that are now hosted through OSU’s Valley Library.