Your missions are detailed below. Complete them sequentially, and upload completed missions to the appropriate location in the course website (look for DZ missions in the assignments tab).

Be vigilant! Mission expiration dates and deadlines are final -- miss a deadline and the whole mission is incomplete!

Mission 1: Basic survival skills

Learn some basic mapping skills to survive the digital zombie infection

Find your local/campus library. Make a map of its location, and map the library itself. Mark your favorite section of the library with an X. 

In 100-words or more explain why this is your favorite spot.

Mission 2: Find the librarian 

To complete this second mission well, you'll need to engage the help of a librarian (and submit a selfie of yourself with the librarian).

This week you will:

  1. find a painting with a historical theme
  2. work with a librarian to research the painting and its painter using the library collections and understand how material is organized in the library (remember to take a selfie)
  3. write a letter about this experience


1. Find a painting:

  • The painting must have a historical subject, but it can cover any topic, time period, or location.
  • Your letter should describe the painting and place it in its artistic, social, political and historical context with some expertise.
  • Your letter should also articulate how this painting is a primary source, or if it is part of a historical argument, interpretation or analysis

Some links for paintings and museums:

https://images.nga.gov/en/page/show_home_page.html (Links to an external site.)

http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/search.aspx (Links to an external site.)

http://www.getty.edu/art/collection/ (Links to an external site.)

http://art.thewalters.org/ (Links to an external site.)

http://www.huntington.org/ (Links to an external site.)


Here are some themes that may help you choose among paintings:

  • paintings depicting folk customs, indigenous people, indigenous practices

  • paintings of people at work

  • paintings of war, generals, heroes and soldiers

  • paintings of landscapes

  • paintings of machines, paintings depicting mechanization/industrialization

  • paintings of revolutions and revolutionaries (this may be similar to paintings of war - but there is a difference)

2. Find a librarian:

  • Introduce yourself to your librarian and explain your task.
  • Ask your librarian to help you find the stacks that hold books & material that will help you
  • Ask a librarian why the books you need are organized the way they are. What sources does the librarian cite to explain this?
  • Ask your librarian where your library's “special collections”  are  - and assess if the special collections might be helpful to your research?
  • Take a selfie


3. Write a letter:

Your letter should be at least 400 words long. Think about whom you are writing to - you can choose to write to a parent, a friend or a professor. What tone would you use with the person you are writing to? What aspect of the letter might appeal to them - think about why you are writing to them.

Remember to let the reader of your letter know why you chose the painting, where you found it, and where you found the information that helps you explain the painting and its meaning.


Mission 3: Digital Zombies on the web

You must learn to go digital before the network breaks down! Apart from stacks, libraries contain a lot of material online. Click libgids (Links to an external site.) for an introduction. 

Find a past disease outbreak by researching online for recent newspapers, social media, and journal coverage of events, issues, public health response. Choose from ebola, flu (swine flu of 2009 and flu pandemic of 1914), SARS, AIDS, the plague (Black Death), polio, or any other major historical disease outbreak.

Many books & info are not in your library physically, but they are available on the web. Some resources were “born digital,” (this means they’ve always existed in digital space).

Your task this week:

In at least 500 words, explain what disease you researched and what lead you to choosing this disease above others. Follow up by explaining how these digital resources helped you understand the disease better. You’ll need to reference the works you read, and tell us where you found them.  

Below are the links to external sites of the UC campus libraries. You can access and search them all, and make sure to look for “special collections” too:
UCR: library.ucr.edu (Links to an external site.)
UCLA: library.ucla.edu (Links to an external site.)
UCI: lib.uci.edu (Links to an external site.)
UCSD: libraries.ucsd.edu (Links to an external site.)
UCSB: library.ucsb.edu (Links to an external site.)
UCSC: library.ucsc.edu (Links to an external site.)
UCB: library.berkeley.edu (Links to an external site.)
UCM: library.ucmerced.edu (Links to an external site.)
UCD: lib.ucdavis.edu (Links to an external site.)


Mission 4: Digital Zombie crowd-sourcing & Wikipedia

Part 1:

In 250 words at least , assess the validity of the Wikipedia articles that cover the material you wrote about in week 2. How do you know the wikipedia articles are reliable - make sure you cite the wikipedia articles you are looking at (you can do this easily by looking under "tools" in the left hand navigation bar of the wikipedia article and then clicking "cite this page"). 

  • Remember the painting you wrote about in week 2? What does wikipedia say about it, about its author, about its meaning?
  • If Wikipedia were the only form of information available would it have been enough ? How does Wikipedia cover this subject you now know a lot about? Is it reliable information, and if so, how can you tell?

