Week 2 Blog Post

1) Choose your favorite podcast [of any type] and episode, and explain why you like it – the narrative format, the tone and personality, the scholarly/public balance. Pick out one moment in particular that illustrates your point and talk about it. 400-500 words.  Include links, pull quotes, even embedded media if you can — start learning html post-by-post.

2) Habermas — Yet to be set.  Discussion leaders are Eleanor Boggs and Emily Harmon.  They will post their question tonight and students should respond by tomorrow 11:59pm.

Note: in the upper right of the composition window, there are two tabs — visual and text.  Visual is easiest, but text is the actual html you can put in and allows greater control.  Toggle between them to see the difference.  Feel free to compose in the text mode.  Copy your post before you tweak the text/html, because you might break something.

Mary’s introduction

I’m Mary. I’m originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin where I did my BA at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and my MA in Public Service at Marquette University. My MA thesis focused on reparations for slavery in the U.S.  I worked as a theater director and in nonprofit advocacy/lobbying for ten years before returning to school for my Ph.D.

I’m a second year ASPECT doctoral student with concentrations in Social and Ethical Theory. My dissertation is about structural racism in the U.S. federal government and I’m broadly interested in civics, moral philosophy, social movements, white supremacy and racism, and political theater and film.

Honestly, I’m a bit of a Luddite and not very confident with technology, so I haven’t used digital technology in my research yet. I have administered social media accounts at various nonprofits, have a personal webpage, and have written text and gif blog essays, but that is the extent of my work in digital methods.  I’m looking forward to gaining exposure and practice with new tools and methods. I have experience conducting qualitative interviews on prisons and reparations for slavery, so I’m hopeful this class will offer me fresh ideas for how to use that data, beyond simply writing papers. I’m not sure how much I can incorporate digital history into my dissertation ideas, but I am definitely interested in using digital history in future research and freelance writing.


A big hello to my fellow digital historians! My name is Heather Ryan and I am first year masters student in the history program at Virginia Tech and am also working towards my certificate in pubic history. Once I’m done at Tech I would love to work on children’s education programs in museums and parks. I have always loved history and I’ve always loved the internet so taking this class just makes sense. As a hobby I’ve been involved in all sorts so different on-line projects over the past decade but I’m relatively new to combining my work in history with media I’ve always viewed as part of my private life.

My first real foray into digital humanities was a class I took as an undergraduate on lgbtq+ Victorian literature. The class was problematic in many ways but I did enjoy the result of our final projects where we mapped out the movements of characters in The Romance of a Shop and The Picture of Dorian Gray. Looking back these are pretty basic skills but I look forward to expanding them through this course.

As part of my GA assignment I’ve also been working with Tom Ewing on his project on the Russian flu of 1889 which combines history with computer science and epidemiology to create new ways of visualizing data.

As a masters student I plan on writing my thesis on food riots in American history, preferably in the late 19th and early 20th century. I am still at the beginning of the process so I can’t say much more about it except that I would like to incorporate mapping into the project as my public history component.

Diving In

Hello Digital History Class!  I’m Jenny Nehrt, a second year History M.A. student with a certificate in Public History.  My thesis explores the 1878 yellow fever epidemic in Memphis.  I’m particularly interested in how a small group of white business men worked in tandem with the Howards Association to raise money and supplies and distribute relief unequally throughout the population.  The small population of white Memphians received the most aid and medical attention while the African American and immigrant communities were largely left to fend for themselves.

I’m excited to take this class because most of my public history experience has been analog.  I’ve worked in archives and museums collections but most of my work revolved around processing collections.   I was fortunate to work as a Collections Assistant for the Augusta Military Academy Museum, where I digitized the AMA Scrapbook Collection.

Grad school is where I’ve encountered digital history the most.  I created a website for the Christiansburg Institute that highlighted the local history of the African American school.  The site included photographs, oral histories, educational materials, and information on how to visit the physical site.  I also worked on Dale’s Redlining project in Public History and used ArcGIS to map the city of Nashville.

I’m hoping to use ArcGIS again for my final semester project.  I’d like to map Memphis and, if I’m able to figure out how to do this, layer information about the city over the map.  I could identify the various ethnic neighborhoods, where the churches were, where quarantine camps were set up, quarantine checkpoints, etc. This would be a great addition to my thesis and could help me better understand my research