Web Development Independent Study

With a Graduate Student in the UCSC Digital Art and New Media Program

Are you a web developer with some experience creating dynamic, interactive websites? You will be earning units and experience while playing a critical role in creating the foundation for an interactive web documentary this quarter, in the tradition of Highrise, Hollow, and Welcome to Pine Point.


A Secret History of American River People is a project to recreate a 1940s shantyboat for a series of epic river voyages in order to build a collection of personal stories of people who live and work on the river, culminating in a touring installation and an interactive web documentary. The web doc combines personal portraits, interactive data, participatory elements, and user-generated content on an evocative HTML5 website offering multiple branching thematic paths and perspectives. The first phase of the web documentary launched during this academic year will serve as a framework for future expansion and will be designed with this in mind. You will have a critical role designing, programming, editing, and implementing the website. Please check out the project at peoplesriverhistory.us

This 5- or 2-unit independent study provides a focused research experience as we analyze the Secret History archive from a post-modern historical standpoint and present the archive through film/video and new media.

Good teamwork, enthusiasm, and communication are essential. Everyone will be considered, and if you have experience with HTML5, WordPress, PHP, video, sound, Mozilla popcorn, javascript, parallax, or telling stories it will serve you well.

Working as a team in an interdisciplinary environment, students will work closely with the grad student to create a new media work presenting the Secret History archive. Students are encouraged to bring diverse interests and skills, as each team member will uniquely contribute to the final product, including video production experience, web and new media development, historical research, library science, and project management. Organization, creativity, enthusiasm, and passion for documentary film-making are musts.

Please send to Wes Modes at wmodes@ucsc.edu:

  • a letter of interest
  • what draws you to the project, and
  • a summary of relevant experience

Thanks for considering being part of the team to produce this important work.

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