Can #DH Answer Our Questions? Looking Ahead to AHA 2015

* cross posted from Educating Women *

digital iconIt’s finals week at Bryn Mawr, which means that campus is getting quieter by the day. But for historians, the December break also requires getting ready for the American Historical Association (AHA) annual meeting, held the first weekend of the new year. On Sunday, January 4, I’ll be chairing a fantastic session organized by Penn State graduate student Kathryn Falvo, featuring work at the intersection of women’s and gender history and the digital humanities. We’ll be joined by new University of Virginia Ph.D. Tamika Richeson, and Dr. Wendy E. Chmielewski, George Cooley Curator of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.

Set your alarm clocks: we’re scheduled for a 9am start, discussing topics central to the Greenfield Digital Center’s mission:

AHA Session 159: Can DH Answer Our Questions? Using Digital Humanities to Address the Concerns of Feminist Historians …

Read more at Educating Women, the blog of The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education. [link]

Writing around the Web

I spent the middle of October back in the Midwest at the Oral History Association annual meeting and the Loyola University Chicago conference Crossings and Dwellings: Restored Jesuits, Women Religious, American Experience, 1814-2014. Read more at the following sites:

Catching up with the #Historiannchallenge

Sunday morning conversations.

Sunday morning conversations.

Over fall break I had a chance to catch up with my blog reading and found Historiann’s responses to James McPherson’s interview in the October 5 Sunday Book Review (or, what my graduate school BFF called  #whitemanhistorians).

Historiann came up with a better hashtag, and the makings of a project: the #Historiannchallenge. In “Historiann: The New York Times Book Review Interview,” Ann invited wider participation, and a recent follow up proves lots of us were happy to oblige.

The hashtag is still going strong, and now I’m inspired to power through my growing book piles. Here’s my interview, where I surprise myself with just how Catholic it is, and surprise no one with how many women are represented.

Continue reading

Resources for Crafting a Public Identity

lab

Event Details:  UChicago Leadership Lab, October 15, 2014 [link to Eventbrite]

This week I’m returning to my old stomping grounds, the University of Chicago, to participate in the Emerging Leaders Initiative of the Social Sciences Division. I’ve been interested to see how my alma mater is thinking about how graduate students should be — in their words — “developing expertise in a variety of different areas.”

The areas in which I currently work, public and digital history, are not ones supported by my graduate training, but reflect work experience I brought with me to graduate school, and continued to do “on the side” while completing my doctorate. In order to keep up with those fields, and to make new contacts, I made a concerted effort to get online during the write-up phase of my (very analog) dissertation.

As part of Wednesday’s roundtable, I’ve been thinking about the choices I made (and continue to make) about building a web presence and sharing my work with a broader audience. The following links are a useful reading list for graduate students weighing similar decisions:

Finally, if you have lots of time to spare, a previous talk I gave on promoting your research in a digital age is online, here. Have any advice to add? Leave a reply in the comments!

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