Part 2:

Think about what you did today/this week for this class and sketch out how you would write a diary entry. Now rewrite it as if your were: Martha Ballard, Anne Frank or Che Guevara. Your diary entry should be at least 250 words, and resemble in style and content the entries of the character you choose to embody.

Links to online archives and written examples of each are included in the readings - these must inform the tone of your entries.

The challenge here is that you will not be writing about anything either Martha, Anne or Che ever wrote about, but you will need to place yourself in their world, their perspective and their writing style. 

Your references to evidence will need to be true to the style of each writer, as will the interpretations of each.

Initial Report: Mid-training period assessment

Your initial report is a mid-training assessment of lessons learnt so far. This is good opportunity to demonstrate that you have learnt from past mistakes, and are now ready to take one more challenging tasks in the fight against Digital Zombies/Zombie-ism 

Your report is a two-part essay of at least 1000 words The report should be written in a formal paper style, and should cover the following questions - these are however not exclusive, so if you have more to say, please do.

Part 1. What is the state of the digital zombie outbreak: use the following questions as guides. You need to at least be able to answer this, but feel free to go beyond.

  • From your perspective and based on what you know by now, what is a digital zombie?
  • How do you know YOU are not a digital zombie?
  • What do you know now that you did not know at the beginning of this class?
  • Comment on the state of the digital zombie outbreak, what does the future look like - on campus and beyond?
  • Based on your experience over the last 5 weeks, write-up at least 5 tips/ do's & don't's for any student who wants/needs to do research.

Part 2: WWZ and DZ

  • The course so far has introduced you to a series of primary sources. Find at least two types of primary sources in WWZ and explain how Max Brooks uses them in his narrative. 
  • Now that you know libraries and librarians pretty well, what aspect of the WWZ story could Max Books have developed more? How would he do that - tell us what books/references he could use and why.
  • Check Wikipedia for articles on World War Z and Max Brooks. Summarize the information available about the author and his book - is it well documented, well written, well footnoted?

Mission 5.1: Lie To Me, a practical application of the training modules

Part of not being a DZ requires you know how to think like one, or think like one that might want to take advantage of a DZ. In order to this, you are going to create a fake history - complete with a fake primary source and analysis. It should be believable - but fake. Your final report will be the presentation of your (fake) evidence as proof of an alternative interpretation to widely accepted historical events. (scroll down to the description of the Final Report for details)

In order to lie well, you need to have a good sense of what you are lying about, so think about a time in history you are familiar with, and think about how you might change common interpretations of it. You cannot change the outcome (so you can't undo the Lincoln assassination), but you can 'find' new evidence that might shed new light on the event, or on the Lincoln presidency as a whole. 

Avoid conspiracy theories and alien stories - neither are believable.

Your assignment this week:

  • In 500 words or more, explain what aspect of history you are going to fake, the arguments you will overturn, and how you will change the way a particular part of history is written.
  • Submit and discuss the list of sources - primary, secondary or tertiary, that you have consulted to start building your final project. 
  • You should have at least 3 secondary sources and 1 primary source for this assignment, but you can definitely have more.


1) Cite your sources correctly

2) Explain how each source helps build your lie

Mission 5.2: Lie To Me - the (fake) evidence

This is smoking gun! The evidence that overturns everything we thought we knew! It doesn't have to be that radical - you can find a piece of evidence that people have never been able to unearth (like the Ark of the Covenant that Indiana Jones was looking for), but it might be easier to locate a missing map (or scrap of a map), a long diary your grandmother kept in her attic, or using technology - you may be able to find a detail in a photograph that had not been developed (on a pre-digital roll of film), let your imagination roam to think about possible evidence. This again rules out aliens and the super-natural.

You need to physically make the source, since you will need to present this in your final report. You need to make the fake evidence, and share a digital image/file of it in your submission.

Mission 5.3: Lie To Me, over and over again

Writing well requires iteration - so in order to submit the best possible final report, you will first write a draft of it. Read the final report prompt carefully, and write a 750 word draft.

Make sure you are properly "describing" where your the primary source was found, how it survived for so long, or why no one had found it. Explain how your interpretation reframes the existing knowledge about this event/time in history.  Articulate why your fake primary source is reliable in this context. These are all questions you need to be able to address at this stage in the exercise.


The final presentation of your project is the lie itself – present the evidence, the proof (your fake primary source) and all the supporting material that firmly situates it within a previous version of history.

Remember – you are not changing history (you are not undoing something that has happened) but you are changing how we understand it and how history will interpret and remember it.

You have done all the work already in the previous weeks - now is the time to stitch it all together. Digital Zombies won't be able to tell it's a lie - but even a few un-infected might be fooled into believing it!

You can present your lie in a myriad of ways, you can integrate video or music and images – but you will always need to write at least 1500 words, not including the primary source.