Workplace Learning (Theme: Miscreants & Rascals) (HIST*3480)
Code and section: HIST*3480*03
Term: Summer 2023
Instructor: Kris Inwood
This independent study course provides direct experience in the creation and analysis of data describing Canadians imprisoned during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The lives of these people are documented in the admission registers of an historic jail c1900.
Your experiential learning opportunity will involve transcribing information about prisoners from page images of the prison register in order to make these rare but highly useful documents more accessible for researchers now and in the future. The transcription element of the course will cover roughly 400 admissions to prison.
In connecting this work experience to your academic discipline you will write two short critical reflections and a research paper analyzing what can be learned about the patterns of offences and offenders using the prison register as a primary source.
You will be conducting independent work and attending class meetings. The course and your workplace are all online. Four scheduled class meetings (their day and time to be determined during the first week of class) will take place either in person or remotely in a synchronous environment.
- Critical Understanding of 19th & 20th-century criminal justice systems and prisons.
- Ability to understand 19th & 20th-century handwriting & vocabulary.
- Knowledge of transcription practices.
- Knowledge of research practices.
- Ability to critically reflect upon your own work.
- Ability to critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of criminal justice records as sources
Methods of Evaluation:
Transcriptions, first draft - 20%
Transcriptions, second draft - 20%
Weekly Critical Reflections - 20%
Final Essay - 40%
Texts and/or Resources Required:
No Required Textbook
Week 1: Receive instructions for transcription, digital images of the source and an excel template with sample entries. You investigate the challenges of transcribing including conventions that have been designed to minimize inconsistency between transcribers.
Week 2: discussion to review the instructions, discuss challenges of transcription and learn about the questions and quantitative methods with which to mine the prison records for meaning.
Week 3: Your first draft of the transcriptions is due. This is an opportunity for Dr. Inwood to see how you are doing and address any issues early in the semester.
Week 4: The first Critical Reflection is due. In it you will discuss challenges encountered in the transcription, anything interesting or surprising that you encountered and verbally report on the topic you will do for your essay.
Week 5: The final draft of the transcriptions is due.
Week 6: The second Critical Reflection is due. In it you discuss challenges, the rate or speed at which you work, interesting or unexpected aspects of the prison register and the prisoners, and assessments of quality and productivity. Discussion of the final essay/document analysis.
Week 12: Essay is due.
*Please note: This is a preliminary web course description only. The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description. The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester.