Women of Faith: A Conversation with Mary Beth Fraser Connolly

As I wrote in my dissertation acknowledgements (coming soon to a ProQuest database near you), my research is indebted to the interdisciplinary circles of scholars working on American Catholic history in Chicago and beyond, and I have benefited from the friendship and community of a terrific group of young scholars in Catholic Studies, one of whom, Mary Beth Fraser Connolly, was kind enough to talk with me recently about her new book on the Sisters of Mercy.

Women of Faith: The Chicago Sisters of Mercy and the Evolution of a Religious Community (Fordham, 2014) is a sweeping institutional history that, in many ways, revives my interest in the genre of institutional history.

To read my conversation with Mary Beth about research, writing, and women religious, visit Religion in American HistoryWomen of Faith: A Conversation with Mary Beth Fraser Connolly.

“Where We Are…”

* cross posted from Educating Women *

Bryn Mawr College driving directions (n.d.) in Bryn Mawr College Campus Maps.

Maybe it’s because I’ve only been here for two months, or maybe it’s just nostalgia for my own college days, but with Customs Week at Bryn Mawr wrapping up, and classes getting underway, I’m feeling sympathy for new students and faculty navigating campus. Even with ten days living in a Pem East single as a CLIR Fellow under my belt, I still keep a copy of the current campus map in my bag and bookmarked on my iPhone. (At least I’m no longer confusing Taylor with Thomas!)

I’ve also been thinking a lot about maps after taking my first introduction to ArcGIS mapping software last month, as part of a Mellon-funded Tri-Co Environmental Studies initiative organized by Swarthmore College. Over three days, I joined nearly twenty Tri-Co faculty members interested in the possibilities of organizing spacial data. With most of us new to ArcGIS, the workshop opened with two basic questions:

  • What kinds of spacial questions do you encounter in your research?
  • What kinds of spacial questions do our students encounter in their classes?

To put it another way, maps can tell us where we are, but can they tell us who we are?

Read more at: “Where We Are…”: Adventures in Mapping Bryn Mawr History 

Upcoming Engagements (or, Where to Find Me)

It’s September, and with the last of my summer travel behind me, I’m starting to refocus on the mission of the Greenfield Digital Center and getting our work out into the world. So there’s a new page on this site: Upcoming Engagements. I might be talking about oral history, social media, and/or the digital humanities in a city near you over the next year, so let’s connect!

Academic Libraries in a Digital World

* cross posted from Educating Women *

Earlier this month, I spent 10 days at the Council on Libraries and Information Resources/Digital Library Federation (CLIR/DLF) postdoctoral fellows orientation seminar, an experience many of us fondly termed “library boot camp,” and others “Hogwarts School of Data Curation and Wizadry,” given the setting here at Bryn Mawr. In its tenth year, the CLIR/DLF postdoctoral fellows orientation gave twenty-seven new fellows (the biggest cohort yet!) an introduction to theories and methods in library and information studies, and data curation. As recent Ph.D.’s in fields ranging from comparative literature to biomedical informatics and everything in between, we’ll be taking a diverse array of positions in academic libraries across North America.

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A New Start: First Days at the Greenfield Digital Center

Book of Bryn Mawr Stories (1901)

Book of Bryn Mawr Stories (1901)

* cross posted from Educating Women *

I’ll be starting to blog regularly in my new role as Director of The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education at Bryn Mawr College (where I will also be teaching in the History Department come January). My first week on campus has been a blur, but I’m excited to be here: #wmnhist everywhere you turn!

Read more about the Greenfield Digital Center’s current projects on the blog Educating Women and follow our work on Twitter @GreenfieldHWE.

My first post is linked here:

A New Start: Monica’s First Days at the Greenfield Digital Center

Moving On

I went to graduate school and all I got ...were these t-shirts?

 

I’m taking a break from packing boxes to show off two new t-shirts: one, from my first trip to the (16th Annual) Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, the other, my official University of Chicago History Department Alumni t-shirt (not available for sale, they’ll have you know).

About that alumni tee? Yes, I passed my dissertation defense on May 19! So with that, Dr. Monica, Ph.D., will see you in Philadelphia on July 1. Now, back to those boxes…