Intro Post – Hello from the Other Side (of the Computer) – Kristin Herlihy

Howdy y’all. My name is Kristin and I’m not from the South, the exact opposite of it actually (i.e. Oregon), but somehow I ended up using y’all all the time and moving to D.C. I’m currently in my first year as a masters student in the Public History program at American and I’m excited to be in D.C. exploring all the different forms of history the city has to offer. Part of what drew me to D.C. is the vast amount of museums in the area and being able to explore different historic areas. My undergraduate college, Whitman College, is in Walla Walla, Washington, or as I like to call it, the Middle of Nowhere, so I’m enjoying living somewhere that has grocery stores open past 10pm. I hope to focus my studies at American on American history and how the public thinks about topics like the Founding Fathers and the Civil War in terms of the creation of American identity. Doing so involves thinking about how people respond at physical sites and museums but also includes the ways people talk about history online and use the internet to research and discuss those topics.

In this course I’d like to become more familiar with computers and technology, which honestly could be done by teaching me how to turn one on and off (seriously, I’ve had a new computer for two weeks and have already had to take it in to a shop to get fixed once). I’m also hoping to learn how technology can be used to engage a broader audience with history and reach people across the globe. As I am interested in how people talk about history not just in person, but in digital spaces as well, I need the tools to be able to part of these conversations.

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