Tonight is our first class in History 689, Teaching and Learning History in the Digital Age. I’m excited to begin the course, as I still have so much to learn about DH and I want to be able to share digital tools, resources, and projects with others.
I have been teaching history for several years, and I love working with students and teaching them both the research process and the content of the courses. I’ve taught introductory courses such as both halves of the U.S. History survey, West and the World I and II, and American History Through Biography, a course which I designed for education majors. In addition, I have taught America in the 1960s, Era of Reform, History of Women in America, Irish History, The United States Since 1960, and directed readings on topics such as Museums and Historical Agencies. Since my M.A. and Ph.D. are in American Studies, I have taught courses in a variety of fields, and many of those courses were history related. Three of those courses were Humanities Senior Seminars on Heroes and Heroines, Biographies and Biographers, and Cultural Politics in the United States during the 1920s.
Due to my interests in both academic and public humanities, I have worked in both arenas. During my career, I have been a rare book cataloguer for the American Antiquarian Society’s North American Imprints Program and an historical indexer for HarpWeek, an early DH project. I’ve also utilized my history, material culture, library and information studies, and museums/historical agencies backgrounds at a variety of museums, historical agencies, and libraries. While working at one historic site, I decided to have History Nights for the volunteers. During these events, I would teach the volunteers about different aspect of nineteenth-century American history which were related to the family and historic house we were working at. It was a wonderful experience and is one of my favorite teaching memories. Over the years, I’ve also curated exhibitions, another type of teaching, and have discussed historical topics in both public and academic venues.
As we learned in Digital Public History, it is vital to keep our audiences in mind. I want to continue to work with college students and to utilize my knowledge of history and material culture, as well as my new DH skills, as I work in the public humanities world. It is crucial to to be able to meet the needs of all of these audiences in this digital world, and I am confident that this course will provide insights into how to engage and instruct them. I’m very excited about my upcoming internship with the Smithsonian Institution and I know that Teaching and Learning History in the Digital Age will help to prepare me for the projects that I will work on for the Smithsonian.
Digital Humanities is so fascinating, and I have learned so much in this program so far. I want to incorporate tools such as Voyant, Carto, Palladio, and OHMS, and platforms such as Omeka and WordPress, into various courses and to continue to create and enhance my own DH projects. We have learned about so many outstanding DH projects this year, and I’ve just started teaching students about them. I have an idea about teaching primary source research and Omeka in my American Women’s History course for the Fall semester, and I hope to learn the best way to incorporate Omeka and other DH tools into this course and other courses. During this semester, I also hope to learn about Scripto and other DH tools and find out how I can teach them to my students. Since the American Women’s History course will be my first totally online course as a professor, I also hope to learn how to teach digital history to undergraduates in an online course.
I look forward to working with Dr. Kelly and my classmates this semester!